PS5 will eventually play ‘majority of the 4,000-plus PS4 titles’

(Image credit: Sony)

The Sony PS5 will be backward compatible with “the overwhelming majority of the 4,000-plus PS4 titles,” according to a new blog post from Sony.

In a blog post update, Sony asserted that most of the older system’s games would be coming to the new machine, though they didn’t reveal any details on how long it would take for that catalogue to fill out - only noting that more info would be shared in the coming months.

During an earlier presentation diving deep into the new console hardware capabilities, PlayStation chief architect Mark Cerny claimed the PS5 would be able to play 100-plus of the most-played PS4 games at launch - though now that number could be more.

What we do know is those backward compatible titles will get touched up on the new console, running at a boosted frequency on the PS5 to “benefit from higher and more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions,” per the blog post, echoing what Cerny said during the presentation.

Sony is evaluating games on a title-by-title basis to evaluate things that need be adjusted when porting an old game to the new console. And PS5 devs have already tested “hundreds of titles,” according to the blog post, and plan to test thousands more toward launch.

So...when's my favorite game coming?

The original run of PS3 consoles famously included an emulator - essentially PS2 hardware - within the new console to play the older system’s games, which drove up the price. Later models dropped that tech and capability to save cost, and the PS4 abandoned the idea entirely, opting instead to upload older games digitally over PSN.

So it’s impressive that Sony is claiming backward compatibility out the gate for the PS5. In the presentation, Cerny asserted they won’t strip this capability out of the console to save money like they did with the PS3: “Once backwards compatibility is in the console, it’s in,” he said.

But how long it will take to make your favorite niche PS4 game compatible on the PS5 is unclear. Microsoft spent years slowly adding more Xbox 360 titles to the backward compatibility list of the Xbox One, and it might be the same with the PS5 - a few games here and there for years. 

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.