The PS5 Will Be Backwards Compatible, Thanks to Microsoft

PS5 Backwards Compatible

Every time a new console is announced, the first question on everyone’s minds is “will it be backwards compatible?” The fear of a new generation invalidating all of our purchases from the previous one is very real in gamers everywhere. The very structure of the PS4 was completely different than the PS3, which was the basis for why Sony said the PS4 could not be backwards compatible. Even so, they’ve made concessions here and there.

Meanwhile. Microsoft is making more and more Xbox 360 games compatible on the Xbox One every week. Sony’s been backed into a corner. It’s time to bring out the claws and make backwards compatibility a feature on PS5. Thankfully, rumors are pointing to this being the case.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: All The Latest Evidence

The PS4 is absolutely killing it this generation, with over 76 million consoles now comfortably sitting in gamer's homes. That's an impressive install base, but if Sony releases a brand new console without backwards compatibility, they're essentially starting from scratch.

Yes, the PS4 would continue to exist for several years, but when it comes time for the PS4 to go the way of the dodo bird, all those gamers will have a huge library of games that they can no longer play on PS5. It doesn't make sense any way you slice it, and with Microsoft already offering backwards compatibility on Xbox One X, Sony needs to step up.

Here is a look at all the evidence we have thus far:

Software Testing Patent

If you're feeling like you need more technical documentation in your life, you should check out this full patent listing from Sony. If you'd rather get to the point of it all, here's a quick excerpt:

"If the CPUs of the new device have lower performance than the CPUs of the legacy device, many errors in a legacy application may arise due to the inability to meet real-time deadlines imposed by display timing, audio streamout or the like. If the CPUs of the new device have substantially higher performance than the CPUs of the legacy device, many errors in a legacy application may arise due to the untested consequences of such high speed operation."

Breaking this down, the excerpt describes an issue with running legacy software on more or less powerful CPUs. If the hardware is more powerful, such as the case with PS5, there could be unintended consequences of throwing an older game into this new environment.

The goal of this patent is to create a timing testing mode that can "disrupt" the processors and test for errors while in this mode. On it's own, this doesn't guarantee anything, but it does prove that the concept of backwards compatibility is on Sony's mind. Here's a figure that shows how this process could work:

PS5 Backwards Compatible

The official description of the images describes it as a block diagram that showcases an example of a CPU core that can be configured to operate in a backwards compatibility mode. It's hard to say if this could be applied to PS4, as the console is in the final stages of its life cycle according to Sony, but it most certainly points to backwards compatibility on the PS5.

Sony IR Day 2018 Report

Business presentations are rarely exciting sources of news, but Sony's IR Day 2018 report has an interesting slide on page 7 that contains a bit of text I thought worth mentioning:

"Aim to mitigate the impact of platform lifecycle compared to past cycle and stabilize profit structure."

Admittedly it's a lot of corporate speak, but the accompanying graph shows an interesting trend. As each console launches, profits go down by a large margin until later in the cycle when they go back into the green. Many believe, myself included, that this drop in sales is due to people waiting to purchase the new console because they don't want to lose their entire library.

Backwards compatibility with, at the very least, PS4 games, would most likely mitigate this drop in profits by encouraging people to upgrade and carry over all of their physical and digital purchases from the prior generation.

AMD Ryzen Architecture

The chipsets in both the PS4 and the Xbox One are made by AMD. It's more than likely that the next generation will also utilize chips from this manufacturer. Now, one of the biggest changes in hardware from the PS3 to the PS4, was the architecture itself. The PS3 had a proprietary cell processor that, while powerful, was difficult to develop for. The PS4 that we know and love was designed to be more like a PC in this regard.

We've already reported on evidence that Sony could be using AMD's Ryzen architecture on the PS5, but if this is indeed the case, it wouldn't be that much different than the current architecture. Therefore, it would be much easier for Sony to simply let you take your PS4 library over to the PS5.

One thing is certain: Sony needs to offer backwards compatibility in some form, because Microsoft is already far ahead in this regard, and it's one of the strongest competitive advantages they have, despite Sony winning in sales.

