The PS5 won’t be backwards compatible with all the PlayStation family, Sony admits


As Sony gears up for the worldwide launch of the PS5 on November 19, it has already revealed all the information prospective buyers would want to know about the machine, including its specs and launch price.

Some people, though, were anxious for Sony to clarify PS5 backwards compatibility, that is, whether the new console would be compatible with games made for earlier PlayStation models.

You see, there was a lot of excitement earlier this year when rumors suggested that the PS5 would not only be able to run PS4 games, but that it would also be compatible with PS3, PS2 and even PS1 games.

However, it seems that this is not true, and that PS5 backwards compatibility will be limited to PS4 games, as Sony president Jim Ryan recently told Famitsu in an interview.

As reported on Siliconera, Ryan said that Sony focused on developing its new DualSense controller and on integrating the PS5’s SSD drive, with the team running out of time when it came to adding backwards compatibility with earlier PlayStation models (except the PS4, of course).

“We keep in mind the engineering specialized for the PS5, as we produced the device. In the midst of that, the PS4 already has 100 million players; we thought they ought to want to play PS4 titles on the PS5 as well indeed, so we included compatibility with the PS4”, Sony’s president told Famitsu. “While implementing that, we also focused our efforts on taking in the high-speed SSD and the new controller DualSense at the same time. So, unfortunately, we couldn’t reach the implementation of such compatibilities”, added Ryan.

Fortunately, though, we already know that the PS5 will play 99 % of all PS4 games, so almost every PS4 game out there should work on PS5 at launch. Sony’s Mark Cerny had caused some confusion earlier this year when he said only the top 100 PS4 games would be compatible at launch, but Sony later clarified this. So those wanting to move to PS5 then the console launches this fall can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their library of PS4 games will work, except maybe a few exceptions.

And taking into account the fact that so many remastered editions of games were released during this generation (such as The Last of Us Remastered), maybe it isn’t such a tragedy that the PS5 can’t run PS3, PS2 or PS1 games.

It now remains to be seen, then, whether the PS5 will be as big a hit as the PS4 was this generation, and whether it will have a great launch year too, something most pundits are expecting taking into account Sony has a dominant position going into the next console generation.

PS5 console (Sony)