Were you hoping to play classic PlayStation discs on the newest PlayStation 5 console later this year? If so, we have bad news.
Enlarge / Have been you hoping to play traditional PlayStation discs on the most recent PlayStation 5 console later this yr? If that’s the case, we’ve unhealthy information.

Wednesday’s deluge of PlayStation 5 information largely revolved round brand-new content material launching alongside the console on November 12. Misplaced within the fray was a key element that confirmed an August leak about PS5: its lack of sweeping backward-compatibility help.

In a Wednesday interview, Japanese gaming journal Famitsu requested Sony Interactive Leisure chief Jim Ryan concerning the new console’s compatibility with PS1, PS2, and PS3 discs or downloads. Ryan defined that “PS5-specific engineering” meant the design crew was largely centered on “the simultaneous use of high-speed SSDs and the brand new DualSense controller.”

This prevented Sony from delivering compatibility with older consoles, Ryan advised Famitsu, despite the fact that he made clear that Sony wished to help PlayStation 4’s “100 million gamers” by creating compatibility with “99%” of PS4 video games, since “we thought that they want to play PS4 titles on the PS5, as properly.”

“Why would anyone play this?”

This announcement would not make clear whether or not PS1 video games bought to be used on PS4 will switch to PS5. It additionally would not point out the present capability for gamers to stream older-generation video games to PS4 from the PlayStation Now cloud-subscription service or whether or not we must always count on that performance to seamlessly switch to PS5 in November. SIE reps didn’t instantly reply to our questions on these potential options.

Ryan’s present assertion about affection for PS4 backward compatibility is curious, contemplating he has beforehand scoffed at affection for older console generations. As he advised Time Journal in 2017:

Once we’ve dabbled with backward compatibility, I can say it’s a kind of options that’s a lot requested, however not truly used a lot. That, and I used to be at a Gran Turismo occasion lately the place they’d PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 video games, and the PS1 and the PS2 video games, they seemed historical, like why would anyone play this?

Ryan’s take about that older technology most likely wasn’t helped by lackluster PlayStation Traditional gross sales in 2018 (although these had been arguably much less about traditional video games and extra about iffy execution).

As I wrote about PS5’s rumored back-compat information in August:

PlayStation 4 was the corporate’s first console to not ship with native backward-compatibility help for disc-based video games, together with incompatibility with download-only software program that debuted on PlayStation 3. That meant you needed to maintain on to your outdated console to entry these disc-less video games. This adopted the PS3 receiving a significant revision early in its lifetime to take away help for PS2 discs (as a result of this characteristic working on PS2 “Emotion Engine” structure constructed into early PS3s, which was dumped to chop prices).

Comparatively, Microsoft has aggressively courted followers of older video games with a backward-compatibility gross sales pitch on each Xbox One and Xbox Sequence consoles. Meaning avid gamers within the Xbox ecosystem can count on native entry to earlier purchases (whether or not in disc kind or as a digital buy) throughout a number of console generations and decision and efficiency upgrades on a game-by-game foundation. We’re nonetheless ready to listen to whether or not PS4 video games that struggled with efficiency points may obtain PS5-specific upgrades, although the PS4 Professional’s non-compulsory “enhance mode” already made clear that sure video games (cough, cough, Bloodborne) would wish particular patches to benefit from newer {hardware}.

Wednesday’s dump of PlayStation 5 information didn’t go into additional element about further boosts to PS4 video games as performed on the upcoming console. As an alternative, we realized that some main PlayStation 5 video games, notably Horizon: Forbidden West and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, will launch concurrently on PS5 and PS4. This seems to run considerably counter to Sony’s latest feedback about sustaining “generations” as an alternative of supporting an Xbox-style “forward-compatible” plan for its largest video games.

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