We may be seeing PS5 backwards compatibility when the next generation of Sony console is released, according to an updated patent by Sony. The patent, which was updated on February 13, talks about backwards compatibility testing of software, which is nearly as close as we’ll get to an outright confirmation.
Backwards compatibility used to be something that Playstation consoles could do, with the Playstation 3 being backwards compatible when it came to Playstation 2 games. However, the Playstation 4, much like the Xbox One at first, could not play games via backwards compatibility.
While the Playstation 4 technically can play backwards compatible games, it can only do it through the Playstation Now service, where players must pay a monthly fee in order to stream games, rather than buying the games and owning them as they can with the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility system.
While that’s less of a problem nowadays with the large number of different well-reviewed games available on the Playstation 4, PS5 backwards compatibility is likely being put in as a way to get more players to buy the console, so that they can continue to play some of their favorite Playstation 4 games, not to mention games from previous generations that might also be included.
The Xbox One got backwards compatibility announced at E3 2014, and it was implemented a short time later. Since then, while the function isn’t widely used, it still gives many Xbox fans more games to choose from, especially if they never played those games before now or still have them and want to play them.
Whether or not we’ll actually be getting PS5 backwards compatibility remains to be seen, but hopefully Sony will at least put it in for nostalgia value, even if, according to Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe executive Jim Ryan, it wouldn’t be used much because the games don’t look as good as current ones do.