PlayStation 5 will be compatible with “99 percent” of PS4 games according to Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and President Jim Ryan, although that may be as far as backwards compatibility goes.
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When asked about the possible inclusion of older generation titles Ryan replied, “We keep in mind the engineering specialized for the PS5, as we produced the device. In the midst of that, the PS4 already has 100 million players; we thought they ought to want to play PS4 titles on the PS5 as well indeed, so we included compatibility with the PS4. While implementing that, we also focused our efforts on taking in the high-speed SSD and the new controller DualSense at the same time.”
“So, unfortunately, we could not achieve compatibility with those formats,” Ryan added.
A recent patent hinted at the possibility that PS3, PS2, and PS1 games could be emulated on PS5 via the cloud, but as with many patents, they don’t always pan out.
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Currently, the only way to play older titles on PS4 is through PS Now, a streaming service that also allows you to download select games to PS4 to play offline. While this service includes a number of playable PS3 and PS2 titles there is currently no way to play PS1 titles on a current gen system (unless you still have a PS Vita lying around). Sony has confirmed PS Now will be compatible with PS5, but hasn’t given any details beyond that.
Sony also announced The PlayStation Plus collection during its recent showcase that will arrive alongside the launch of the PS5 and include many of the PS4’s biggest titles including God of War, The Last of Us Remastered, Bloodborne, and more as an upgrade to the service for existing subscribers.
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For more PS5 goodness check out our guide on where to secure your PS5 preorder, a list of all confirmed launch titles, and everything announced at the recent PlayStation 5 showcase.