Sony has released an update to clarify its stance on backward compatibility for PlayStation 5, saying the upcoming console will support an “overwhelming majority” of the more than 4,000 existing PS4 titles. Ahead of the update, Sony’s Mark Cerny, the system architect for the PS5 who detailed its full hardware specs in a live stream presentation on Wednesday, said the console would support “almost all” the top 100 PS4 titles.
“A Quick Update on Backward Compatibility: With all the amazing games in the PS4 catalog, we’ve put significant effort into allowing our fans to play their favorites on PS5,” Sony writes in the update text, which is posted on the Top of your tech spec announcement post two days ago. “We believe that the overwhelming majority of the more than 4,000 PS4 titles will be playable on PS5.”
Sony also says those older titles may work better on the newer system, too. “We hope that backward compatible titles will run at an increased frequency on PS5 so that they can take advantage of higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions,” the company adds. “We are currently evaluating games title by title to detect any issues that need to be addressed by the original software developers.”
Sony says Cerny “provided a snapshot of the top 100 most played PS4 titles” simply as a demonstration of the company’s current efforts at backward compatibility. “We have already tested hundreds of titles and are preparing to test thousands more as we move toward launch,” says the company. “We will provide updates on backward compatibility, along with much more PS5 news, in the coming months.”
Hopefully, this should clear up some confusion about the scope of the backward compatibility commitment from Sony. Some fans were concerned that the PS5 didn’t have the same next-gen level of compatibility as Microsoft’s next Xbox Series X. Considering the fierce competition between the two devices, fans of both are already vigorously debating which will be the best buy and most successful platform: Xbox fans have started a victory lap over X Series support for older games.
That said, Microsoft is still way ahead in terms of broader backlog support due to its many years of backward compatibility work. While the PS5 and Xbox Series X sound as if they both support the previous generation of hardware, Microsoft Xbox Chief Phil Spencer said last month that the Xbox Series X would support “four generations of Xbox,” meaning from the original system all the way down to the latest hardware.
“Our commitment to compatibility means that existing Xbox One games, including backward compatible Xbox 360 games and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever,” Spencer wrote in a blog post. “Your favorite games, including titles on the Xbox Game Pass, benefit from more stable frame rates, faster load times, and improved resolution and visual fidelity, all without the need for developer work. Your Xbox One gaming accessories are also presented with you. “
Instead of taking this route, Sony has chosen to support older games through its PlayStation Now cloud gaming service. That said, those concerned that the PS5 cannot play PS4 discs, or that their digital libraries cannot move with them, should be able to rest now.