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PS5 will be ‘99 percent’ backward compatible with PS4 games

PS5 will be ‘99 percent’ backward compatible with PS4 games


According to Sony PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Sony revealed the PlayStation 5’s price and release date ($399 for the all-digital version, and $499 for the one with a disc drive, both out on November 12th), as well as the company’s six launch titles that will be available at release. That’s not a huge lineup, and you might be wondering if you can play some of your PS4 collection on your new PS5 as more games become available — and fortunately, it seems like there’s a good chance you will.

The new console is “99 percent” backward compatible with the PS4 games the company has tested on it so far, Sony PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said in an interview with The Washington Post. In March, Sony said it believed the “overwhelming majority” of PS4 games would be backward compatible with the PS5, so hearing that “99 percent” should work on the new console is assuring, if unspecific.

PS5 owners will be able to play 18 PS4 games with a PlayStation Plus subscription

And while Sony hasn’t shared an exact list of which games will be backward compatible, we do know that PS5 owners will be able to download and play a classic collection of PS4 games with just a PlayStation Plus subscription, including God of War, The Last of Us: Remastered, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

But even though we don’t know all the details about PS5’s backward compatibility, the situation already sounds a lot better than what was available during the PS4’s 2013 launch, where you were able to play exactly zero PS3 games. That didn’t change until the launch of PlayStation Now, Sony’s game streaming service, a year later, but the service only offers a curated list of PS3 games (and now, PS2 and PS1 games). And PlayStation Now doesn’t let you play PS3, PS2, and PS1 games you already own — you’re only able to play what’s available on the service.

The Xbox One also didn’t have backward compatibility during its 2013 launch, but added the ability to play some Xbox 360 games in 2015 and expanding that to the original Xbox in 2017 — though in both cases, Microsoft had to individually make each game work on Xbox One over time. But Microsoft promises that the upcoming Xbox Series X / S will be able to play “thousands” of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games.