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PS5 backwards compatibility will support "overwhelmingly majority" of PS4 games

(Image credit: Sony)

PS5 backwards compatibility will be available for an "overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 games", PlayStation has confirmed in an updated post on their blog after the Road to PS5 livestream talk. 

The updated post from Hideaki Nishino clarified some of the messaging from Wednesday's livestream. He wrote on the blog, "We’re expecting backward compatible titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 so that they can benefit from higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions. We’re currently evaluating games on a title-by-title basis to spot any issues that need adjustment from the original software developers."

During the talk, PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny explained why some titles might not support backwards compatibility, as he said "Running PS4 and PS4 titles at boosted frequencies has also added complexity." 

"The boost is truly massive this time around and some game code can't handle it. Testing has to be done on a title-by-title basis. Results are excellent, though. 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."

"Once backwards compatibility is in the console, it's in," Cerny continued. "It's not as if a cost-down will remove backwards compatibility like it did on PlayStation 3."

Nishino's comments further clarify Sony's efforts to ensure that the majority of PS4 games are backwards compatible. He wrote, "We have already tested hundreds of titles and are preparing to test thousands more as we move toward launch. We will provide updates on backward compatibility, along with much more PS5 news, in the months ahead."

It's encouraging to see Sony lay out its plans for PS5 backwards compatibility early in the process, because the company's approach to the feature has been inconsistent up until now. It started well with PlayStation 2, which remains a standout for its ability to play almost every original PlayStation game and even use original PlayStation accessories such as controllers and memory cards.

Then things got weird with PlayStation 3. The launch version of the console had full backwards compatibility support for both original PlayStation and PS2 games, but later versions quietly dropped their support for PS2 while continuing to play original PlayStation titles. Then PS4 came along and restored a sense of consistency, at the very least, by having no built-in backwards compatibility whatsoever.

Then it got weird again when Sony started porting certain PS2 games onto PS4 with improved resolutions and framerates, and bringing unmodified versions of other games from across PlayStation history to the PlayStation Now streaming service. With PS5 backwards compatibility clearly laid out now, Sony's showing that this generation will take a much more considered approach to embracing PlayStation history.

For more, check out more upcoming PS4 games for 2020 and beyond, or watch our latest episode of Dialogue Options below. 

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!