PS5 backwards compatible with PS4 games only, according to Ubisoft support

PS4 video games at the 2018 DreamHack video gaming festival (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)
PS4 video games at the 2018 DreamHack video gaming festival (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images) /

Ubisoft support suggests PS5 will only be backwards compatible with PS4 games.

The PlayStation 5 may not provide backwards compatibility with PS3, PS2 or original PlayStation games. The latest twist in the PS5’s backwards compatibility comes via a Ubisoft SUpport Q&A page regarding transitioning PS4 titles to next-gen versions.

On the page, Ubisoft states:

"Backwards compatibility will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games."

The page has since been updated to remove any mention of backwards compatibility between PlayStation hardware generations. It now only vaguely mentions that PlayStation will offer “a number of features designed to help you move from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5.”

There’s no mention of the PS5 being fully backwards compatible with PS4, which is a bit alarming. However, the updated support page does say that PlayStation 4 players will be able to join multiplayer games with PlayStation 5 players.

Details surrounding the PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility functionality have been murky at best. Sony has been pretty tight-lipped regarding the specifics although the company maintains the “majority” of the 4,000-plus PS4 titles will be playable on PlayStation 5.

This confirmation back in March came in response to a presentation by Mark Cerny who originally implied that only the top 100 PlayStation 4 games would be playable on Sony’s next-gen console.

Sony’s approach to backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 5 feels like a complete mess. It seems like the company originally underestimated the desire to be able to play PS4 games on the PS5 and is now scrambling to get it implemented.

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It’s the complete opposite of Microsoft which has been a completely open book regarding backwards compatibility with the Xbox Series X. Microsoft has already confirmed that you’ll be able to play four generations of games on the Xbox Series X from day one. Not only that, but some games will actually receive a boost and play better on the Xbox Series X. And, for those who aren’t ready to update, Microsoft has plans to continue to support the Xbox One alongside the Xbox Series X by ensuring all Xbox Game Studios titles will release for both systems for at least the next couple of years.

As someone who still has a deep backlog of games from the PlayStation 4 generation to play through, backwards compatibility is incredibly important to me. I do plan on purchasing a PS5 but the inability to play my current PS4 games on it, might dissuade me from buying a PS5 at launch, especially if the launch lineup isn’t very strong.