No One Gets Left Behind: Microsoft’s Plan For Backwards Compatibility

Let’s start by taking a look at the competition. When the Xbox One was first announced, there was no mention of backwards compatibility. The same was true of PS4. A few years ago at E3, Microsoft dropped the bomb that Xbox 360 games would soon be playable on Xbox One. Since this announcement, they have been steadily adding new titles to the list.

If you own the game on Xbox 360, you can simply pop in the disc and download a version of it for your Xbox One. If you owned it digitally in the past, you can download it again. If you want to buy it for the first time on Xbox One, you can do that too. Xbox 360 games are even being offered as free titles in Games With Gold promotions.

On top of this, Microsoft announced Xbox One X At E3 2016. They went on to say that all of your games and accessories would carry forward to the new system. Microsoft introduced the concept of an Xbox One Family, where all of their games would be playable on Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X.

In an Interview with Windows Central, Xbox Services GM, Dave McCarthy, was asked if there would be exclusive games for the Xbox One X. His reply was this:

”Will there be a range that developers will take advantage of in Scorpio? Absolutely, but again, that’s going to be a developer choice. But, on our devices all of your games are going to work. Period. We made that promise today: those games will work across the whole line-up. They have to work across the whole line-up.”

Microsoft has made it clear that there will be no Scorpio exclusives. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s also a massive promise in terms of backwards compatibility. This kind of sweeping stance on the matter leaves Sony with a very important decision. At this point, backwards compatibility absolutely needs to be a feature on the PS5 for Sony to remain competitive.

PS5 optical disc drive

PlayStation Backwards Compatibility: Past, Present, and Future

The first time we saw backwards compatibility was on the PS2. This system was indeed capable of playing PS1 games, but the caveat was you had to use a memory card from the original system to save your data. You couldn’t save PS2 data on a PS1 memory card.

That being said, there were some PS1 games that could not be played on the PS2. This list changed based on the model of the PS2. When the PS3 released, there were several models.

The 60GB PS3 was fully backwards compatible. The original 80GB model was also compatible through emulation. All other models did not have PS2 compatibility but could still play PS1 games. These systems offered the ability to make an “internal memory card” that could be used to store data from older titles.

Jump to the PS4 and there was zero backwards compatibility at launch. The reason for this had to do with the system’s architecture. The PS3 had a proprietary cell processor that created some phenomenal first-party games, but ultimately alienating most third-party developers.

The PS4 is designed more like a traditional PC for the purpose of welcoming quality experiencing across all developers. This shift in structure was the reasoning behind Sony’s decision to not make the new system backwards compatible.

As time went on, we’ve seen a few workarounds:

1. PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is the streaming service Sony created after purchasing cloud gaming company Gaikai for $380 million. This service offers users the ability to stream PS3 games to their PS4 or Smart TV via an internet connection, much like Netflix does for video.

The issues with this service are a lack of selection, high costs, and the need for a strong and reliable internet connection. It’s a noble attempt, but it’s never taken off as intended.

2. PS2 Classics

Sony has slowly been figuring out how to make PS2 games playable on the PS4. These titles run at an upscaled 1080p resolution and include trophies. The caveat is that you have to buy them again, regardless of whether your not you own them. Prices usually hover around $14.99, but there are sales from time-to-time.

3. Remastered Releases

Perhaps the most controversial way that Sony has been bringing games forward from the previous generation is through the release of remastered games. Many popular games like The Last of Us, Uncharted, and God of War III have been re-released on PS4 with updated graphics, higher frame rates, and DLC included.

These are a double-edge sword. On the one hand, when done correctly. these new versions are vastly superior. On the other hand, people are essentially paying for the same game twice. Cynical gamers will say that this is the only way we'll see backwards compatibility on the PS5 because it makes Sony money on something twice, but I would argue that there's a place for these remasters.

Certain games shouldn't fade into memory. Some of them deserve to be redone and resold, if only to show a new generation of gamers experiences that shouldn't be missed. I will agree that it's a slippery slope towards cash grabs, but I think Sony knows that remasters are a business model that can only take them so far.

New I.P and new franchises should be the focus, and if E3 2016 is any indicator, Sony hasn't lost sight of that focus in the slightest. Will remasters go away on PS5? No, I don't think so. I do think that Microsoft will force Sony to offer a more comprehensive solution for backwards compatibility, but at the same time I think several of PS4's biggest titles will warrant a refresh on the next generation. It's a balance.

