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PS5 Backwards Compatibility: No Support For PS3, PS2, Or PS1 Games, Says Ubisoft

Although rumors suggested a plan similar to Xbox, it seems the PS5 will only be backwards compatible with some PS4 titles.


The latest chapter of the backwards compatibility saga for PlayStation is unfolding. Sony has been somewhat coy about details regarding the PlayStation 5's backwards compatibility support, and specifically whether it will be able to play games from generations prior to the PlayStation 4. We know that many PS4 titles will work on the new console, you be able to play PS3, PS2, and original PlayStation titles on a PS5? According to Ubisoft, those systems' games are not supported on the next-gen console--although whether or not this is true remains to be seen. If so, it would follow the approach Sony took with the PS4--and far different than how it initially approached the PS3 generation.

A Ubisoft support page explains how its titles will transition from PS4 to PS5, as each publisher seems to be taking a different approach to cross-gen upgrades. The post mentions that PS4 players will be able to play games with PS5 players online, which aligns with Ubisoft's commitment thus far to offer free next-generation upgrades for titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion.

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Near the end though, the page adds this note: "Backwards compatibility will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games." [Update: Ubisoft's support page has now been amended to remove this reference to older PlayStation hardware. As of yet, Sony has still not commented, so it's unclear if the company simply didn't want this information out there yet or if it's inaccurate. We'll report back if or when we learn more.]

This could mean that backwards compatibility beyond the PS4 isn't part of Sony's plan for its new console, or that Ubisoft isn't able to say otherwise just yet. With the limited time until launch and the vague messaging around which PS4 titles will be playable on PS5 at launch still, it's likely to be the former. GameSpot has reached out to Sony for clarification.

This shouldn't be looked at as confirmation of anything, one way or the other. But given that Sony has not said that the system will work with the PS3 or prior consoles, it's very possible that Ubisoft has accidentally revealed something here.

As a comparison, Microsoft has already confirmed that the Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with the majority of Xbox One games, as well as all the Xbox 360 and original Xbox games that are already compatible with their current-generation consoles. More games are expected to be added to the backwards compatibility list once the Series X launches. Microsoft has paused the addition of new backwards compatible games on Xbox One in the meantime. The progam was not available when the Xbox One initially released. Certain big titles, such as the original Nier, were never added to the program. However, a remastered version of that game is on the way.

The PS5 is launching this holiday season, with both a regular and all-digital version. Right now Sony still needs to confirm its launch lineup, exact release date, and price, but has launched a program where you can apply to be one of the first to pre-order a PS5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is also currently set to launch this holiday season, while Insomniac's other PS5 title, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, is said to be coming in the PS5's "launch window." Sony also continues to share other teases, including testimonials from developers regarding what the PS5's SSD and 3D audio tech will allow for.

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