PS5 backwards compatibility will work with 99% of PS4 games claims Sony
Sony has discussed backwards compatibility and addressed disappointment over cross-gen games, in the first interview since the PS5 showcase.
Backwards compatibility always used to be something Sony discouraged, even going so far as to take the feature out of the PlayStation 3 after worrying that too many people were still buying PlayStation 2 games.
Times have changed though, and Microsoft’s championing of the feature has meant that Sony can no longer try and ignore it, even though they essentially did during the PlayStation 5 showcase.
But in an interview with the Washington Post, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan claimed that 99% of the thousands of PlayStation 4 games tested on PlayStation 5 work, although he made no mention of the PlayStation 1 through 3.
The Washington Post interview seems to be the only major one since the showcase, where Ryan insists that ‘no one should be disappointed’ by the announcement that several PlayStation 5 exclusives will now also be released on the PlayStation 4.
‘The PS5 versions of those games are built from the ground up to take advantage of the PS5 feature set, and we have an upgrade path for PS4 users to get the PS5 versions for free. It’s about people having choice. I’m really quite pleased about the situation’, said Ryan.
This is diametrically opposed to his previous position, stated just four months ago, when he insisted to GamesIndustry.biz that, ‘it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.’
‘The PS4 community will continue to be incredibly important to us for three or four years,’ said Ryan to the Washington Post. ‘Many will transition to PS5, we hope if we do our job well, but tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4.’
The change of position seems to be a reaction to Microsoft’s policy of no Xbox Series X exclusives for the first year or two and their implication that generational exclusives are anti-consumer.
However, it’s unusual for Sony to react so obviously to a competitor in this way, especially given Microsoft’s position is not popular with even many Xbox gamers.
That may mean there are other factors at play – perhaps concern at the increased cost of the PlayStation 5 versions of games – but it’s certainly soured reaction to the most recent showcase and opened Sony up to accusations of U-turns and lying to their fans.
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