It may not have been the PS5 reveal that everyone was waiting for, but in retrospect, the silky smooth delivery of the philosophy of Sony’s next console and what hardware it’s bringing to the table as delivered by lead system architect Mark Cerny certainly was educational. Beyond the emphasis on immersive audio, a solid-state hard drive that will hopefully allow developers to rethink how they hide games and an all-new graphical benchmark to shoot for, everyone watching the stream just wanted to know one thing:
Which old games can I play on bleeding edge hardware?
Cerny did answer that in his beloved ASMR delivery, but the answer may not have been to everyone’s liking last week as it was revealed that just under a hundred PS4 games (the good ones!) would be available on launch day for the PlayStation 5. The reason why such a scant number had made the cut? The PS5’s hardware was running circles around the older generation of games that simply could not keep up. “The boost is truly massive this time around and some game code can’t handle it,” Cerny said during the original stream in front of cardboard cut-outs.
Testing has to be done on a title-by-title basis. Results are excellent, though. We recently took a look at the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime, and we’re expecting almost all of them to be playable at launch on PlayStation 5. Once backwards compatibility is in the console, it’s in. It’s not as if a cost-down will remove backwards compatibility like it did on PlayStation 3.
Over on the PlayStation Blog, some hope was thrown this way towards backwards compatible fans, as Senior Vice President of Platform Planning and Management Hideaki Nishino outlined a plan to provide older games at a brisk pace on the PS5 once it launches. “We have already tested hundreds of titles and are preparing to test thousands more as we move toward launch. We will provide updates on backward compatibility, along with much more PS5 news, in the months ahead,” Nishino wrote.
Fair enough. Sony’s rival Microsoft had to also begin its own backwards compatible program on the Xbox One with a mere handful of titles, eventually capping that library at 576 Xbox 360 games and 41 original Xbox titles. If Sony’s hardware division can build on the backwards compatible pat that Cerny unveiled last week, having a Swiss Army knife of gaming will make for a console that embraces everything that the PlayStation was and can be.
With 2501 games available currently on the PlayStation 4, there’s still a ton of work to be done. I demand a port of Life of Black Tiger, dammit!
Last Updated: March 23, 2020