Understandably, some may still be on the fence about getting the PlayStation 5 because of the foggy nature surrounding its backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 4 and its other predecessors. They’re not alone, as Sony hasn’t mentioned this feature once during its several conferences leading up to its pre-orders going live. Well, surprisingly, the answer to that question has arrived but is going unnoticed.
Say goodbye to 1% of PS4 games
Rather than divulging any of this information straight to the public, PlayStation’s CEO, Jim Ryan, told the Washington Post after its September PS5 Showcase that “99 percent” of all PS4 games can be played on the PS5. Chances are, you don’t own many, if any, of the 1% left out. Typically, in the past, fully guaranteed backward compatible consoles only left the rare few that required special controllers and accessories. Or, the PlayStation 5 could be saying goodbye to some of the bad knockoff indie games on PS4’s Playstation Store.
Even though it’s a big win, don’t forget that the PlayStation 5 also comes in Digital Edition, a model without the Blu-Ray Disc Drive. Sony will not offer up any sort of program that turns your disc games into digital ones, so those with a big collection should opt for the Physical Edition.
There’s no ‘official’ word as to if PS4 digital games can transfer to PS5, but their likelihood not making it is very slim. During the September show, Sony did say that a service known as PlayStation Plus Collection will offer 18 free digital games from this past generation to members of the service right when the PS5 launches.
PS3, PS2, and PS1 games face a bleaker future
On the topic of disc games, the answer to if those from the PS1 to PS3 eras will find a new life is still up in the air – but it doesn’t look too promising. A Ubisoft support page mentioned, in August 2020, that the PS5 won’t be able to play discs from systems other than that and the PS4. However, the support team’s response has since removed any mention of the disc capability.
In terms of playing these older games digitally, Sony has not officially mentioned any such idea that would expand its current PS Now library. The last we’ve heard of that possibly was in early July, with a patent discovered by Twitter user Renka_schedule. The patent detailed a service that would allow “a large number of game titles across PS1/PS2/PS3 and various generations of game consoles can be stored and used via the cloud gaming library.”
As seen below, the image coinciding with the patent displays drawings of Sony’s previous consoles transmitting data to a cloud system. With PS Now being quite bare of older titles – to put it lightly –this shows that Sony is tinkering with a service that would be more consumer-friendly.
We can at least applaud the tech-giant for not forgetting the “99 percent” of PS4 titles, but Xbox still holds the crown when it comes to accepting games from much older generations. PlayStation 4 introduced the majority of its PS Now library and functionalities long after its release, so don’t break down in tears just yet. For now, the big ole’ backwards compatible PS3 will have to do.