PS5 Cross-Gen Multiplayer And Backwards Compatibility Teased
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan calls backwards compatibility "incredibly powerful and important."
Update: Sony has confirmed the existence of the PlayStation 5, and the next-gen console is currently scheduled to release during the holiday season in 2020. Our original story follows.
News of the next PlayStation console gets more enticing the more we hear about it. This time, in talking about backward compatibility--a key feature absent from the PS4--Sony says it's looking to bridge the gap between the PS4 and the PS5. That could possibly mean that owners of each system are able to play certain PlayStation 4 titles online together through cross-play that spans console generations.
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As part of a recent investors meeting (where the PS5's impressive load times were showcased), Sony discussed both backwards compatibility and the prospect of PS4 and PS5 players being able to play certain games together. "Backwards compatibility, in a networked era, becomes something that is incredibly powerful," newly appointed Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and president Jim Ryan said (via GamesRadar). "Because the gaming community is somewhat tribal in its nature, backwards compatibility gives us the opportunity to migrate that community from PlayStation 4 to next-gen using the ability to play the PS4 games they have on their next-generation console. We think it's incredibly important."
As for cross-platform multiplayer between the two consoles, SIE deputy president John Kodera noted: "Cross-generation the community can enjoy the games together." Given the vagueness of the quote, it remains to be seen exactly how this will function.
Sony wants you to buy a PS5, sure, but the company seems to be taking steps to ensure the PS5 isn't just another PlayStation console. Instead, Sony's assuring that at least some of your PS4 games will play without a hitch and that you'll be able to play with your friends who have yet to upgrade, all while supplying faster load times.
There have been numerous rumors circulating since Sony first unveiled details about the PS5. There's no word on a release date, but if former SIE boss John Kodera's "three years away" quote from 2018 is to be believed, we may not see the next-gen PlayStation console until 2021. As of right now, though, we do know the PS5 will use solid-state drives and will support PSVR. As far as price goes, Sony's lead architect Mark Cerny told Wired writer Peter Rubin that the PS5 will have an "appealing" price point: "I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set."