Backwards compatibility is something both Sony and Microsoft seem to be taking very seriously with the PS5 and Xbox Series X. But it’s now becoming apparent that some PS4 games saves won’t carry over to PS5.
At least according to recent reports from the developers of Yakuza: Like A Dragon and Dirt 5. Both have stated that players who have to save game data on their PS4s won’t be able to make use of this on their PS5s.
This applies to both digital copies of both games and the physical disk versions. The reason why this is apparently the case is unknown.
Sony have yet to clarify the situation. If this happens to be the case for every PS4 game on PS5, then it’s quite a blow to Sony’s backwards compatibility plans.
It appears PS4 saves will work on PS5 - Read more above.
Will This Apply To All PS4 Save Data?
We won’t know for certain until Sony weigh into this situation. But it’s not looking good. This also includes save data backed up by the PSN cloud.
We know that the PS5 will be backwards compatible with the vast majority of PS4 games. This is great for players seeking to upgrade and play their backlog of PS4 games on their PS5.
But for players hoping to seamlessly transition from PS4 to PS5 on games they’re currently playing - it will mean they’ll need to start again.
The news is especially frustrating to players of games like Call of Duty, Destiny and GTA. Or any other game where the player has put in a substantial number of hours, building their profile and progress.
Some games will be getting an upgrade on PS5 and many players will be hoping to transfer their progress. Some of which will have taken them years to develop.
Why Won’t PS4 Saves Work On PS5?
It’s often been the case that remastered games aren’t compatible with save data from previous iterations. For example, most Game of The Year editions of titles are considered different games, therefore save data can’t be transferred between them.
This is usually because the code behind them is completely altered, and therefore incompatible with what’s come before. But when it comes to backwards compatibility on PS5 we're essentially talking about the same game.
Unless of each title is so fundamentally changed by its upgrade to PS5, then Sony will need to clarify why this is necessary. It may even be what enables each PS5 game to look so good in 4K.
But is this really the case with games like Yakuza? A game that users will be able to upgrade to PS5 by using the PS4 disk?
If it’s just native PS4 emulation, then why is there a problem with PS4 game saves? That’s the question Sony needs to answer.
Especially when Microsoft’s Xbox Series X will be including save data from the Xbox One (and older consoles) as part of its own backwards compatibility.
The high amount of cross gen titles at launch may have caused complications. Though the Xbox Series X is also releasing multiple cross gen games without this issue.
No doubt Sony will address this issue directly at some point in the near future. Although despite the PS5's strong launch line up, this is a potential fly in the ointment.
When we know more, we’ll be sure to bring you the facts.