PS5 games won't be playable on PS4, SIE boss confirms: "We believe in generations"

(Image credit: Sony PlayStation)

PlayStation has no plans to make its big upcoming PS5 games also playable on PS4, according to a new interview with the division's president.

Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan explained some of the company's plans for its next generation in an interview with While Sony may have tipped its hand about the specifics of PS5 backwards compatibility recently, the company has never said anything about going the other way around.

"We have always said that we believe in generations," Ryan said. "We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.

"We do believe in generations, and whether it's the DualSense controller, whether it's the 3D audio, whether it's the multiple ways that the SSD can be used... we are thinking that it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5."

This point would have likely gone unspoken in earlier console generations, but Microsoft has emphasized that all of its first-party upcoming Xbox Series X games will also be playable on Xbox One (at least for the foreseeable future). Though PlayStation will not do the same, that does not mean Sony plans to leave PS4 owners out in the cold as soon as PS5 arrives.

"We have always felt that we had a responsibility to serve that [PS4] community for several years after the launch of PS5 and that it represented a huge business opportunity for us," Ryan said. "The numbers are quite straightforward. If you say in broad brush figures that we have a community of 100 million PS4 owners right now, and in the first couple of years... I don't know, somewhere between 15 and 25 million might migrate to PS5, that still leaves a huge number of people with PS4s."

Stay tuned next week for the PlayStation Future of Gaming event.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.