Sony today finally clarified which, out of the thousands of PS4 games, won’t work on the PlayStation 5. Thankfully, the list is mercifully small, though even the games that work might have some problem. Still, if you’re getting the PS5 a month from now, there are only a handful of games you won’t be able to play.
A PlayStation support article titled “Backwards compatibility” clarifies that the “overwhelming majority” of PS4 games will be playable on PS5. It also adds that some of the games will benefit from Game Boost, which will make them run at higher frame rates, but doesn’t specify which games those will be. According to the article, you should be able to pop your disc into the PS5’s disc drive, or download it from your game library depending on which version of the console you have, and be able to play it.
Here’s a list of the PS4 games that can’t be played at all on PS5:
- Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
- TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
- Just Deal With It!
- Shadow Complex Remastered
- Robinson: The Journey
- We Sing
- Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
- Joe’s Diner
There doesn’t seem to be a common theme with the games — some are VR games, some aren’t. Titles like We Sing are likely not going to be playable because the publisher would have to relicense their songs, while Afro Samurai 2 has been pulled from all game stores since its release. There are likely a myriad of reasons why these unfortunate titles won’t make the transition, and I’m very curious about what they are.
The incompatible games aside, the support article warns that some games may behave strangely when used on the PS5: “Although many PS4 games are playable on PS5 consoles, some functionalities that were available on the PS4 console may not be available on PS5 consoles. In addition, some PS4 games may exhibit errors or unexpected behavior when played on PS5 consoles.” Again, the article doesn’t elaborate, so we’ll have to see what happens when we get our hands on the console. It also recommends using a DualShock 4 controller when playing PS4 games, rather than the PS5’s DualSense.
A PS5 FAQ blog post adds more detail on PS4 games: saves can be transferred to PS5s either by an external storage medium, via LAN cables, or WiFi. You can also use cloud storage if you’re a PS Plus member. You can also use Remote Play to play PS4 games on PS5 without downloading them to the latter, if you’re short on storage space and haven’t yet installed anything in that convenient M2 bay.
It’s curious that this is one of the only areas where Sony just doesn’t seem to have it together as much as Microsoft. Sony’s attitude is a rather waffling, “Well, if you must, but you might get some errors.” Microsoft’s, on the other hand, is more like, “Yeah, play four generations of game discs on one console — except Kinect games because, in retrospect, fuck the Kinect.” With Sony, even one extra generation being playable on its next-gen console feels like an accomplishment.
Still, I’m not complaining — I don’t own any of the incompatible games, so I’m glad I’ll be able to keep playing my huge library of PS4 games.