The subject of PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility has been a hot button issue for months, ever since Microsoft made it known that the Xbox Series X would be backwards compatible going all the way back to the original Xbox.
That means Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox games will all work on the new system.
Once that announcement was made, all eyes turned to Sony to see if the company would follow suit with its upcoming console.
Sony, however, has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will not support PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 games. It confirmed long ago that players would be able to play “most” PlayStation 4 games on the new console, however.
Now, we’re getting a little more information on that thanks to an interview by The Washington Post with Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan. The Sony head honcho told the Post that they have been testing thousands of PlayStation 4 games on the PS5 and that most of them work. The figure that he throws out is 99%.
Originally, Sony would only commit to most the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles working on the new console. Later on they amended that statement to confirm that the “overwhelming majority” of PS4 games would work on the PS5.
This is the first time that we’ve heard the 99% figure.
Ryan went on in the interview to say that he expects the PlayStation 4 will continue its lifecycle for another “three or four years.” He noted that the system will continue to be supported far into the future.
“Many will transition to PS5,” he said, “we hope if we do our job well. But tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4.”
It’s fascinating that Sony is the company that shuns full backwards compatibility, seeing as how they were the first gaming company to support it.
Back when the PlayStation 2 came out in 2000, it was fully backwards compatible with the PlayStation 1, acting as a replacement console while also coming with a slew of new games. That’s likely part of the reason why the PlayStation 2 is to this day the single highest selling video game console of all time.
However, the PlayStation 3 did not support PlayStation 2 games, though it was able to play PlayStation 1 titles.
The PlayStation 4 was the first fully non-backwards compatible console that Sony produced. The Xbox One, its chief rival, also launched with no backwards compatibility. However, Microsoft eventually added support for it later on through an update.