Sony Officially Confirms no PS1-3 Backwards Compatibility on PS5

Ever since Sony held its showcase on Wednesday, they’ve gotten a lot of deserved critique for their information output. There are multiple examples, like the disaster that was the pre-orders, to the price of their games, and finally, the fact that we still don’t know anything about the UI or the “hidden functionalities” that they’ve been teasing.

There’s a lot going on at Sony for sure, and it seems like they don’t know how to properly talk about it. Although I quickly realized and understood that the Playstation 5 would only be able to play the PS4’s library and not previous consoles – the fact of the matter is that a lot of people hung onto the hope that we’d see it.

The way Sony has talked about Backwards Compatibility in itself isn’t very reassuring either. Beginning with Mark Cerny’s presentation that featured a picture that seemed to leave room for more than just the PS4. To him saying that “the top 100 titles will be playable on PS5” – it was clear that the messaging was bad from the start regarding the subject.

After the event that was held on Wednesday, the news has been pouring in, and frankly – not all of it has been positive for the consumers. In a recent interview with Famitsu, Jim Ryan finally confirmed the fact that the PS5 will only support PS4 on its backward compatibility program, this was his full statement

 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 couldn’t reach the implementation of such compatibilities.

What’s interesting to me, is that he’s still not outright denying the possibility of Backwards Compatibility in the future. And I believe that its the exact reason for people being angry with Sony, the fact that they’ve held on this for months. And while he confirms it won’t be there at launch, it doesn’t sound like it wasn’t because of limitations, more-so because they didn’t have enough time to do so. (Which makes me think that they could have a Microsoft E3 moment announcing it)

Even focusing on the fact that the PS4 has Backwards Compatibility, I still think that is handled in a weird manner too. The fact that it started off by saying that the top 100 would work, to them saying that most titles would work – to Jim saying that “99% of all PS4 games will work” is bad messaging. And what are the last 1%, and why haven’t you made sure they work?

Personally, as a consumer, but also someone that writes and talks about video games, I do understand it. But I wouldn’t be shocked if the general consumer might be led to believe that the PS5 can’t play the PS4 games they own.

Hopefully, Sony sorts their messaging out. I don’t actually have a lot of problems with the majority of the news that has come out the recent days, neither do I regarding this subject. But I do think that their message is important. How do you hold a Playstation 5 Launch Showcase and skip over the fact that you have an amazing launch lineup with Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Destruction All-Stars, Astro Bot, Godfall, and Spider-Man Miles Morales?
You have to mention that, it would’ve been huge. I’ve had to correct multiple people that believe that the only games launching with the PS5 are Miles Morales and Godfall, which shouldn’t be my job. It should be Sony’s.

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