Backwards Compatibility PS4 PS5

PS5 Backwards Compatibility – Will PlayStation 5 Play PS4 Games?

ps5 leak

Let’s talk PS5 backwards compatibility.

As soon as the PS4 launched in 2013, my PS3 was put aside and has been gathering dust ever since.

Without backwards compatibility, playing some of my favorite PS3 games was too much hassle. It meant disconnecting and moving my PS4 from the small stand underneath my TV. Taking half the stuff out of the cupboard under the stairs to find the PS3, and then setting it up. Consequently, the only PS3 games I’ve played since 2013 have been remasters that have been released digitally on the PlayStation Store.

As time has gone on, I don’t see PS4 backwards compatibility as a big thing. I don’t miss the games in my PS3 collection. They’ve been replaced by some fantastic titles that push the power of Sony’s latest console, and play and look a lot better than most PS3 games.

ps5 backwards compatibility

However, the difference between the PS3 and PS4 was worlds apart, with a new architecture that is 10 times more powerful than its last console, and far less complex to work with. Quite simply, playing PS3 games on PS4 is akin to playing Nintendo DS games on a Nintendo Switch – why would anyone want to do that? With the PS5, however, the upgrade will be much more subtle, and PS4 games should stand the test of time in terms of performance and visuals.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility – PS4 Games On New Console?

The latest piece of evidence that we will be able to play older games on PlayStation 5 comes from a new patent filed by Sony Japan.

ps5 backwards compatibility patent

On the Hokanko Japanese blog, which discovered the filing, they provide the following translation (via Google translate) on the finer details.

“The aim is to make the applications designed for the previous consoles (legacy device) run perfectly on the most powerful hardware, and is focused on eliminating the synchronization errors between the new consoles and the behavior of the previous ones (PS4, PS3, PS2 and PSX). For example, if the CPU of the new console is faster than the previous one, data could be overwritten prematurely, even if they were still being used by another component.

Thanks to the new system, PS5 would be able to imitate the behavior of the previous consoles, so that the information that arrives at the different processors is returned in response to the “calls” of the games. The processor is able to detect the needs of each application and behave as if it were the original “brain” of each machine, cheating the software. This technology does not prevent PS5 could also have additional processors to have compatibility with machines whose architecture is difficult to replicate, as in the case of PS2.”

More Evidence Of Backwards Compatible Games On PS5

Further evidence comes from a report released on Sony IR Day. In one of the slides shown at the presentation is the sentence: “Aim to mitigate the impact of platform lifecycle compared to past cycle and stabilize profit structure.” There’s a graph that appears alongside the slide showing how profits drop at the beginning of each console cycle.

This is believed to be because there’s a large chunk of games players are currently still enjoying in their existing library of games. And by purchasing a new console at release in the past these games haven’t carried over. By making the PS5 backwards compatible with PS4 games, players will be able to continue playing their existing games with ease.

This should made more easier than past consoles due to the much smaller jump in technology between PS4 and PS5 compared to PS3 and PS4. It’s rumored that Sony will be utilizing the existing architecture of its current console.

PS5 Backwards Compatible With PS4 Games Patent Surfaces

In a new patent registered by Sony a while back, and updated on October 2, 2018, it looks like that we’ll get backwards compatibility with PS4 games. It also appears that could extend to PS3, PS2 and PSOne games. Check out the wording from the patent, which is titled “Remastering by emulation”.

Each asset such as a texture called for by legacy software such as a legacy computer game software has a unique identifier associated with it. The unique identifier can be rendered by imposing a hash on the asset, and then the asset stored with its identifier in a data structure. An artist remasters the textures for presentation on a higher resolution display than envisioned in the original software, and stores them back in the data structure with their identifiers. The original software is then played on the higher resolution display, with asset (such as texture) calls being intercepted, identified, and the data structure entered to retrieve the remastered asset having a matching identifier. The remastered asset is then inserted on the fly into the game presentation.

The last sentence seems to suggest that the numerous remasters of PS3 games that we’ve seen on PS4 won’t be happening on PS5.

PS5 backwards compatibility is looking a little more likely after a US patent was updated by Sony Interactive Entertainment America. Updated on February 13, it clearly states: “Backward compatibility testing of software in a mode that disrupts timing.”

