PS5 cross-generational play will ensure PS4 players won't get left behind, Sony confirms

Credit: Sony

Ever since we had the PS5 confirmed by Sony earlier this year, the company has been slowly drip-feeding new info about its next-gen console to keep potential day one buyers interested. So far, for instance, we know that the PS5 is backwards compatible, has an "appealing" price tag", and will feature some of the best graphics in the business

We've even had our first glimpse of the hardware's processing power with the recent PS5 gameplay reveal, but the latest comment from those in the know brings good news for anyone who plans to stick around with their PS4 for the foreseeable future. 

Speaking in an interview with CNET, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan explained the company's plans for the transition from the PS4 to the PS5 over the next few years, emphasising the need for it to feel as seamless as possible for the splintered user base. 

“Whether it’s backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross generational play, we’ll be able to transition that community to next-gen”, said Ryan. “It won’t be a binary choice about whether you have to be ether on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship.”

Cross generational play (i.e. the ability for PS4 and PS5 users to play multiplayer games online together) is something that Sony has touted before, and Ryan's comments seem to guarantee the feature as a sure-fire thing for its next-gen console. “The community has never been bigger and it’s never been more engaged”, he continued, explaining that “a lot of people we brought in, in 2013, are still with us. And the amount of time and money they invest in the platform is very humbling.”

Given Microsoft's recent history, it's also likely that cross-gen play for Xbox Project Scarlett, which could be unveiled at E3 2019 later this week, will similarly be an option for Xbox 360 players to join their next-gen brethren online, but we've yet to have similar confirmation from Phil Spencer or anyone else on that so far. Hopefully this weekend's Microsoft E3 2019 press conference will finally lift the lid on what Xbox has cooking for the future of gaming...

Find out what developers think about the future of gaming in the video below, or head over to our list of the biggest new games of 2019 on the way to see the titles worth keeping an eye on. 

Alex Avard

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!