Feature Article

Sony Needs To Fix PlayStation 5 Games Defaulting To PS4 Versions

One of the more annoying user interface quirks with the PS5 is how it keeps trying to trick me into playing PS4 games.

The backwards compatibility capabilities of the PlayStation 5 is pretty impressive. Fire up the console, sign in to your PlayStation Network account, and navigate to the Library screen, and you can see, download, and play nearly every single PS4 game you own in a digital format. It's kind of amazing being able to access an entire generation worth of games on a brand new machine without any difficulty. But while backwards compatibility at a moment's notice is nice, the user interface gets more confusing when you're trying to download a game that's available with both a PS4 and a PS5 version--and it's actually pretty annoying.

If you've got a game like Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales that's available on both consoles, you can choose which version you want to download. For some reason, though, the PS5 consistently defaults to downloading PS4 versions of cross-generation games when they appear in your library. It's something that seems likely to get a patch, because there's a very good chance that if you're not careful, you might end up playing the last-gen version of some of the biggest next-gen games on the console right now.

Highlight a cross-gen game in the Library tab and you'll almost always see the PS4 version, and not the PS5 version, at first glance--although this fact is not made clear at all. You have to hit the button with the three dots that appears when you select a game in order to pull up a menu where you can choose between and download each version. But it's not at all obvious that this is where you need to go to look for that information, and you can't tell which version you have selected until you open that menu. A lot of times, if you just hit "Download" on a game, you'll learn only later that you installed the wrong version--and then you have to delete it and start the correct download all over again.

The interface has issues even after you download games, though. On the PS5's home screen, you'll see the last few games and apps you interacted with spread across the screen. Repeatedly during pre-release testing, we had PS5 games that we'd already played switch over to PS4 versions on the home screen. That means that, the next time you go to select a game that has switched over, you're prompted to start a download of the PS4 version rather than just start playing the PS5 version. It seems like this issue might be tied to the games getting automatic updates, but again, if you're moving quickly through the UI, you can start a download accidentally that you then have to deal with deleting. If you have both versions of a game installed, it's very easy to start the wrong one and not realize it.

It's possible to switch between versions of a cross-gen game with the Options button from the home screen menu, but frankly, it's a weird pain to expect to launch a game and accidentally start a download. It's also just a strange quirk that the PS5 seems to favor last-gen versions of games over the current ones. And it's possible to see how accidentally downloading the wrong versions of games could be troublesome to people who have data caps on their internet service or are hurting for space on the PS5's internal solid-state hard drive, where PS5 games must be installed in order to run.

So PSA: Double-check your PS5 games before you start that download and make sure you're getting the right version. It's completely possible to download and fire up the wrong version of a game on Sony's new console and miss out on all the benefits of its increased power. And hopefully sometime in the future, this will be something PS5 owners won't have to double-check every time they go to download or play a game.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
00:00:00
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X Load Times Comparison

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

philhornshaw

Phil Hornshaw

GameSpot editor in Los Angeles, and the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero’s Guide to Glory. Hoped the latter would help me get Han Solo hair, but so far, unsuccessful.

Back To Top
21 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for nintendians
nintendians

3176

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 139

User Lists: 0

should be default to ps5, since you got a ps5 and want to see better graphics and not a sharper picture of a ps4 version on the ps5.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for systemoverload
SystemOverload

1099

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

PS4 game saves?

Could be worse, automatic download.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for walbo
walbo

600

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Another day another "we will fix it with a future update" from sony lol.

2 • 
Avatar image for mikeyrenz
MikeyRenz

3

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

I plan on enjoying a PS5 slim with these problems all ironed out in about 2-3 years time. Until then I'll stick with my PS4 game backlog and my Switch.

No need to rush in, I haven't bought a first wave console since the release of the GameCube 20 years ago and Im not about to start now

3 • 
Avatar image for atherworld
atherworld

301

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This seems like a problem that should have been noted and fixed before release. Not shrug your shoulders and assume everybody's fine with it.

