Sony confirms no PS5 backwards compatibility with PS1, PS2 or PS3

By Sherif Saed, Friday, 18 September 2020 11:59 GMT

Sony has confirmed what many suspected about the PS5’s backwards compatibility with older consoles.

The PlayStation 5 will not natively support PS1, PS2 or PS3 games, Sony has revealed. PlayStation chief Jim Ryan told Famitsu in an interview that the console’s advanced capabilities were designed to build forward-looking games.

“We have been building devices with a focus on PS5-specific engineering,” said Ryan in the Google-translated interview. “Among them, PS4 already has 100 million players, so I thought that I would like to play PS4 titles on PS5 as well, so I introduced PS4 compatibility.

“While achieving that, we focused on incorporating high-speed SSDs and the new controller DualSense in parallel. So, unfortunately, compatibility with them has not been achieved.”

PS5 is able to natively play PS4 games, but that’s about the extent of its backwards compatibility support. Of course, if you’re moving from a disc-based PS4 to a digital-only PS5 you won’t be able to bring forward your physical games.

Sony initially, of course, said that it had tested the top 100 PS4 games on PS5, which lead many to believe it won’t offer native support as Xbox Series X does with Xbox One, but the platform holder later clarified that the majority of PS4 games will work just fine on PS5.

In a separate interview with Washington Post following the PS5 Showcase event, Ryan further reiterated that “99%” of PS4 games can be played on PS5.

Although Ryan’s comments are disappointing, they’re not entirely surprising. Sony never alluded to backwards compatibility stretching beyond PS4 at any point during the official reveal cycle.

Indeed, Ryan himself was perplexed why anyone would want to play those old games when asked about classic PlayStation compatibility on PS4 in the wake of Microsoft’s extensive efforts to bring original Xbox and Xbox 360 support to Xbox One, something that’s since become a key part of its message with Xbox Series X/S.

While many argue that the PS5 could easily brute-force emulate those classic games, having official support would require considerable engineering, testing and design effort Sony just doesn’t see as necessary.

PS5 pre-orders are live at many retailers worldwide, but because stock is limited, many are already out.

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