Even so, people aren’t too keen on buying these games again.

So that’s where we stand with backwards compatibility on PS4. With Microsoft going full-steam ahead on a future where games works across all of the platforms currently available, Sony needs to have an answer for gamers who want a more comprehensive solution to the backwards compatibility question.

Sony is clearly taking steps not to fracture the market with PS4 Pro, and this follows in Microsoft’s footsteps. If Sony could somehow bring PS3 or PS2 into the fold in a more meaningful way, then they could stand on the same ground as Microsoft.

That may not be possible now, but it could be with PS5. At the very least, PS5 will play PS4 games as Sony has never been one to be beaten by Microsoft. It's also clear that gamers don't want to be "left behind" as Microsoft puts it. If they could perfect PlayStation Now and make it more cost-effective, that could be a real solution to the issue of playing PS3 and PS2 games on the new console.

Since it’s clear cloud gaming circumvents the issues around system architecture, I believe Sony will leverage this technology on PS5 to offer native backwards compatibility with PS4 and cloud-streaming for PS3 and PS2. Ideally, by this time they will include such streaming in the cost of PlayStation Plus and not charge for it as an extra service.

Of course, at the end of the day, Sony is here to serve the gamers. Do you want backwards compatibility for the PS5? Make your voice heard in the comments below!

Note: The thoughts expressed in this article are the opinions of the author (Bradley Ramsey) and do not yet represent facts or the opinions of Sony Computer Entertainment. Although it will probably be accurate, for now it is pure speculation. Thanks for reading!

Article by - Bradley Ramsey

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Comments

No backwards compatability

I will leave Sony if ps5 doesn't have it. Simply tired of always having to buy my collection again. So Sony is losing money on people like me since I go for used games and not as many to restock. Xbox 2 is looking more enticing by the day, since I use my game system for everything (dvd/bluray, streaming apps, gaming) all in one.

backwards compatibility

I've always been a huge supporter of Playstation. I've had every system including the current PS4, but the lack of backwards compatibility made me feel like I was being taken advantage of. Why should I pay to stream games I already own? I purchased an Xbox One, and it was probably one of the best decisions I've made all year. It's cool being able to play old and new generations of games on one system. If Sony doesn't make changes it will only be a matter of time before they are left behind. I will never consider another PS system unless backwards compatibility is guaranteed.

im still not deciding to decide

i bought a PS2. then you guys added a computer so i bought the PS3. when you created PS4 i hoped to get the long awaited soul calibur 6 to go along with the new gaming console. didnt happen so i suppose skipping it for PS5s backwards compatibility would be a reason to purchase a new console as long as the consumers aren't ass raped over the price. i usually have to wait a year for a $50 price drop...

Backwards Compatibility

I would like to see the PS5 backwards compatibility. I have a bunch of games that I play. I looked at the picture and it looks so sleek.

Ps5 backwards compatible

Backwards compatible would be great For ps5 , I haven't got a ps4 yet I do have a PS3 also have 150 ps2 games The PS3 is great online call of duty is great no more repetitive gaming trying to get to next level and keep repeating over and over till you get through to go to next level online is always differant ,anyways, one issue I have is PS3 controllers malfunctioning , and can't afford a new one I have 6 that don't work so buying a new one just to break again for $50 just not happening.so I play with half broken controller,and don't play as Mutch anymore,backwards compatible would be great for a ps5 , put an extra processor or adapter card like a PC , make a ps5 with slots on the board and sell adapter cards or built in for each lower PlayStation maybe Evan a second disc drive if there's a problem reading all in same,in closing I'm getting a ps4?asap just there aren't that many games, it's like build up a library and can't use it ,I would get a ps5 if it where compatible backwards, it a toss up .the old game systems are cheep so playing my 150 ps2 games consoles are cheep, I think game makers need to make newer versions of games more games call of duty !!! I new version of an old game made new for new system backwards compatible is great when your system breaks and you can buy a new system still play your existing games while earning money to get newer games , whatever you do Sony make the controllers stronger or less expensive, 1/2 the price as they are now,I love your systems ,I have Xbox and Xbox 360 it's wierd I don't play them 1 reason PS3 I have wi-fi I just turn on the system I'm on line Xbox u have to buy something #1 reason#2 it seams to be harder to play the Xbox games with there controllers , PlayStation will always rule over Microsoft ,Sony don't be pressured by Microsoft , just build a good strong well made system,and don't rush it out in a hurry, take your time

