PlayStation 5 Won’t Be Backwards-Compatible With Pre-PS4 Consoles

by : Cameron Frew on :
PlayStation 5 Won't Be Backwards-Compatible With Pre-PS4 ConsolesSony

Put your back catalogues away, gamers – the PlayStation 5 won’t be backwards compatible with consoles before the PS4. 

Is there a greater sound than the PS1’s original start-up theme? Any time I hear that twinkling, electric crescendo, I’m thrown back to a simpler time; when disc wallets were my escape, when actual responsibilities were a myth, when Sir Daniel Fortesque was my favourite gaming hero.


Now, 20 years later, life is much different for those who grew up with Sony’s consoles. With the next generation of gaming on the horizon, the PS5 will be the first brand-new console I buy for myself. However, despite earlier rumours, you won’t be able to play PS1, PS2 or PS3 games on your new hardware.

playstation 5 release date and price leaked 1Sony

Earlier reports had suggested the PS5 may be somewhat of a ‘legacy console’, bridging the gap between Sony’s gaming inception and innovation. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot even earlier said that the Xbox Series X and PS5 ‘will be running almost all the back catalogue of the previous consoles… it will help the old generations to continue to be big consoles on the market for years to come’.

A recurring fixture of recent game announcements has been the transition to next-gen consoles. As reported by Ars Technica, Ubisoft’s FAQ page regarding ‘Transitioning PS4 Titles to Next-Gen Versions’ seemingly confirms Sony’s stance on playing its older titles.

PlayStation 2Sony

The now-deleted details read: 

PlayStation offer a number of features designed to help you move from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5. PlayStation 4 players will be able to join multiplayer games with PlayStation 5 players.

PlayStation 4 players will be able to join multiplayer games with PlayStation 5 players. Backwards compatibility will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games.

It’s par for the course with Sony. While Microsoft has been supporting backwards compatibility as far back as the original Xbox for a while now – and will continue to do so with the Xbox Series X – the PlayStation has always been about steps forward rather than back.

Xbox Series XMicrosoft

Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President, Platform Planning and Management, earlier confirmed in a blog post that ‘the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5’.


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However, with the relative infancy of PlayStation Now, which allows players to stream older titles across PlayStation’s history, it’s unsurprising to learn that you won’t be able to shove your dusty discs in.

In the meantime, listen to all of PlayStation’s previous start-up themes below:


The PS5 is due to hit store shelves sometime before Christmas this year. However, while alleged prices have been leaked, there’s still no official details on how much it’ll cost or when exactly we’ll get our hands on one.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Gaming, Now, PlayStation, PlayStation 5, PS4, PS5


Ars Technica and 1 other
  1. Ars Technica

    PlayStation 5’s paltry back-compat stance seemingly confirmed by Ubisoft

  2. PlayStation.Blog

    Unveiling New Details of PlayStation 5: Hardware Technical Specs [UPDATED]