This isn’t confirmation that the PS5 will be able to play PS4 games, but it could be an indication that Sony is conducting some kind of backwards compatibility testing.

Will PS5 Play PS4 Games?

Another patent was filed in 2015, a couple of years after the launch of PS4 and was updated in 2018.

ps4 games on ps5

Despite it being there in plain writing, this conflicts with the views of SIEE’s Jim Ryan, who made it clear that the company had no plans to change its stance on the feature back in 2017.

Though he admits, it’s a much-requested feature from fans, he believes that it’s a feature that wouldn’t actually be used that much. Speaking to Time magazine, Ryan said:

When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Ryan told Time. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?

PS5 Survey Asks About Backwards Compatibility

Until the big reveal, we’ll just have to wait to see whether our shiny new PS5 can play PS4 games! In a recent PS5 survey, a company working on gathering market data for Sony, asked consumers what they’re hopes were for the PS5 specifications and overall look of the PS5. We suspect it won’t be long before we find out all the details.

What Do Analysts Say About Playing PS4 Games On PS5?

NPD analyst Mat Piscatella also reckons that we’ll be able to play PS4 games on PS5. In an interview with Gaming Bolt, he stated: “I’d be surprised if the PS5 were not backwards compatible with PS4 content, and Sony already has a streaming solution in market with PlayStation Now. It wouldn’t surprise me if both PlayStation 5 and the next Xbox took this type of approach, although I’m sure they’d do so in slightly different ways with different messaging.”

PS5 Digital Only Games?

Though we’re yet to hear anything of substance about the PS5 from Sony, it’s clear we’re moving quickly towards an era where physical discs will become a distant memory. The PlayStation 5 could be the first console that takes that step, with players downloading all titles from the PlayStation Store. I’d expect to see much larger hard-drives and extra cloud storage space to accommodate the new era of digital gaming, and I’m certain that PS5 backwards compatibility will be a thing.

ps5 playstation store
Digital PS4 games playable on PS5?

Right now, I buy all my PS4 games digitally because it’s convenient, but also because I firmly believe that all digital titles that you download now on PS4 will be backwards compatible on PS5. With an era of fantastic games, such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and brilliant multiplayer experiences, players will want to dip back into those games. Sony would be foolish not to let them.

Of course, PS5 backwards compatibility comes with its downsides for Sony. They’ll want players to buy the new games to make more profit. However, I believe Sony will make the PS5 backwards compatibility feature part of its PlayStation Plus subscription.

Right now, we don’t even know PS5 release date, yet alone any of its new features, but backwards compatibility is a certainty. The only thing we do know for certain is some of the developers working on PS5 games.

Do you want to be able to play PS4 games on PS5? Let us know in the comments below.

  • tk11

    i hope they’ll add ps3 backwards compatibility too

  • Wanooknox

    They’d better not remove the disc drive! Otherwise they’ll lose the one big value prop that a console has. Tons of people have hundreds of DVDs and Blu-rays and to the technically illiterate it’s just easier to pop in a DVD than figure out Google Play or Apple TV. My family is filled with people like this. If they take out the disc drive, they will l sell a lot fewer consoles because it would mean giving up the dvd player for mom or dad whoo don’t understand streaming.

    On top of that, if they really want to offer backwards compatibility there’s still hundreds of disc media games in the wild that loads of people still want to have. Discs are the only way to facilitate reselling. I suppose if they want to kill off the reseller market, they could, but they’d lose a lot of players in the process.

    • hski333

      Im with you on that. You can lend, borrow or give/ re-sell discs bot to mention 4k blue ray drive. The majority of games sold are still physical copies because of the flexibility and choice in owning them, not to mention poor quality internet and low quality streaming can’t even show true 4k, we are 20-30 years away from digital only. In fact we will probably never see digital only for the reasons above.

    • Al Buns

      Don’t listen to the media bs about no disc drive. There are countries who don’t have high speed internet so they need TV he disc drive and Sony makes money off blu ray so a disc drive will be used for both games and movies. It is a benefit for Sony to sell discs as their blu ray player is in the Xbox One.

  • Beasley2K

    This article is full of so much wrong.

