PS5 backwards compatibility will support “overwhelmingly majority” of PS4 titles
As the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X draws closer, gamers have a lot of questions. One particular question, especially for those on a budget, is will PS5 backwards compatibility be supported? And if so, what games can we expect to see on the new Sony console. Recently, Sony architect Mark Cerny gave a talk that sheds some light on this and other topics surrounding the new console.
Mark Cerny gave a lecture during the Road to PS5 livestream that revealed some key details. According to the lead architect on the project, PS5 backwards compatibility will be available for an “overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 games.” And Sony will be releasing more details soon. So far, Sony has released a new blog detailing the PS5’s approach to older games, and fans should expect more as we get closer to debut.
According to the new blog, Senior Vice President for global product strategy at Sony Hideaki Nishino says, “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 will allow the PS4 games to run at higher framerates, or at least more consistent ones, and higher resolutions might also be possible. Some games will need patches to make them work with the PS5, but Sony has been working to make the transition easier. The team has been testing many of the popular PS4 games and what they had to say is pretty impressive.
“The boost is truly massive this time around and some game code 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 be playable at launch on PlayStation 5.”
It’s important to note that there may be some titles and features from the PS4 that are not carried forward. Emulation and other techniques for offering backwards compatibility are getting increasingly hard to pull off, as Cerny put it, “Running PS4 and PS4 titles at boosted frequencies has also added complexity.”
Sony has yet to reveal anything beyond support for the PS4 though. The launch of the older consoles was rife with confusion changes. The original launch versions of the PlayStation 3 had surprisingly decent support for the PS2 and original PlayStation. Sadly later revisions dropped PS2 support. Sony then released the PS4, which only had a very select roster of ports from the older consoles being supported. The differences in architecture between the PS4 and the earlier consoles made it hard to implement full backwards compatibility, and the PS4 only really has PS Now and a select roster of ports and remasters to choose from for those looking to take advantage of older games.
So while the PS5 has some form of backwards compatibility, there’s likely going to be a continuing of the trend from the PS4 era, with only limited ports and remasters of games from the PS3 and earlier console generations.
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