Sony finally explains PS5 backwards compatibility in detail

How to format your PS4
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Sony has revealed further information on PS5 backwards compatibility via its PlayStation support website. 

According to the support page, an "overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 games are playable on PS5 consoles", and select PS4 games will benefit from the PS5 console's "Game Boost", which may make PS4 games run with a higher or smoother frame rate. 

Furthermore, Sony points out that some functionalities that were available on PS4 might not be available when playing on PS5, and some games may exhibit "unexpected behaviour" when played on PS5. 

Strangely, Sony also warns users to test their PS4 games on PS5 before buying any add-ons to ensure "you are happy with the play experience". Finally, the support page recommends that users always update the PS5 with the latest version of the system software. 

While Sony has stated the majority of PS4 games are playable on PS5, it's also provided a small list of games that are only playable on PS4 below:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe's Diner

Sony also revealed a snippet of new information on what players can expect in an interview with Game Informer. Sony's senior vice president of platform planning and management Hideaki Nishino stressed the importance of backwards compatibility, and reiterated Sony’s promise that “approximately 99 percent of the thousands of PS4 titles, both catalog and newly published, will be playable on PS5”.

While Nishino continued to repeat Sony’s mantra of pushing the importance of PS5 first and foremost, he also revealed some new information about backwards compatibility that we didn’t know.

"When you sign in to PS5 with your account, you will automatically see your library of played PS4 content through the menu,” said Nishino. “...we’re excited about supporting our PlayStation community as they transition from PS4 to PS5 when they’re ready."

While Xbox Series X backwards compatibility impressions are already in, and sound extremely promising, Sony has continued to keep its cards close to its chest with more generalized statements of how the PS5 will handle PS4 games. 

We know that PS4 games will be playable using the DualShock 4 controller on PS5, and that 99% of games will work, but we’ve already seen issues pop regarding save files transferring to PS4 in games like Yakuza: Like A Dragon and Dirt 5.

Tick tock

It also isn’t clear exactly how PS5's extra power will benefit PS4 games. Sony has suggested we’ll see better frame rates and load times via the PS5's Game Boost, but until we see it for ourselves, it’s hard to judge whether the impact will be as substantial as how Xbox Series X handles older games. 

The PS5 launches on November 12 in the US, Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and November 19 for the rest of the world including the UK.

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.