It's official: The PS5 isn't compatible with your PS3, PS2, or PS1 games. We had already suspected as much due to some now-deleted messaging from Ubisoft, but now it's been confirmed by Sony's own president and CEO Jim Ryan.
Speaking to Famitsu (roughly Google translated) just after Wednesday's PS5 Showcase, Ryan said the 100 million PS4 players around the world "would like to play PS4 titles on PS5 as well," which is why Sony made sure to include support for PS4 games. But sadly, Ryan said that PS5 compatibility with PS3 and older Sony consoles "has not been achieved."
There isn't a whole lot of precedent in Sony's history to suggest they would've made the PS5 compatible with those older consoles, but Microsoft is pushing four generations of games on Xbox Series X, so fans were naturally curious to see whether Sony would follow suit.
Thankfully, it's been confirmed that PS Now will be a feature on the PS5, so subscribers will still be able to play PS2 and PS3 games on the new hardware, just without the satisfaction of seeing a 2020 machine register a 15+ year old disk. Then there's the benefit of the generous PS Plus Collection, which includes a laundry list of classic PS4 games and will be available to PS Plus subscribers when the PS5 launches November 12.