Backwards compatibility is going to be a big part of the PS5. The vast majority of PS4 games will work on the PS5 at launch. Better yet, many will receive a boost to improve their visuals and performance.
Sony arguably missed a trick when they released the PS4 without backwards compatibility. PS3 owners with an extensive catalog of games couldn’t simply upgrade and use their PS4 for both. Instead, they’d need to keep each console in circulation.
This mistake became even more pronounced when Microsoft created its backwards compatibility program on the Xbox One. It allowed the Xbox One to play an increasing amount of Xbox 360 games as well as a select few original Xbox classics.
Although Microsoft only created this option after a fan backlash to the Xbox One not initially being backwards compatible. Come the launch of the next generation; it was clear that this mistake is one either company wants to repeat.
Backwards compatibility is important to lots of gamers. Many of us have busy lives, and the backlog of games we want to play only seems to get bigger and bigger.
Before we know it, a console generation is over, but our pile of un-played games remains. We may choose to replace or relegate our older console once it’s a newer one that has arrived, but this means we'll struggle to get through out backlog.
If a new console can’t play our older games, our backlog never goes down. Backwards compatibility allows us to chip away at it while still enjoying new games in between.
There are several ways PS4 games will work on PS5; let’s go through them individually:
PS4 Game Disks on PS5
Most PS4 game disks will work on the PS5. Of course, it will need to be the standard model and not the digital version of the PS5. That’s because the digital-only PS5 doesn’t have a disk drive.
To play a physical PS4 game on PS5, all you need to do is insert the disk, then download the software update to enable playability. By all accounts, this is a relatively quick and smooth process.
Digital PS4 Games from The PlayStation Store
If you’ve downloaded digital PS4 games in the past, then you’ll be able to do the same thing on the PS5. At least for the vast majority of PS4 games will be.
Each title you’ve purchased in the past will be downloadable from your PlayStation library. You can access this through your account in the PS Store.
Remember, you’ll need to download the game again in full. Your save data will need to be transferred separately as too.
This option is available on both versions of the PS5.
Transferring Your PS4 Data To PS5
During your PS5 setup, the console will invite you to transfer your PS4 data to your PS5.
You can choose to do this via WiFi once both consoles are switched on. But you can also do this by connecting both consoles with an ethernet cable - in fact this may be quicker.
It's up to you what you transfer over. Game files can always be added individually at a later date, but transferring all your save data could be very helpful.
If you're a PS Plus customer however you'll just be able to download it all from the cloud. There will be no need to connect your consoles.
Will PS4 Games Receive Improvements on PS5?
The short answer is yes. The PS5 will be able to render certain PS4 games in 60fps and ultra HD. Some will also benefit from 4K and may even support ray tracing technology.
The PS5 will offer ‘boost mode’ to allow PS4 games to take advantage of the PS5’s power. But this won’t work with every title; however, we expect it to improve over time.
PS4 games will also benefit from faster load times and increased stability. There have already been reports about PS4 games loading in a matter of seconds when played through the PS5.
Sony has said, “We’re expecting backward compatible titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 so that they can benefit from higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions. We’re currently evaluating games on a title-by-title basis to spot any issues that need adjustment from the original software developers."
Will the PS5 Support PS3, PS2, and PS1 Games?
Not that we know of. However, the rumor mill has been buzzing about it.But as of yet, there’s no concrete evidence to support it.
However, some PS2 games are available as digital PS4 ports. These will be playable on PS5.
There is also Sony’s streaming service PS Now to consider. This service has various PS3, PS2, and PS1 games in its library.
Sony likely has big plans for PS Now, so watch this space. This may be how older PlayStation games end up arriving on the console.
What About PSVR on PS5?
Sony recently stated that they have “no current plans” to bring PSVR or PSVR2 to PS5. But they also said they’re open to the idea in the future.
We believe Sony is simply focusing on launch and that PSVR2 will be in the pipeline once the PS5 has entirely replaced the PS4.
However, as we reported recently, Sony is providing ways for PS5 owners to play their PS4 VR games through the PS5 system. Just don’t expect it for PS5 games anytime soon.
What PS4 Games Don’t Work on PS5?
It’s a relatively small and arguably inconsequential list in our view, but these are the games confirmed NOT to work on PS5:
- Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One
- Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
- Joe's Diner
- Just Deal With It!
- Robinson: The Journey
- Shadow Complex Remastered
- TT Isle of Man — Ride on the Edge 2
- We Sing
Will There Be Any Problems with PS5 Backwards Compatibility?
The PS4 is a new console, and it’s PS4 games backwards compatibility feature is new ground for Sony. So, we expect there will be teething issues.
The console launched today and already there have been reports of errors on some PS4 games when played on PS5.
We don’t think this will continue for long. The developers and Sony will rectify these issues through patches soon enough. No console is perfect at launch.
Here’s what we know about the PS5 day one patch. For those of you who are getting your consoles home and waiting for it to update, relax; it shouldn’t take too long to complete.
To those of you who received your PS5 today, congratulations! We hope you have a blast.