Backward compatibility is a big topic for gamers and the upcoming next-gen systems. Sony hasn’t publicly talked about this topic as much as Microsoft has for its Xbox Series X, but Eurogamer has seen developer documents which state that developers of PlayStation 4 games which are submitted for certification with Sony on or after July 13 must make those titles “technically” playable on the PlayStation 5.
The report’s qualifier of “technically” playable on the PS5 means that it’s up to each developer to make sure this is the case, although Sony is working with its partners on the process.
Also, submitted is different than released, as companies must turn in their titles to Sony for approval months before they come out. This means that PS4 games releasing this summer may fall outside the July 13 start point – although Eurogamer believes that high-profile first-party summer titles Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II will indeed play on the PS5.
The report also reveals that PS4 titles must contain the same features between the systems, and any update or remaster of the title after the July 13 cutoff would have to retain compatibility. Updates or remasters submitted before that date would be “strongly recommended” to keep compatibility.
Sony has previously talked about backward compatibility for the PS5, but it’s unknown how many PS4 titles will be playable at the PS5’s launch later this year. In March, system architect Mark Cerny said that almost all of the top 100 PS4 titles based on playtime where playable at the time on the PS5.
Sony is hosting a live stream on June 4 focusing on PS5 games, so perhaps we’ll hear more about backward compatibility at that time.