    First of all, the headline is misleading: it suggests that backwards compatibility has been confirmed, when the full body text makes it clear that this is speculation. Saying that backwards compatibility comes with a downside for Sony as people are less likely to buy new games is also a lie: no-one will buy a PS5 to play their PS4 games, just as no-one bought a PS4 to play their PS3 games, and so on. So while backwards compatibility provides extra options for us gamers in playing our old games, it hardly makes us any less likely to buy new ones. And finally, the belief that Sony will make backwards compatibility a part of PlayStation Plus is ridiculous: I am fairly certain they are not stupid enough to provide a console with the architecture to play old games, but charge people to do so. Can you imagine the uproar from people being charged to play games they already own? That will be suicide and is something I expect of Microsoft and Xbox. A silly speculation article is what this is.

    With regards to backwards compatibility itself, it’s something I’d like to see, but isn’t a deciding feature to me. I’ll be buying a PS5 to play PS5 games, as will everyone else, and as I already have both a PS3 and a PS4 to play their respective games, the only benefit this will provide is convenience. While a good feature to include, it’s an incredibly over-rated and over-stated one, as evident by the lack of people actually using the Xbox One to play 360 games. The only real benefit will be for people that didn’t own a PS4, but that’s what PlayStation Now is for. It has its uses, but I can do without it if it leads to any more than a mild increase in price. I don’t really want to pay an extra £50 to be able to play games I can already play, nor does any other sane person.

    TL;DR – The article is misleading and wrong, and personally backwards compatibility is a welcome bonus, but not essential.

    • Al Buns

      People didn’t care when PS3 and Wii U had bc. Suddenly its hyped now that M$ finally added the feature.

  • Russia Good

    What a stupid article of some moronic buffoon. If consoles are digital only bye bye, then there is no reason anymore to not just going full PC where i have total control over my download purchases. You must the biggest spastic gamer to still play on consoles if that happens.

    • Gamelore

      Agreed. Consoles’ only strong point now is its DRM-free discs since PC eliminated ownership. If forced to go digital, I will obviously go to PC DRM-free routes rather than PSN DRM, so I at least have control (if not ownership). Meanwhile, I’ll laugh at PS5 like a PSPGO.

      • Al Buns

        You cant play exclusives on PC so PC still isnt worth it. God of War 2, Spidrr-Man 2, HZD will nog be on PC.

    • leonffs

      That’s a big reason why I prefer PC, backwards compatible for decades now. I can still play my DOS games if I want to.

  • mgec

    I think I’ve already skipped PS4 generation, so this backward compatibility would be just brilliant.

    • Beasley2K

      Well we’re only about halfway through.

      • mgec

        We could easily get PS5 by 2019. I’m not sure.

  • Ok, but what about PS1 titles on the PS5? Thats what I want.

    • freddy_uk

      ps1 games work on ps3 and two and one

      • yes, all playstation consoles have, up to the ps4, supported ps1 titles.
        a large lot of which I bought on the PS store. I feel utterly backstabbed that I can’t download them to the ps4, even if I had to rebuy them.

        • freddy_uk

          because there only a small merge of people would use it everyone big AAA 60FPP games

          • i honestly doubt it’s costly to implement Classics support

  • Nikolas K

    Game discs are here to stay, stop with your nonsense! I Don’t want to live in a world where i can’t use my game discs

    • freddy_uk

      aggreed !

    • bizkut

      Agree. The same reason why vinyl record still exist.

    • Al Buns

      Exactly. They still put movies on disc and they sell. Video games are not music and the size of games are huge.

    • NDEH Stanley

      I agree with you Nikolas.

  • marc fletcher

    I have PS4 game so yes I would like to play PS4 games on the ps5

  • freddy_uk

    I think your right, sony will use same hardware tricks as this gen as it work so well. being same line of chips they would be a fall not to have backward compat! maybe even upscare aswell (?)

    If ps5 double power or ps4 they could have it you have two games(ps4) running at same time and you can switch when your mates come online ?

    we see

  • lolcatz6657

    I’d love for it to be backwards compatible. I really want to play games like xillia 2/Graces F again, but don’t want to have to buy a ps3 to do that.

  • WakeforFakeCake

    The Playstation Plus idea is complete crap. Don’t give them any stupid ideas. They should not be forcing anyone to pay more to play a game they already own. That is NOT the same as the free games through PS+, which have not been paid for by the consumer and so are not actually owned unless bought separately.

