Can PS5's backward compatibility preserve Konami's PT, or will it slip further into obscurity?
Cross-generational data transfers should allow users to transfer the classic horror demo to their PS5By Cal Jeffrey
In context: As we approach Halloween, I find myself looking for scary games to play with my daughter---it's a tradition. I also always find myself regretting that I ever uninstalled PT. It is arguably one of the creepiest (and shortest) interactive horror experiences out there, and now it is gone forever---at least for me.
Konami released PT in 2014 on the PlayStation 4 as an interactive teaser for the then-upcoming and now-canceled Silent Hills. It served as a very limited but also a very unsettling preview of what players might expect from the Silent Hill franchise's next installment.
After Konami canceled Silent Hills, it completely removed the teaser from the PlayStation Store in 2015, making it no longer accessible. For those who had installed it at one time but then deleted it, it remains in their libraries like a teasing reminder of something that is all but lost because it is no longer downloadable. PT now only exists on the consoles of those who never uninstalled it and perhaps on a few PCs). And fan-made spiritual successor, Allison Road, appears to have been cast into limbo since 2016.
Now with a new console generation just a few weeks away, working copies of PT are likely to become even rarer as users trade in their PS4s for PS5s. However, there may be a chance that PT could be preserved.
Sony recently said that the PlayStation 5 will be backward compatible with the vast majority of PS4 games. It released a list of game that it was certain would not run, and PT was not on it. So it is possible that the scary teaser may run on the new system, as long as you can figure out how to get it on there.
Fortunately, Sony also says that the PS5 will come with cross-generational WiFi data migration, meaning that compatible games and save data from a PS4 can be passed to a new PS5. So, the few that still have it, can preserve PT's legacy on the next generation---as long as it remains playable.
IGN contacted Konami regarding the possibility of PT being playable on the PS5, but the publisher could not confirm or deny that it would work. This is not surprising considering testing a six-year-old interactive demo for operability on Sony's newest hardware is probably low on Konami's list of priorities.
So at this point, it looks like it will be up to the few who still have the game to try and see if they can transfer it over and see if it still runs. If not, we can expect a fair number of owners to be hanging on to their old PS4s.
Of course, this could all be avoided if Konami would just re-release PT. There is no practical reason for removing the demo after canceling Silent Hills. Of course, then again, PT would lose much of its mystique were it to be brought back. Maybe it's for the best.