Best answer: Yes, you will be able to play some of your PS4 games on a PS5. You won’t be able to play anything from older generations like PS3 and PS2.
- Preorder now: PlayStation 5 (See at Amazon)
- Expand your library: PlayStation Store Gift Card (From $10 at Amazon)
- One of our favorites of the decade: Horizon Zero Dawn ($20 at Amazon)
What is backward compatibility and why is it so important?
Backward compatibility is a process that supports older legacy games on newer generation systems. Basically, for PlayStation and Xbox, you could pop in a disc designed for an older console into your new system and it’ll just work. We’ve seen this work between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One due to Xbox’s emulation process, but it would be something new for PlayStation.
Almost everybody has favorite games that they go back to time and again. Some stories you just want to play multiple times. With backward compatibility, you can continue playing your favorite games without needing to pay for a remastered copy (if one is even offered). Of course, you can always pick up a remaster to support your favorite developers and enjoy the updated graphics but it should be your choice.
PS5 will have backward compatible for select titles
According to the latest specs released for the PS5, both the standard and Digital Edition will be backward compatible with a “catalog of PS4 games.” It’s currently unclear how big that catalog will be, but Sony promises that some PS4 and PSVR games will play on the PS5 with faster speeds and smoother frame rates.
Sony has also introduced a new PS Plus Collection, which gives PS Plus subscribers the ability to download some PS4 titles for free. The service, which will launch with the new console, is similar to the Xbox Game Pass. The initial list of included games spans a wide range of genres with some huge hits such as God of War, Persona 5, and Resident Evil 7 : Biohazard.
Publishers of PS4 games also have the option to upgrade their titles to turn them into digital PS5 games. On the flipside, some of the games releasing for the PS5 will also have PS4 versions so you can play them even if you haven’t upgraded your console yet.
Why would the PS5 offer backward compatibility when the PS4 didn’t?
One of the key reasons the PS4 was unable to offer backward compatibility in the way Xbox One had was a distinct change in how the PS4 was built. The jump from the PS3 to the PS4 architecture did not allow backward compatibility like it will between the PS4 and PS5.
The lead console architect for the PS5, Mark Cerny, said it will be compatible because the next-generation console is based, in part, on the PS4’s architecture. This means the games you love for the PS4 should still be playable when the PS5 comes out in November.
Save those discs and don’t shy away from building out your games library in 2020; PlayStation should be stepping into this next generation on the right foot this time.
The PS5 is now available for preorder. It’s set for release starting on Nov. 12 in select countries and on Nov. 19 in other parts of the world. The standard version is available for $499 while the Digital version will retail for $399.
See at Amazon
See at Best Buy
See at Walmart
Keep checking for more chances to buy
PS5 preorders unexpectedly kicked off Sept. 16, leading to a frenzy of buying that crashed websites and depleted inventories almost immediately. Hopefully more units will be available for sale soon. In the meantime you can consider which version of the console you want, and browse launch games and accessories.
Build your collection
PlayStation Store Gift Card
From $10 at Amazon
From $10 at Best Buy
From $10 at Walmart
Near limitless options
PS5 isn’t available quite yet, but you can always prepare with a library of games you can play now and continue on the next generation of PlayStation in future years.
The exclusive of the decade
Horizon Zero Dawn
$20 at Amazon
$17 at Best Buy
$15 at Walmart
Our favorite lead character, too
We came for the robot dinosaurs but stayed for one of the most unique and relatable stories told in a game this generation. Horizon Zero Dawn is an experience that nobody should miss, and thanks to backward compatibility you should still be able to play it on PS5.