  • i agree
    Ps4 has sold about 70 million consoles in the worldwide market and now the sony company is moving a step forward in the gaming console market as they are willing to launch PlayStation 5 in the market.
    With this new, the other gaming company are also making their mind to release new consoles in the market and so that give they can give a tough fight to the Sony PlayStation console.
    The companies who are giving a fight are Xbox and Nintendo.
    As Xbox is the product of Microsoft and Nintendo is the Japanese company and these two companies are consistently focusing on the graphics and new innovation for the gaming consoles that one make a mind clear to buy these consoles
    On the regular basis x box consistently released a console in the market as Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox s and Nintendo has released a good console like Nintendo with and Nintendo wi-U and affect the Sony PlayStation consoles on the regular basis.
    One basic draw back of choosing sony playstation consoles are the online gaming as we have to pay for the online gaming and sony playstation accessories are much expensive than the xbox and nintendo means if we wanna buy a remote for the ps4 it will cost you around 80$ and same case is with game if you wanna buy a new game the rates are always at the peak so that is also the reason that people want a console which is pockets friendly for every person who loves gaming and I definately know that sony playstation 5, when released the rates of its accessories and gaming console, will also be much more that no one can easily buy it for thier child and for himself too.
    Ps4 is still dominating the market because of its user-friendly features and the graphics of the games are also so real.
    But as Sony announces the new PlayStation console as PlayStation 5 all aged game loving persons have an eye on the launch.
    And as we are all human being in our mind we have a lot of question that what will be the cost of ps5?
    Is it easily affordable for persons?
    What changes have been done as ps4 is also perfect console?
    What will be the graphics quality of ps 5?
    Does it break all the sales records of gaming consoles?
    And which company will release its competitors?

  • nathan

    the only problem i have and many more people like me is you cant sell a used digital copy of a game. if they lower the price of new digital copy’s from $60 to $40 or allow us to sell our digital copy’s it would be worth it to buy digital. but until then digital copy’s are not worth it.

  • nathan

    i’ll drop some knowledge to you guy’s so remember you read it here and it came from me. sony for sure and probably xbox both have a contract with AMD for there apu’s. so knowing this it’s more than likely to be a 4k hdr raven ridge apu. with it being a 4k apu and ddr4 memory being cheap were looking at 16 gigabytes of memory. they will also use a 4k blue ray player for the drive as the prices are down to acceptable levels. knowing that current gen is and next gen will be a pc platform you can expect Sony and Microsoft to just upgrade the operating system rather than build one from scratch to save money. with all this info there is no excuse for the ps5 or the xbox two not to be backwards compatible.
    ps5/xbox two
    apu: AMD 4K Raven Ridge apu
    memory: 16gb of DDR4
    disc drive: 4k blue ray
    hard drive: 1tb minimum
    price: release this year $499 with no profit release next year $399 marginal profit.
    release date: expect it in q4 2019

    • Chris Tree

      Wow, thanks for that knowledge Nathan. Release date is already wrong.

  • nathan

    now here is something i wish would happen with ps5/xbox two. everybody knows you can use a keyboard and mouse on current gen consoles so if google made chrome for the next gen consoles with keyboard/mouse support it would crush the pc market. you would have a gaming system capable of 4k and the ability to surf the net at ease that’s everything a pc gamer wants in there pc.

    • Al Buns

      Consoles are not PCs though so nobody wants that.

      • nathan

        YOUR AN IDIOT.

        • KnightVision


          • nathan

            HAHAHA my phone auto corrected me and i didn’t catch it.

      • nathan

        YOU’RE AN IDIOT.

    • gothicvillas

      Leave the K+M for pc. Consoles must be 100% controllers across the board.

      • nathan

        no K+M for games just for surfing the net as its a pain with a controller.

  • Kuldeep Pal

    yes I think it should be compulsory to ps5 backward compatibility and I think we all should be able to play all the games of ps4 in ps5

  • Mattewis Kat

    Backward compatibility for me is an imperative. Not including it will be an unquestionable deal-breaker. I’ve invested way too much in my games portfolio! If the BluRay drive isn’t included, they should also include the option for a separately purchasable USB add-on accessory optical drive.

    • Chris Tree

      A deal breaker…really? I mean, I want BC just as much as the next guy, but if it doesn’t happen I’ll just keep my PS4 and buy a PS5. Simple solution.

