In a new interview with AV Watch, SIE VP, Hideaki Nishino, says transitioning from PS4 to PS5 "will take about three years."
The interview shed some light on the what it's like developing games in the middle of two generations. Since both consoles feature the x86 architecture and AMD chips, compatibility between generations was made a lot easier.
Nishino thinks it's important to both support backwards-compatibility and forwards-compatibility. "In terms of compatibility, it is important to move PS4 titles on PS5, but I have insisted that forward compatibility (supplying the same titles as PS5 to PS4) is important," he said.
Nishino added, "At a certain time, we ask developers to develop on the premise of "cross generation" of PS4 and PS5. Of course, we also need to improve the library to make it easier."
With this statement, the SIE VP makes it clear that Sony wants developers to make their games for both generations, at least for now.
A Change of Heart?
Speaking with GameIndustry.biz back in May, SIE CEO, Jim Ryan, stated that Sony believed in the idea of generations. Ryan said that Sony was aiming "to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.”
At the time, this philosophy differed from the way Microsoft wanted to handle transitioning to the new generation. Whereas Sony implied they might be leaving their previous machine behind, Microsoft pushed unifying their platforms.
As time went on, it seemed like Sony slowly started to backtrack. In September, they announced that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales would come to PS4 as well as PS5.
Sony also announced they would release Horizon Forbidden West on their old machine. The title was originally only announced for PS5.
This of course, doesn't mean there won't be any next-gen exclusive games coming for PS5. Demon's Souls is next-gen only, and so is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
The PS5 also has a custom SSD and the ground-breaking DualSense controller. These are things that definitely help separate the two generations. Ray tracing is also exclusive to PS5, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales shows how impressive that can be.
The important thing to remember is that the PS4 currently has an installed base of over 100 million. Sony would be foolish to leave that money behind so soon.
As time goes on, the gap between the PS4 and PS5 will continue to grow. Insomniac recently said that they're only "scratching the surface" of the PS5's power.
Sony is prepared to celebrate the launch of their new console in spectacular fashion. So we'll find out how all this plays out soon enough.