3 • 
Avatar image for WeskerTeam
WeskerTeam

1818

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

oof

Upvote • 
Avatar image for johnny0779
johnny0779

875

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited By johnny0779

Meanwhile Xbox Smart Delivery keeps making a very valid point in situations like these...

Ha ha ha

2 • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

14775

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 27

User Lists: 0

@johnny0779: So terrified...so scared...it's okay, buddy. When the Xbox gets crushed in sales, it won't impact your life. I promise!

3 • 
Avatar image for gamerbum
GamerBum

1161

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By GamerBum

Xbox Smart Delivery says hello. Lol.

Seriously though ps5 seems really rushed. It’s quite alarming the amount of features it has missing when you look at everything the XseX is doing.

I’m glad I didn’t go for a day one ps5.

ps5slim/pro it is for me.

9 • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

14775

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 27

User Lists: 0

@gamerbum: "Smart delivery" is the same technology with a different name.

And let's not pretend MS doesn't put out broken and buggy software.

7 • 
Avatar image for systemoverload
SystemOverload

1099

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@Barighm: not really the same when game saves are cross generation.

2 • 
Avatar image for johnny0779
johnny0779

875

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited By johnny0779

@gamerbum: the ps5 bring a rushed product is an understatement...look at everything it does have:

No way to transfer PS5 games to USB media (external HDDs/Flash drives)

No way to transfer saves files to USB media (external HDDs/ flash drives)

No Expandable Storage

No 1140p support for monitor just 1080p

No 3D audio on TVs where it actually matters

No VRR (Virtual Refresh Rate) functionality.

No ALLM (Automatic Low Latency Mode)

No options for 8K functionality despite the advertisement.

No legacy Backwards Compatibility

No Automatic game enhancements

No quicker way to load Backwards Compatible games like Series X does.

No Quick Resume

No Smart Delivery

No Day 1 game releases on PSNow

I UNDERSTAND EVERYONE WANTS TO BURY THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND, BUT LET'S NOT PRETEND THE PS5 IS NOT A COMPLETE RUSHED JOB.

8 • 
Avatar image for lonesamurai00
lonesamurai00

1106

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

Edited By lonesamurai00

@johnny0779: I'm no console gamer, but I was just wondering what can the Xbox allow you to do in 8K.... exactly.

3 • 
Avatar image for gamerbum
GamerBum

1161

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@johnny0779:

I tend to agree. Look everything you said here is true. FACT. There’s no denying it. XseX is league’s ahead on the features features front.

Upvote • 
Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

14775

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 27

User Lists: 0

Edited By Barighm

@johnny0779: The daily troll, lying as usual and throwing out buzzwords it thinks it understands but has demonstrated on countless occasions that it does not. Once again spotted in a non-Xbox thread.

3 • 
Avatar image for Shinnok789
Shinnok789

153

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By Shinnok789

Thanks for the useful tip, good to know.

There were always bugs at a console's launch, but so far nothing blocking for PS5... no RROD's (or RLOD's since it has blue lines). There's an issue with the "Rebuilding Database" error, and some instances where the console won't repair it so you'll end up in service. For now this severe example is extremely rare.

6 more days until launch for me, and since the issues are software, I hope Sony will patch them by then.

Sometimes it's good to have the launch delayed in your corner of Earth... the rest of the world gets to "quality check" the consoles for you :)

3 • 
Avatar image for Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

4477

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Seems strange that they'd let you download the PS4 version when there's already one optimized for the PS5 available in the first place. Similar to how they only let you download any game with the latest patch already applied. Is there ever a reason to download a PS4 version of a game on the PS5 instead of one that's already been optimized for it?

4 • 
Avatar image for CyberEarth
CyberEarth

1331

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 0

@Atzenkiller: if you have a previous save in the PS4 version, you might wish to continue that game. Some games will allow cross gen save compatibility, some do not. It's up to the developer.

3 • 
Avatar image for rswsc0407
rswsc0407

49

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@Atzenkiller: I'm guessing its setup like that, cause the Ps4 versions are smaller in HDD size.

Upvote •