  • Al Buns

    Physical discs are not going anywhere. The media nedds to stop spreading that none sense. The general public buys discs. Thats was why Black Friday is so big.

  • C Davis

    A New generation of Blu-ray disks might come in handy……..200-500GB….mouth watering….

  • Gamelore

    Download? That’s not how backwards compatibility works.

    • Dakota Hoffman

      What are you basing that on? Its a means to a solution. Of course theyre not going to redistribute physical copies. Look at how Microsoft adds 360 backwards compatibility to the XBOX One …..downloading…patches…..

    • Chris Tree

      Enlighten us on how it works then?

      • Gamelore

        It needs to be compatible with the format, not with any particular game.

        Any conceivable game made (and more importantly, games not yet made) for the old system should work on the new one. This would commonly be done by running equivalent infrastructure, FPGA, general purpose emulator, etc.

  • Mt Allen

    I hate Sony anyway, I’m an Xbox guy, however, if I had the loot I’d buy a PS4, 2 controllers and a copy of Street Fighter 5, the only PS4 exclusive I want to play.

    • Honomaru

      Hey man, not trying to start any beef or anything like that as ur obviously entitle to like w/e you like.

      But I am EXTREMELY curious what kind of games you typically play if out of the entire Sony-exclusive catalog, Street Fighter is the only one you’d touch. lol

      • Chris Tree

        Clearly a Halo/Gears/Forza guy.

    • Chris Tree

      If you’re an Xbox guy who hates Sony, then why are you here commenting? I swear some people lol

    • Honomaru

      Lol I am not shocked by your lack of response here.

      Also not sure why I didn’t put it together before. You are a self admitted Sony hater who visits websites called “Playstation Universe”.

      Not sure why I thought something constructive could come from responding to you in the first place.

  • Sally Perez-Carter

    I want physical copies. Backwards compatibility would be great, but not essential. I would keep ps3 and ps4 irregardless when I get my ps5.

  • NDEH Stanley

    Backward compatibility is an essential feature for me. I have a great collection of PS4 games and would like to play them again on my PS5. PS3 backward compatibility would also be welcome.

  • Magdem

    Unfortunately I higly doubt the ps5 will have backwards compatibility, but it’s still more likely that it will have ps4 compatibility than it was for the ps4 to have it for the ps3. The internal hardware structure of the ps3 was notoriously complex, whereas the ps4 in comparison is more “raw power” in layman-terms.

    Even though Sony pretty much ends up at the top of each console-cycle they still tend to have a pretty tame start when it comes to the number of quality games releasing alongside the console. It would be a great ease-in period to be able to mix in ones old games from the previous generation.

    Even though people are throwing money at them when old classics are re-released digitally, I’m pretty sure they would still make the ps5 backwards compatible if they were actually able to do it cost-efficiently enough.

  • Honomaru

    Wait. You shelved your ps3 when the ps4 came out and never touched it again? That’s…extreme. Can’t say I relate to that at all. Especially with the sparse catalog in the beginning. You on ur own there bruh.

    Anyway this Digital only stuff is total bullshit considering you always run the risk of losing everything you paid for if Sony deems it so or some freak accident screws their servers up in a way that affects your library. I know people who’ve lost full libraries (literally hundreds of games) over crap like their PSN id violating some terms.

    I understand if Sony wants to ban your account but it is absolutely not right that you can also lose all your games in the process.

    Not a fan.

  • Honomaru

    Wait a minute? Is this a reposted article? Comments from over a year ago, guys? lol

  • christopher

    PS5 need to be backwards compatibility but we don’t want no digital

  • Chris Tree

    Some of the stuff in this article just hurts my brain. The PS5 could be the first console to strictly have digital only games? There’s not even a slight chance that that happens. Physical vs. digital sales are still about 50/50, so why exactly would anyone even consider ditching discs next gen unless they go the route Xbox is going and creating 2 separate consoles, one which is strictly digital only, and the other allowing digital and physical.

    Also, not allowing PS5 owners to use backwards compatibility unless they have PS Plus? While not as unfathomable as going strictly digital, it would still be a ridiculous thing to do and would receive major blowback, especially since there’s no such restriction on the Xbox. Sony would be stupid to even consider a digital only console where you had to buy PS Plus to use their backwards compatible feature. And if for some reason they did, we’d have a repeat of what happened to the Xbox One this gen.