Ubisoft has unexpectedly revealed some important information about backwards compatibility on PS5, though we may not be getting the full story.
Over on Ubisoft’s official support site, the publisher and game maker has a new post about transitioning from PS4 to PS5, and the post states that while PS4 games will be supported on PS5, there will not be backwards compatibility support for PS3, PS2, or PS1 games.
This is a little disappointing, but not totally unexpected. We’ve always known that the PS3’s weird way of working would make it incredibly difficult for Sony to emulate the console on PS5, so that was never really a question anyway. But PS2 and PS1? Many have suggested that given Sony has experimented with PS2 emulation – and even PSP emulation – on PS4, that there could be an opportunity for retro games to play on PS5.
While the Ubisoft support page says this is not possible, it may not be entirely true. What it could mean is that you won’t be able to slip your old PS3, PS2, or PS1 discs into your PS5 and play them as if 1998 never ended, but you could play them via other methods. The likely option here is Sony’s game-streaming subscription service PS Now, which the platform holder has been working on over the last few years. It’s not perfect, but it does work well under optimal conditions, and it could be an easy way to deliver old games to fans without having to build the PS5 console around it.
It’s a different take than Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, which is going all-out in favour of letting players access as much of their previous library of content as possible.
There is still a lot that we don’t know about the PS5, including its release date and price, so don’t be surprised to find more features like backwards compatibility pushed into the limelight as we get closer to the console’s launch.
Update 01.09.2020 9:31AM BST: The support site has since removed the article in question, but we’ve got a screencap saved.