I want the ps5 to be able to

I want the ps5 to be able to play all ps1 games . All ps2 games . All ps3 games and all ps4 games

Want to play all my ps1 games

Want to play all my ps1 games , ps2 games, ps3 games and ps4 games onto one console. Please please make the ps5 like

Ps needs back comparability if to compete with ms @ all

Ah yeah.. Ps now, isn't that great.. pay for a game that you already own, only to find that it's streamed and if you have a poor connection, not broadband it won't work anyway. Such a grand way to compete with ms.. If ps don't pull their socks up soon, a large portion of their fan base will jump ship. Ps5 needs to be backwards compatible, unless ps wants to see themselves out of business. One thing for sure.. if ps5 is not backwards compatible and can't play titles that I love, I'll be jumping ship with them and I've always preferred ps to ms. Bottom line, does ps want to stay in business?

PS5 Backwards compatibility

Sony let's do this. I have faith as a solid and legit Sony fan! We all want PlayStation 5 to be backwards compatible. Let's face it if sony decides to make the PlayStation 5 backwards compatible they will put to rest and competition between Sony and Microsoft. Sony will clearly be the winner in consoles bought and overall money $$$$ made in sells. Do the right thing Sony!!! We all believe that you will do this and make the ps5 backwards compatible. Please do this for we will all be so happy and therefore buy more games that u release and already have released think about it making the PS5 Backwards compatible will make for more people buying PlayStation games cause people who play XBOX will convert over and play SONY!!! THAT MEANS MORE SELLS OF VIDEO GAMES CONSOLES EVERYTHING!! SOOOO MUCH $$$$ TO BE MADE BY THE PLAYSTATION 5 BEING BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE!!! I DEVOTED AND FAITHFUL SONY FAN!! GOD BLESS AND GOOD DAY!!!

Backwards capabilities

The PlayStation 5 needs to be able to play all games from all previous platforms. That would include playstation 1,2,3, and 4. Not only on cloud service, but from cd. I own a lot of playstation 1 and 2 games. I haven't bought another playstation because of it not being able to be backwards compatible. I don't want to have to rebuy a game I already own.

Please make PS5 compatible for ps 4 games

As title said, really looking forward to it. I have my game library worths $5,000 with all finest games just only for ps 4. It would be great if PS 5 can used to play these games.

Backwards compatible games PS4 Pro

The PS now is tacky it's not the same I understand they are not going to be perfect but damn I tried playing Star Wars the Force Within and Ratchet & Clank on the PlayStation Now and that ATV MX versus ATV that really is sad I can't believe I paid for that service and this is what I'm getting you know I paid over $500 for my PS Pro that thing should give me a blowjob

Backwards compatibility

The PS5 needs to be compatible with one, two, three, and four disc for me to even consider buying it. If this would happen I would buy it 100% regardless of the price. I don't have enough Internet to stream games all the time and why would I pay a subscription price since I already have the games on disc.

Ps5

I would love if the ps5 would play all Playstation games available which are the ps1, ps2, ps3 and the ps4 and to buy them on the Playstation store if I have,nt got them already and if all the memory cards from all the Playstation console's fit in the ps5 that would mean I won't have to resave my games

Yes to PS5 backwards compatibility

If the PS5 includes backwards compatibility and one that does not rely on Cloud I would be in. Cloud based would simply add yet another continual cost on top of the rest. I've played PS since PS1 but stopped buying after the PS3 because of the continued lack of backwards compatibility, basically I just got tired of re-purchasing, yet again, old favorites. Please consider putting in the effort. Like many people here, I too prefer the PS systems and it would be great to put an end to the debate about PS vs the xbox way.

ps5

yes would like it to be backwards compatibility its nice 2 know all the money put in2 games for the others can still play them not have to let sit or sale

Madden nfl series dead

I hope there's no Madden nfl game on PlayStation 5 because it sucks on PlayStation 4,i hope PlayStation 5 will be better,i hope ncaa football we need is the only sports title

PS5 backward compatibility

Come on. What the hell? I have ALLLLLL these ps2, ps3, & PS4 games and no ps2 or 3 to play them on. Quit being being money hungry and let us play our damned games. It’s really crappy business. You’ll make your damned money. Don’t worry. You will. You will even sell more of the games that go to these other consoles. Because you can still buy them. New. GET YOUR CRAP TOGETHER SONY.

