On midnight of March 19, Sony held a live-streamed event to finally dig deep into the architecture of its upcoming PlayStation 5 console. Amid all the details about its graphics and audio technology, the one question gamers wanted to be answered from the event was whether the PlayStation 5 will definitely be backward compatible — meaning that games from previous consoles can be loaded and played in the new one.
And Sony finally addressed it.
According to lead system architect Mark Cerny, the PlayStation 5 will be backward compatible, but only to a certain extent. He confirmed that PlayStation 4 games will be playable but they will be rolled out gradually as they will need to test them individually.
Sony executive Hideaki Nishino added that they have already tested out the compatibility of the top 100 PlayStation 4 games, most of which will be playable by the launch of the new console. “With more than 4000 games published on PS4, we will continue the testing process and expand backwards compatibility coverage over time,” he said.
Cerny also assured everyone that the PlayStation 5’s backward compatibility feature will not be removed in the future like what happened with the PlayStation 3 which had initially been fully backward compatible with all the games launched on PlayStation 2. But when players weren’t happy with its hefty price tag, the chip that enabled the feature had to be removed in Sony’s effort to reduce the cost.
Of course, what all this means is that the PlayStation 5 will be able to play old games, but only the games that Sony decides are worth being playable. They did not mention whether or not they will consider backward compatibility with games from much older consoles, sadly.
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