Sony had promised detailed instructions on backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 5 before its launch, and the blog post has arrived. The post has all the details on how to upgrade games and the features and accessories that won’t be supported, as well as some suggestions on purchasing older content.
The first detail to notice is the digital version of the PlayStation 5 will only be able to upgrade games purchased on the PlayStation Store. This makes sense as there is no disk drive to upgrade disks, however, this is a disappointment to anyone who bought a digital version of the console, but wants to upgrade their physical PlayStation 4 disks. For those with the disk drive, inserting the disk and selecting upgrade in the game hub will allow you to play the upgraded version of the game as long as the disk is in the drive.
The process is the same for digital consoles, finding the title in the game hub or store will let users upgrade their copy. Due to the increased horsepower of the new console, older games will see improvements from the hardware alone, such as decreased loading times thanks to a SSD. Other games will feature a game boost mode that increases frame rate and dynamic resolution, increasing the fidelity of the experience thanks to optimizations from developers. Ghost of Tsushima has already confirmed that 60 frames per second and decreased loading times will be a direct result of game boost optimization. The only question is how many games will be updated to take advantage of the hardware.
Remote play from PS4 to PS5 is possible to save storage space on the PS5, but those titles will not leverage the boost mode. Using wifi or a LAN cable, users can transfer games and save data from the PS4 to the PS5; external memory USBs can be used as well. PlayStation Plus members can have that service sync their data automatically. It should be noted that transfer of save data is a developer decision and will vary from title to title. For example, Spider-Man: Miles Morales will have this feature implemented on day one, while Sackboy: A Big Adventure will support save data transfer in a post release update. It is yet to be stated which other games will optimize for game boost but neglect save data transfer.
While 99% of the PS4 library will be playable, here are the ten titles not playable on PS5;
- Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One,
3.TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2,
- Just Deal With It!,
5.Shadow Complex Remastered,
- Robinson: The Journey,
- We Sing,
- Hitman Go: Definitive Edition,
- Joe’s Diner.
This list is subject to change, as some developers have already expressed interest in making their titles PS5 ready.
Some features, such as the Share menu, are not supported; screenshots and images will have to be made in the new create menu. Video recordings and screenshots can be taken with shortcut inputs. PSVR games are compatible with PS5, but they will not function with the PS5 HD camera. Instead, users will have to use the PlayStation camera and a PS4 camera adapter to utilize their PSVR on the new console. The experience of older games may vary on PS5. Functionality may be missing from select titles while others may exhibit odd behavior or bugs from the platform change. On the blog, Sony suggests booting up old games and judging whether users are satisfied with the experience before purchasing additional content.
PS4 tournaments, the event manager that allows users to register for tournaments, will not be supported on the new console. In-Game Live and second screen companion applications for PS4 games will not be supported when playing on the new console. A big marketing oversight that has fans worried is the amount of titles that will take advantage and will be optimized for game boost. Since this is a developer decision, it is up to each publisher to decide whether or not optimizing their game will be worth it. This gray, case-by-case basis response leaves fans wondering whether their favorite titles will be polished or left in the dust. Compared to Microsoft’s Smart Delivery branding, ensuring that no matter where fans play the title has been optimized for that platform, Sony has been caught in the wind, unprepared to set players’ expectations.