Sorry, The PS5 Won’t Be Backwards Compatible With PS3, PS2 Or PS1 Games

ps5 xbox series x
Image: Sony

As Kotaku previously reported, the PlayStation 5 will be able to play “99 per cent” of the PlayStation 4’s library. But what about PS3 games? Or PS2 and PS1 ones?

In an interview with Famitsu, PlayStation exec Jim Ryan was asked about PS4 compatibility as well as for the previous PlayStation consoles, going back to the PS1.

Ryan pointed out that backwards compatibility for the PS4 was something Sony had in mind while creating the new consoles, adding that among the 100 million PS4 players, there are people who will want to play PS4 games on their PS5s and therefore included PS4 backwards compatibility.

“When implementing this,” Ryan continued, “we also poured all our energy into introducing the high-speed SSD as well as the new Dual Sense controller. Because of this, unfortunately, we were unable to include further backwards compatibility.”

In August, a Ubisoft website appeared to indicate that the PlayStation 5 would only be backwards compatible with PlayStation 4 games.

As for the 1 per cent of PS4’s 4,000-game catalogue that cannot be played on the PS5, Kotaku reported earlier that Mark Cerny, the new console’s lead architect, pointed out that each game had to be hand-tested for next-gen functionality.

While the PS5 is Sony’s returned to backwards compatibility (the PS4 did not have the feature while the PS3 did), rival Microsoft has confirmed that “thousands of games” from the Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One libraries will work on Series X at launch.


  • Not unexpected but considering Sony has working PS1 & PS2 emulators, would have been nice to enable access to that back catalogue.

    It sort of reinforces why I buy my games on Xbox.

    • Sony’s emulators have the same problems as everyone else’s.

      Don’t get me wrong, BC is really cool to have but it’s an expensive, time consuming and low demand venture unless you prepare in advance, even Microsoft had to cut theirs short.
      (Though kudos to them for sticking with it as long they did)

  • Personally, I think anyone who just automatically expects backwards compatibility beyond the previous generation of games is simply being unreasonable.

  • The xbox series x supports around 2% of XBOX games, and 25% of xbox 360 games.

    I mean… That’s not exactly amazing is it?

    And lets face it, those older systems have crap looking games, whereas the last generation have games that actually look good – just made for 1080p.

    • It’s better than nothing though.

      Think they generally prioritise the most popular games, about half my 360 collection is currently playable (not sure about xbox as had a ps2)

      Problem is I never play them haha! I thought it was a great feature and downloaded all the compatible games but I always pick newer prettier things to play!

  • I still find it odd that Microsoft chose to implement censorship with its BC in the 360 era regarding at least one title, since they weren’t running purely emulated. I’m curious whether thats the case with later ported titles as well (since most of my games aren’t in the 2% / 25% list mentioned above)

  • Just sell an emulator on your own store $20-30 AUD plays all previous generations. I’ve solved the problem of the costings of creating such software and generated more money for the platform.

    The reality is if you can play your old games, you buy less new games. And that is not good for profit.

    Gaming is just a monetary value placed on your fun.

    • If only it was that easy.
      I guarantee that the costs would quickly outweigh the profits from selling the emulators and the amount of games that weren’t running properly would pile up faster than anyone could keep up with.
      The things people always overestimate is the demand and how easy it is to do, the things they always underestimate is the manpower, time and limitations.

      Even Microsoft seems to have learnt their lesson.
      They went from the lofty goal of full backward compatibility, to a less ambitious goal of as much as possible and now seem to be changing to a demand based model decided by Xbox users themselves.

      One day somebody might create the prefect emulator but for now it is what it is.

    • They’ve been selling emulated PS2 games this generation as new “PS4 games”: you get better graphics plus trophies, but essentially the same game. Why sell the emulator on its own when they can use it to sell the games again?

    • Yeah, I still have my PS1, but haven’t used it since I got my PS2. I still have that PS2, but have only used it once when my PS3 broke down. And I still have my repaired PS3, but I haven’t used it since I got my PS4. If there weren’t continually so many great new games to play I might be tempted to back. I actually have gone back and replayed a handful of old games, but only after they’ve been given a modern facelift like the new Tony Hawk remaster.

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