Home Gaming Sony’s still working out some kinks in PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility

Sony’s still working out some kinks in PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility

1 min read

The PlayStation 5 – with the boring old name of “PlayStation 5” – is coming towards the end of next year, finally bringing this generation to a close. Sort of. Like the current Xbox One, the next PlayStation will actually offer backwards compatibility, so you won’t have to abandon your entire collection of games when the next systems roll around.

Unlike the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility, which operates using an emulation layer powered by black magic (it’s genuinely unreal how well it works, given that it’s emulating completely disparate hardware), it technically should be a little easier to provide backwards compatibility in the next generation, given that they’re running on incredibly similar hardware architectures. Things aren’t ever quite that simple though, and it seems that although Sony’s promised backwards compatibility, they’re still working out a few kinks.

“Currently, the dev team is putting all power on verifying whether they can secure a complete compatibility. Please wait for more information,” Sony told Japanese publication Famitsu (translated by Twitter user bk2128).

What does this mean? While it’s likely that the PlayStation 5 will be backwards compatible, there may be a few games that don’t quite work, possibly because of how their clock speeds are hard-coded in and tied to their physics, or other weird programming anomalies (if it works, it works!). It also possibly means that it won’t be straight, native compatibility, where you’re able to just pop in a disc and install a PS4 game; there may be a few other software layers in between.

In that regard, it’s not too different from Xbox 360 backwards compatibility then. Xbox 360 games have to be downloaded to the Xbox One to work, and not every game is compatible; there’s a library of supported games, with many of the system’s games unable to run through the emulation layer.

For now, I suppose we just wait for more information.

Last Updated: October 9, 2019


  1. Umar

    October 9, 2019 at 12:49

    Still baffles me that they haven’t implemented PS1 BC.


    • Pariah

      October 9, 2019 at 12:49

      Have you tried running a DOS game on the systems we have today? Some of them just break because the hardware is too strong. There could be more limitations than we know of.

      And yes, DOSbox has done a good job for emulation – that doesn’t mean every game will instantly work with it.


      • Umar

        October 9, 2019 at 12:59

        I guess, just seems odd to have gotten it working on PS3 and Vita but not PS4. I obviously don’t know the complexities involved in emulation but it just seems like they don’t view it as a priority.


        • Pariah

          October 9, 2019 at 13:18

          I’d be interested to find out what the actual demand for it is. That often dictates whether or not it’s a priority. How often do you go back to your old games (2+ generations ago) and just pop them in and play? Even if you could, without limitation?

          And how much dev work is required to set that up? And, for how much return on investment? Sony are a business first and foremost, and so they can’t exactly just go about wasting dev resources on a feature that only a small subset of people will use, probably only occasionally, with little to no sales or money being made from that feature.


    • HvR

      October 9, 2019 at 13:47

      If you are talking PS1 disc games backwards compatibility the problems is the actual disc.

      In an effort to curb piracy Sony added special sector on the disc where the licensing and regional info was written in a non standard way. Normal CD reading sensors at the time could not read those sectors; all what those pirate mod chips did was spam the read data bus with the correct data from those sectors on a timed loop to fool the PS into thinking any disc that is inserted is a valid game disc.

      SO or new consoles to be PS1 disc BC they would need to change the disc reading sensor or add extra one and with the increased costs that translate into increased price they would lose more new adopter sales vs extra sales from ex-PS1 owners


  2. Pariah

    October 9, 2019 at 12:49

    So for previous gen games it’ll be a Praystation 5?


  3. Raptor Rants

    October 9, 2019 at 14:18

    *looks around for Kaasie*



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