Backwards compatible

It needs to be backwards compatible. I have a huge library of games, and I was so pissed the ps4 wasnt, i went the xbox route and found an adapter for my ps2/3 controllers i love. Sony lost me. I know microsoft wont render my previously spent money useless.

PS5 Sony Backwards Compatible to PS1

Sony- Do the right thing and listen to your customers not ignore them. I have mostly Ps1 Ps2 games would like a faster machine to play them on.

A must for PS5 backward compatibility

PS5 should run all our older PS games with no need for visiting the cloud store. I believe Sony should hear us. I love my current Dual Shock 4 and its compatibility. The future is bright. https://safetomatic.com/

Backwards Compatibility is a big issue

I almost left the Sony camp with the release of PS4 because of no backward compatibility. And I don't want to pay for streaming service of games I already own...or deal with glitchy internet either. I'm not one who will buy numerous games just to have something to play. I have a very select group of games that i'd rather play over and over. I love how Microsoft also added graphical upgrades to all older games ...NOW THATS INNOVATION and putting the fans first.

backwards compatibility

I just bought an Xbox one X. I had a ps2, ps3 & ps4. I have hundreds of games and will NOT I repeat WILL NOT purchase another PlayStation system unless Sony shows me as a customer it cares. Microsoft is not making its users purchase games twice or charging them a fee to play games they already purchased on previous systems. Stop nickel and diming us. Make a system as good as original ps3. It is still my favorite system. We do not mind paying an extra 100.00 for a backwards compatible system. Make it happen !!!

Backwards Compatibility

Let's wipe out Microsoft from the home console market once and for all Playstation. It's a done deal if you just let us play all ps games old and new on the ps5. Xbox has clearly been defeated once and for all. GOOD RIDDANCE.

backwards compatibility

please bring backwards compatibility for all previous consoles from ps1 to current or present to work on ps4 and later

Backwards compatibility

Only reason I won't break down and buy a PS4 is because it isn't backwards compatible. I own a PS1, PS2, PS3, and more games than I can count for each of them. Right now, I only play my PS3 due to the hassle of connecting/disconnecting cables, which leaves me with 2 PLAYSTATION trophies on my entertainment center. I don't need a third trophy! Please make PS5 backwards compatible SONY!

Ps4 & Ps5

Hi my wife and I r very big gamers on a low budget. So far we love the prices for your systems they r all fair. I hope when the ps5 comes out that the ps5 will b able to play ps4 games The reason why is because we r a very big fan of play station and there is more games on the ps4 that my wife and I like playing more then the xbox one has. P. S I was really bummed out about the the ps4 can't play ps3 games because of the same reason above. Keep up the great work and thx.

Backwards compatible

I want my PS5 to be 100% backwards compatibility

Hell yes

I have ps1, ps2 , and ps3 games more of a classic gamer so would love for them to all be playable

Backwards Compatibility is a MUST!

My parents never bought me video games or consoles growing up, so now there are a whole lot of franchises that I would like to try out that I couldn't play as a kid. Currently I own a PS4 as my very first game console and was really hoping to get into all the God of War games before playing the new release, but alas, I have no way to play them yet :( Having the PS5 be backwards compatible would definitely be awesome for me to get the gaming experiences that all my friends got back then xD

Play disc games

Hi I think Sony will lose lot off money if you cart put disc in as a lot people like have games in there hands and than thay can say I buy a game we’re doing it down loading costs lot more for games I also think thay you should be able to play any PlayStation games like ps1-ps2-ps3-ps4 dics games on the ps5 I all so think thay should lower PlayStation plus network price to as lot people many not have that sort money and than have to pay for a download games to some of the add thing you can buy for like new pad and headphones and vr to much as well thay need to think things thor better befor rushing get ps5 out and ever time thay bring out a new consaw it more money because you fine out the games you have will not work on then so it more money all the time and lot people don’t have the money to do that so please think about of price of thing to for it to but that mine thor tho ty

Backwards compatible!

