Sony Clarifies PlayStation 5 Backwards Compatibility: “Overwhelming Majority” of PS4 Titles Supported

Sony has taken to its official blog to clear up a point of order from its ‘deep-dive’ technical presentation earlier in the week.

The issue concerns a line from PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny’s talk. When addressing the subject of backwards compatibility Cerny stated:

“Running PS4 and PS4 Pro titles at boosted frequencies has also added complexity. The boost is truly massive this time around and some game code just can’t handle it — testing has to be done on a title-by-title basis. Results are excellent though; we recently took a look at the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime and we’re expecting almost all of them to playable at launch on PlayStation 5.”

Although this seems clear enough, that “top 100 titles” soundbite seems to have stuck in the mind. That’s lead some into thinking the PS5 will only support those ~100 titles at launch, and even some media outlets reported on this figure. With that spreading through social media, Sony has had to step in and re-state its backwards compatibility goals.

Speaking in a blog post, Hideaki Nishino, the senior vice-president of platform planning and management at Sony states:

“With all of the amazing games in PS4’s catalog, we’ve devoted significant efforts to enable our fans to play their favorites on PS5. We believe that the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5.

“We’re expecting backward compatible titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 so that they can benefit from higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions. We’re currently evaluating games on a title-by-title basis to spot any issues that need adjustment from the original software developers.”

This is actually a relatively similar issue as one which has cropped up on older PlayStation consoles. While the PlayStation 2 could play almost all titles from the previous generation, some experienced glitches or simply wouldn’t function. The same applied to PS3s, both for PS1 titles and, for those consoles that could play PS2 games, PS2 titles as well.

For the most part though, gamers can rest assured that if they play a game on PS4, they’ll almost certainly be able to pop it into the PS5 without running into any problems. Sony is continuing to test games, and will likely inform players of any that experience issues in due course.

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