PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that the PS5 will be 99% backwards compatible with PS4 games. However, the same cannot be said for older games. In yet another interview, Ryan told Famitsu (via Kotaku) that the PS5 is definitely not backwards compatible with PS3, PS2, or PSOne games.
“When implementing this [backwards compatibility with PS4 games], we also poured all our energy into introducing the high-speed SSD as well as the new Dual Sense controller,” Ryan said. “Because of this, unfortunately, we were unable to include further backward compatibility.”
This is hardly surprising, however. Early PlayStation 3 models were backwards compatible with PS2 games, and all PS3 models could play PSOne games. The PS4 did not support any backwards compatibility at all. If you wanted to play pre-PS3 games on the PS4, you had to repurchase them on the PSN Store. For PS3 games, players would either have to buy a remastered version or subscribe to PlayStation Now.
Since so many PSOne and PS2 games are already in the PSN, it’s possible that they’ll work with PS5 eventually. Unless PlayStation 3 games also move to the PSN, we’ll have to say good-bye to those next generation.
Xbox Series X Backwards Compatibility
In contrast, Microsoft has already confirmed that the Xbox Series X and S both will support backwards compatibility.
“As gamers, we also know how important it is to preserve and respect our gaming legacies,” Jason Ronald, director of program management, wrote on the Xbox blog. “Your favorite games and franchises, your progression and achievements, and the friendships and communities you create through gaming should all move with you across generations. Not only that, your favorite gaming accessories and peripherals should also move forward with you as well.”
With this in mind, the development team created a new “HDR reconstruction technique” that will allow the console to enable “HDR with zero impact to the game’s performance.” As such, both consoles in the Xbox Series can play Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox titles. That’s certainly a large feather in Xbox’s cap.