I had a love of ps1 games as a kid and that rolled over to ps2 which was backwards compatible! My love stopped there and now I still have my ps2 and have not upgraded since because what is the point if I can’t play the classics which are my favorite! I mean come on we can put a man on the moon but we can’t play a ps1 game in a new system?! What has the world come to. Microsoft seems to have it figured out! My love of gaming has faded away as I have a ps2 sitting in my living room and no new games to check out. And when the ps2 stops working my heart will probably fully break because then I will have no way to play my favorites.

ps5 backwards capability

Over the years I've noticed how greedy PlayStation is becoming and it's really turning me off!!! I'm sick paying twice for the same game that I already own. Get your shit together Sony before it's to late.

I vote yes!

I never cared about backwards compatibility before. But my PS4 is having issues and I am not sure how much longer it will last. I do not want to buy another PS4 when the PS5 will be out in a year or two. So I want to be able to play my PS4 games on a brand new, fully working PS5. Besides, I don't want to have a PS3, PS4, and a PS5 taking up all that space

The only thing that would stop me from upgrading!

The PS4 introduced many amazing games and still does until this day. Many people have a huge collection of games (I personally own more than 40+ physical games). Putting us in a situation where we have to choose between getting the new PS5 console or playing the PS4 game we love and own is not fair. Not being able to play my games on the new PS5 console will be the main reason not to upgrade from my current ps4 console.

PS5

To lose the ability to utilize ALL my old games from PS4, or PS3, would make PS5 only an attempt by Sony to cheat the buyers and force us to buy games, while what we have becomes useless!! It seems like a rip off!

Ps5

Backwards compatibility would be awesome. Sony will get more money. More people will buy ps5 to play also their ps4 games. Sony should do it

Ps5

Backward compatibility for all games..we should not have to buy games twice that is a rip off and rude way to treat PS owners.

Backward compability

I really would like to play the games that we like from the PS4 to the new PS5 console please

ummm YEA

Why wouldn't you make it reverse compatible?? I bought over a 100 games for the ps3 and I'd like to see them transferred to the ps5. it would be wonderful. I was pissed when the ps4 came out and that's why I didn't want to buy one for the longest. it would also be nice to see a bigger hdd option for the ps5. like capable of an 8 tb hdd or larger...all they have to do is make the slot bigger idk why they wouldn't. id like to rack up a lot of games for my account and transfer them to a better system. it's only obvious that the future to have. I'm hoping for a better future with my account. I don't want to have to switch consoles from 8 different systems just to enjoy my hard earned money. my tv cant hold that many consoles without adapters. not to mention the power supplies.

It must have backwards compatibility

I have a ps3, it sucks that i couldn't use the games for that on the ps4, so I vote yes for backwards compatibility

Backwards Compatibility is Essential

A PS5 system that is compatible with the entire catalogue of PS4 games from launch and improves the gameplay and load times of both Pro patched/non-patched will win the beginning of the 9° Generation. PS5 must have the exclusive-games quality that propelled the Switch to it's initial success, the Backwards compatibility that give the Xbox One a advantage no one else has, and the tecnincal superiority that ensured the original PS4 success for 3 years.

Backwards Compatibility is Essential

Also, and I while I can imagine ALOT of people wanting to play PS1 and PS2 games from the disc in a PS5, I believe that trying to make a console compatible with those games is no longer cost-effective. Many of those games have been re-launched in the PS3 and PS4, many of them would be too old to appeal the current generation of gamers who would find the graphics and controls to archaic for their taste. I think the better approuch would be making the PS5 100% backwards compatible with PS4, so the games can take advantage of the superior hardware. Instead, a PS5 should work with a internal emulator to run PS3 games just like the Xbox One does with the 360 and OG XBOX. Giving the games improvements in frame rate, loading time and even textures just like Microsoft's console.

PS FAMILIA

Please all games and all accessories compatible. My 3 brothers and I all have PlayStations 4s and we have stayed with Sony since the ps1 days! Please don't make me switch to xbox. One for the fans!!

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