Although the PS5 had lots of huge announcements during its tech-heavy live stream on Wednesday, one of the facts that left gamers scratching their heads were the console’s backwards compatibility capabilities. Compared to the Xbox Series X, which has promised a “multi-generational” approach to consoles, it all seemed rather vague.
During the presentation, lead system architect Mark Cerny took a deep dive into the specs of the PS5. Among them were the PS5’s backwards compatibility, which will be available for “most” PS4 titles. Cerny said “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.”
Some people were understandably confused by this. Why some, but not all? Which titles would be exceptions to the rule, and would this be the case as the PS5 gets updated over the course of its lifetime?
Xbox Series X fans, meanwhile, have no such complaints. As a shot across the PS5’s bows, Microsoft has responded to Sony’s big reveal by tweeting to a fan from the official Xbox account. Here’s what they had to say:
All games that are currently Backwards Compatible, yes. Plus all Xbox One games.March 19, 2020
So every game currently playable on the Xbox One (including Xbox 360 and backwards-compatible Xbox games) can also be played on the Series X. This makes perfect sense: as Microsoft will only release Xbox “family” titles rather than console exclusives for the next year, and Xbox One gamers will be able to receive a free next-gen upgrade to games like Cyberpunk 2077.
Microsoft is attempting to build an infrastructure of lifelong Xbox gamers, in an attempt to incentivise Xbox One owners to stick with the brand as they choose their next-gen console. It’s a stark difference to the lack of communication coming from the Sony camp.
However, there’s lots of cool stuff going on under the hood of the PS5. Cerny bigged up the next-gen ray tracing capabilities and incredible 3D audio that will become part of future PS5 games. We’ll know more for sure as the PS5 drops more information in future reveals.