Thinking about treating yourself to a nice new PS5 but concerned that you won’t be able to play the PS4 games you’ve already spent so much money on? We’ll clear things up for you…
Regardless of the fact that the PS5 was officially released just over a year ago, many gamers are still struggling to get hold of one, especially with Christmas being immediately around the corner.
If you have managed to get your mitts on one, or if you know somebody has secured one as a gift for you for Christmas, you might be wondering if the PS4 games you already own will be compatible or if PS5 games will need to be added to the Christmas list as well.
Historically, backwards compatibility has been available, but we can never be sure of this each time a new console or gaming platform is released. For example, the PS4 did have the ability to run PS3, but does the PS5 continue this possibility?
Are PS4 Games Compatible With The PS5?
Whether you’ve got an extensive PS4 game library or just a few favourite games to which you devote all of your free time, it’s good news, as the PS5 does offer backwards compatibility, meaning you can play your PlayStation 4 titles on your new PlayStation 5 system.
Understanding how to enjoy PS4 games on a PS5 will vastly increase your entertainment possibilities. One of the PS5’s finest attributes is its ability to run the majority of the vast PS4 game catalogue.
Sony has treated the support for the games of previous console generations very seriously this time around, and the great majority of PS4 titles will operate flawlessly on PS5. PS Plus customers will also receive a range of vintage games for free to play on their games device.
In fact, so many PS4 titles are compatible with the PS5 that it’d be a simpler job to focus on the titles which don’t:
Robinson: The Journey, Just Deal With It!, Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One, Shadwen, Hitman Go: Definitive Edition, We Sing, and TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 are the only seven games presently listed as incompatible on the official Sony support forum.
What Is Backwards Compatibility?
Backwards compatibility is when a newer piece of equipment can run programs or peripherals from a previous version or generation with the goal of maintaining posterity and preservation.
For example, in the case of games, it means that a newer platform can play games that were initially built for an earlier console. As in the example above, the PlayStation 5 will be able to play PlayStation 4 games.
This implies that not only will gamers who have purchased certain games be able to continue to play them, but developers will not be required to produce the same games for the next generation system.
Interestingly, as more games turn completely digital with no discs being required to play the game, backwards compatibility will be less of an issue, as you’ll be able to just re-download titles onto your new console and play these games that are just updated instead of re-released.
An increasing number of games are becoming free to download and play, too, such as Call Of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Brawlhalla, and Apex Legends, among others, so it will simply be a case of downloading the game on your new console.
Why Backwards Compatibility Is Important
All games, consoles, and accessories are expensive. You want to know that if you spend your hard-earned money on a new gaming system or game, it will not become obsolete in a few of years. Backwards compatibility is important since it means you won’t have to toss away your software or hardware in order to switch to a newer, more expensive gadget.
Backwards compatibility also preserves the ‘antiques’ within the industry. Sure, games can be remastered or recreated, and systems can always be made to support older games, but that takes away the nostalgia. I don’t think I’d personally head out and buy a 2021 edition of PacMan, but I’d love a crack on the original.
Is Forward Compatibility A Thing?
Forward compatibility relates to existing hardware’s ability to handle software and peripherals designed for the next generation of technology.
You won’t see much forward compatibility around, though, as less of a moral issue for buyers and a big loss of revenue for the companies that produce the consoles and games. When it is seen, it’s more of an advertisement for next-gen consoles – “Here’s what you’re missing out on”.
Usually, new games are made specifically for new consoles and platforms, though, in a bid to entice gamers to purchase new consoles to have access to the games.
Continued PS5 Shortages Update: Christmas 2021
Even a year after the release of the PlayStation 5, some people are still struggling to get hold of one – an issue that has been exacerbated by the Christmas period.
It has become a little easier though, as long as you’re prepared to organise yourself and get up a little earlier of work to get one ordered in.
If you have managed to get hold of one, there’s no rush to head out and buy a whole library of new games, as your PS4 games will continue to work on your new console, except the aforementioned seven titles.
Jake is a professional copywriter, journalist, and life-long fan of technology. He covers news and user guides for KnowYourMobile.