Sony’s Messaging on One Key PS5 Feature Is Confusing – And We Deserve Answers

Sony says PS4 games submitted after July 13 must be PS5 compatible, raising questions about backward compatibility on the console.



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This is an opinion.

Sony needs clarity in its messaging and needs to offer concrete details about backward compatibility on PS5. | Source: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
  • Sony will require all PS4 games submitted for certification after July 13 to be PS5 compatible.
  • The mandate raises questions about the backward compatibility capabilities of the next-gen console.
  • Sony desperately needs to clarify its PS5 backward compatibility messaging or risk confusing would-be owners further.

Sony is reportedly mandating that all PS4 games submitted for certification after July 13 must also work on PS5.

The news comes courtesy of a report from Eurogamer. The outlet explains that Sony communicated the new rule to developers via PlayStation’s internal partner site.

All PS4 games submitted from July 13 need to be playable on PS5. The onus is reportedly on developers to ensure games are forward compatible.

sony playstation 5 reveal
Will Sony’s upcoming PS5 event give us the answers we want? | Source: PlayStation

What Does This Mean for PS5 Backward Compatibility?

Although there’s no explicit mention of backward compatibility, the requirement naturally raises questions about what this means for fans hoping to play PS4 games on PS5.

Is Sony scrambling to pad out the roster of compatible games ahead of bad news about how many older PS4 games will work on PS5?

Or is Sony simply taking steps to ensure the most recent releases work on PS5 from day one?

Does Sony expect these post-July 13 games to run natively on the console or in backward compatible mode?

Sony’s messaging about backward compatibility has been disjointed to date. Mark Cerny’s technical deep dive suggested the majority of the top 100 most-played PS4 games would be compatible at launch.

This incited raised eyebrows from fans, prompting Sony to clarify that it planned for the “overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles” to be playable on PS5.

Sony’s Confusing Messaging

Today’s news further confuses the picture.

The confusion stands in stark contrast to Microsoft’s clear-cut messaging about backward compatibility on the Xbox Series X.

The majority of Xbox One titles will be compatible, with many benefiting from improvements such as faster load times, automatic HDR support, and frame rates up to 120. These improvements will even extend to a selection of original Xbox and 360 titles.

Sony's PS5 Backward Compatibility Messaging Desperately Needs Clarity
Microsoft’s backward compatibility plans are a lot more clear-cut. | Source: Microsoft

Additionally, Microsoft has placed the burden of ensuring backward compatibility on its own shoulders, rather than passing the buck to developers as Sony appears to be doing.

It’s worth noting that the news comes from documentation aimed at developers and not consumers. While it’s easy to speculate on what Sony’s mandate means, it’s best to reserve judgment until we hear more.

What’s evident is that Sony needs clarity in its messaging and needs to offer concrete details about backward compatibility on PS5. Second-hand reports do little to reassure gamers of Sony’s intentions.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Josiah Wilmoth edited this article for CCN - Capital & Celeb News. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

UK-based writer covering the video game industry. Email me | Bug me on Twitter

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