Sony Clears Up Confusing Surrounding PS5 Backward Compatibility

We’re a few days out from Sony’s PlayStation 5 reveal stream and we finally understand how backward compatibility support is going to work. As a quick recap, lead console architect Mark Cerny held a very tech-heavy stream that went over the inner workings of Sony’s next-generation device. At one point, he touched on what was being done for backward compatibility and his wording made it seem like the PS5 would only support “100 of the most popular PS4” games at launch.

That isn’t the case. While there’s still the quantifier of “nearly all” to contend with, Sony has clarified that the PS5 will support the vast majority of PS4 games. “We believe the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5,” reads an update over on the PlayStation Blog.

What Cerny was talking about is how Sony prioritized the “100 most popular” titles to ensure they worked without problems. The company will still be testing each and every PS4 game to make sure it works without a hitch, but your library should be good to go on launch day for the next console. Maybe if you enjoy niche titles you’ll be screwed, but people sticking to solely Sony’s exclusive games will probably be able to pop their discs in and play.

As for how those PS4 games will run, the blog’s update states, “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.” Since Sony can’t ensure everything will work better, that’s where the testing comes in.

It’s a wonder why this information wasn’t contained during the reveal event, but at least we have a better understanding of what Sony intends for legacy support. It was probably too much to expect PS1, PS2, and PS3 support, but PS4 should have been a given. Obviously some titles will experience issues because even PC games suffer from that.

With Microsoft pledging full support for the Xbox One library on Xbox Series X, however, this drip-feed update approach might not be enough. Sony has to really nail the PS5 when it launches lest it lose its grip on the console market.

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