Sony previously announced that the in-development PS5 will indeed feature backwards compatibility, which was music to the ears of everyone who felt it was a sorely missing feature on the PS4.
It’s now been confirmed that, in addition to the PS5 being able to run PS4 games, Sony is now looking into cross-gen play between the two consoles. This means that players who boot up their old multiplayer PS4 games on their PS5s will still be able to play with friends who’ve yet to make the upgrade to Sony’s new console.
Sony confirmed the news during a corporate strategy meeting – the same one where the company showed off the PS5’s impressive loading times and discussed a wealth of other interesting details regarding the console.
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said of backwards compatibility:
Backwards compatibility, in a networked era, becomes something that is incredibly powerful. Because the gaming community is somewhat tribal in its nature, backwards compatibility gives us the opportunity to migrate that community from PlayStation 4 to next gen using the ability to play the PS4 games they have on their next generation console – groups of 10, 20, 50 gamers. So we see this, given the size of the community that we’ve been able to accumulate over all these years and hard work on PlayStation 4 as a really critical success factor for us. We think it’s incredibly important.
Deputy president John Kodera added that “cross-generation the community can enjoy the games together.” Sony believes that cross-gen play will help to form a bridge of sorts, essentially encouraging PS4 gamers to join their super cool friends who are playing with their shiny new PS5s.
Sony also used the presentation as an opportunity to clear up what has been officially confirmed for the console and what is currently speculation. We know then, that the PS5 will boast a solid-state drive, ray tracing, 8K, all new CPU and GPU, 3D audio, disc support, and backwards compatibility.
Interestingly, Sony also used the phrase “anytime, anywhere, without disconnections” when discussing the PlayStation’s seamless remote play feature, which likely has something to do with the recently announced cloud gaming partnership between Sony and Microsoft.
Sony's official video comparing performance of PS4 Pro vs next-gen PlayStation pic.twitter.com/2eUROxKFLq
— Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) May 21, 2019
Sony also clarified that we’ve yet to receive official word on a release date, price, or what games we can expect to arrive on the console when it does launch, which came just days after industry analyst Hideki Yasuda speculated that the PS5 would launch in November 2020 with a price tag of around £390.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.