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PlayStation 5 is Only Backwards Compatible with PS4, Like Sony Said

Rumors and patents had made the truth hazy.

Sometimes rumors and wishes get so widespread there becomes a weird Mandela Effect where people seem to think there was some point where a company said something was coming, when, in fact, they did not. When it comes to the PlayStation 5 being able to play PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation games, this is one of those instances. Ubisoft has more or less confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will only be backwards compatible with PS4 games, confirming that the backwards compatibility Sony has already publicly discussed is all there is.

Ubisoft confirmed this through a since-edited FAQ posting that said backwards compatibility beyond the PlayStation 4 “will not be possible” when the PlayStation 5 launches this holiday season. The FAQ answer now omits this any mention of backwards compatibility with previous consoles, but here’s a screenshot of what it looked like before:

It’s really disappointing, as there’s decades of video game history on those three older consoles, but it’s not particularly surprising, as Sony has only talked about backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 games up to this point. Which would have been weird if that weren’t the case, especially since having backwards compatibility for that many old games would be a huge selling point at launch. As such, it wouldn’t make sense for Sony to do anything short of shouting it from the rooftops. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be implemented later, as the Xbox One was updated with backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games and original Xbox games in 2015 and 2017 respectively, years after the console launched in 2013. But for now, it looks like the PlayStation 5 will be limited to those two consoles’ portfolios.

However, it’s worth noting that several games from previous generations are playable on a PlayStation 4 (and presumably PlayStation 5, eventually) through PlayStation Now. But Sony isn’t great at advertising its game streaming service these days, much less leading up to the PS5’s launch. Sony has patented the tech to emulate all these systems via the cloud, but there’s no official word on whether or not the company is actually going to do anything with it yet.

In other news:

Whatever the far off future of the PlayStation 5 holds, the thing still doesn’t even have a release date or price when it’s reportedly coming out in just two months. Sony has been mum on both of these topics for longer than it usually is before a console launch, but it has taken to making the announcement part of what is basically a raffle based on how much you play PlayStation products. Right now the thing looks to be a shiny new Spider-Man: Miles Morales machine at launch, but some other big games will follow eventually, including Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which Insomniac has said will launch in the PS5’s launch window. This means it’ll be out anywhere between December and March, probably.

About the Author

Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.