Backwards compatibility is one of the key reasons that Microsoft has gained so much favour in the last few years (with Xbox Game Pass helping to extent a lot of games' shelf life), and it's sure to be a big component of the next-gen consoles too.
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There are more factors to this than there used to be though, as it's no longer just discs that have to work. More and more people buy their games digitally, so any backwards compatibility worth its name should really include cross-buy as well.
So, will PS4 games work on PS5? Or is it something that Sony is missing out on?
Will PS4 games work on PS5?
The short answer is yes. The long answer comes from a Sony blog post, which put it like this: "A quick update on backward compatibility – With all of the amazing games in PS4’s catalogue, we’ve devoted significant efforts to enable our fans to play their favourites on PS5. We believe that the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5."
So yeah, some PS4 games are already backwards compatible, and apparently more will be as things move closer to the PS5 release date. That's good for anyone who currently owns a PS4 and is looking to stick with Sony going forwards, but it doesn't actually tell us everything we need to know.
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Will all PS4 games be backwards compatible?
There's currently no list of the games that will be backwards compatible, and there's no word on whether or not the compatibility will be physical or digital.
It works with the GPU seemingly mimicking the PS4 chip, which is good because it's better than just emulation, but it still doesn't answer whether or not we'll be able to put our PS4 discs into our PS5s.
Nor does it address the issue for digital gamers, those who have hard drives full of games instead of a bookshelf full of them. It would make sense for both to be the case, but Sony hasn't exactly shown any interest in making this the case previously.
It's possible that discs will all work, but that digital purchases will be stuck on your PS4, meaning you may have to rebuy your games. It's also possible it's the other way around, or neither, or both. We know there is backwards compatibility, but we don't know all of the specifics. Hopefully that'll change soon.
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