Sony could bring cross-gen play between PS4 and PS5 thanks to backwards compatibility

By Sameer Mitha | Updated 23 May 2019
Sony could bring cross-gen play between PS4 and PS5 thanks to backwards compatibility
  • It looks like Sony may bring cross-gen play between the PS4 and PS5.
  • The information comes from a Q&A session held during Sony’s Investor Relations Day.

It looks like Sony is looking at cross-gen play between the PS4 and PS5 thanks to the PS5’s backwards compatibility. The information comes from a Q&A session held during Sony’s Investor Relations Day. During the session, PlayStation heads indicated that the upcoming next generation console, the PS5, could include cross-gen play with PS4 players. It is confirmed that the PS5 will be backwards compatible and it looks like it could be possible for you to play online with your friends if you own a PS5 and they are still on the PS4. This would indeed be a feature to look forward to as those that will upgrade their consoles on day one will still be able to play online with their friends still rocking the PS4 or PS4 Pro. 


According to IGN, a translation of Deputy president of Sony Interactive Entertainment John Kodera reads, “Having compatibility is a positive thing. Not only can a game be played on the next-generation console, cross-generation – the community can enjoy the games together... bridging that compatibility has a very important role to play.”

President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan commented on the backwards compatibility of the PS5 saying “Backwards compatibility in a networked era is something that’s incredibly powerful. The gaming community is somewhat tribal in its nature, backwards compatibility gives us the opportunity to migrate that community from PlayStation 4 to next-gen, using the ability to play the PS4 games that they have on their next-generation console [with] groups of 10, 20, 50 gamers. We see this, given the size of the community that we’ve been able to accumulate over all these years on PS4, as a really critical success factor for us - we think it’s really important.”

Given that the architecture of the PS5 will be similar to the PS4, and also the fact that Marvel’s Spider-Man (read our review here) has been shown running on the PS5, it looks like backwards compatibility on the PS5 will be as easy as plug and play. We also presume that it will be up to the developer to update the games to take advantage of the upcoming console's potential. Sony wasn't very enthusiastic about bringing PS3 backwards compatibility to the PS4 as the architecture of the two consoles are drastically different. However, with a killer library of games and a near 100 million install base, it looks like the PS5 will have to bring with it more than state of the art hardware to attract customers. 


With backwards compatibility out of the box, it will be easier for gamers to upgrade to the PS5 by selling their PS4 to offset some of the cost rather than holding on to the previous gen console for quite some time before selling to enjoy games for one last time.

Sameer Mitha
Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.

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