As we all continue to discuss, Sony has been relatively quiet on the PS5 front, particularly when compared to the Xbox team. One of the details that is most sought after, is exactly how backwards compatibility with the excellent PS4 library will function. With a report from Eurogamer this morning, the picture certainly isn’t any more clear.
It seems as though developers on the PlayStation platform will be required to ensure their PS4 titles work on the PS5 as of July. New functionality was added to existing PS4 dev kits as of April and Sony is working with developers on the details. This applies to all titles that are submitted for certification after July 13th.
“If a game was originally submitted to Sony before 13th July 2020, any new patch or remaster after that date would not require PS5 compatibility, but it would be “strongly recommended”.
If a game was originally submitted to Sony after 13th July 2020, any future patch or remaster to that game would need to keep PS5 compatibility. Once a game is PS5 compatible, it must stay so.
It’s worth emphasizing that all of this applies to games submitted to Sony after 13th July, which is not the same as anything released after that date. Submissions are generally made well in advance of release to ensure Sony’s certification team can approve the game in time.”
What’s most notable here, is the onus that is seemingly being placed on developers. Unlike the Xbox team which have clearly stated no developer work is needed for the entire Xbox One (and BC 360 and OG Xbox) titles to work on the Series X, it seems developers will need to be involved at some level for PS5 backwards compatibility.
“PlayStation is also working to ensure PS4 games run on PS5, though it previously said it would pass “issues which need adjustment” to developers to handle.”
While none of this is hugely surprising, it does seem to be a slightly more complicated approach than Xbox has taken moving into next-generation. It seems that every time we think we’re clear on nearly all PS4 titles working on the PS5 without issue, there’s some sort of caveat that we learn of. At this point, we’d really like Sony to clearly state the details of what will and won’t work at launch on the PS5.