Setting the record straight: PlayStation 5 architect Mark Cerny stated last week that the PS5 would be backward compatible with “almost all of the top 100” PS4 games on launch. Rightfully this raised concerns that Sony was setting up to renege on its promise to support all PlayStation 4 titles. According to Sony, this was just a misunderstanding.
On Monday, PlayStation updated its keynote recap, explicitly addressing the concerns over backward compatibility. According to Sony’s Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management Hideaki Nishino, the PS5 should support “the overwhelming majority” of PlayStation 4 games.
“We’ve devoted significant efforts to enable our fans to play their favorites on PS5,” said the VP. “We believe that the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5.”
Nishino-san also said that PlayStation 4 titles should run better on the next-gen console. Back-compatible titles should benefit from the boosted frequencies of the PS5, which will provide higher and more stable frame rates, as well as the possibility for higher resolutions. Sony is currently in the process of testing PS4 titles on the new hardware, which is what led to Mark Cerny's misunderstood statement.
“In his presentation, Mark Cerny provided a snapshot into the Top 100 most-played PS4 titles, demonstrating how well our backward compatibility efforts are going. We have already tested hundreds of titles and are preparing to test thousands more as we move toward launch. We will provide updates on backward compatibility, along with much more PS5 news, in the months ahead.”
So it appears fans can rest assured that most, if not all, of their current PS4 library, will carry over and even run better on the new system. The clarification was important considering that a failure to implement backward compatibility on the PlayStation 5 would put Sony at a significant disadvantage against Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
The Series X already has a leg up on the PS5 since Microsoft has been promising that it would not just be back-compatible with Xbox One titles, but would support four generations of software. Sony does not plan on making the PlayStation 5 fully cross-generational, except through its PlayStation Now service. Of course, since PS Now is by subscription only, Microsoft could play that card to its advantage.
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