PlayStation has an odd history when it comes to backwards compatibility. While the PlayStation 2 was backwards compatible with original PlayStation games, the PS3 started to lose some backwards compatibility for the two systems before being abandoned in the slimmer models. While the PS4 couldn’t play PS1 – PS3 games, the PS5 will somewhat rectify that mistake. In a recent blog post from Sony, the company details how the PS5 will play PS4 games.
As of now, most of the 4,000 available PS4 games will be made available to play on the PS5. Best of all, you can play PS4 games without downloading it to the PS5, as long as you have an external hard drive. With the PS5 only having over 800 gigs of memory, this is a great way to save space on the system.
Sony also mentioned some limitations in playing PS4 games. While none of these will affect gameplay and performance, some features, like the PS4 tournaments component, in-game live from PlayStation, and specific phone apps for PS4 games won’t work on the PS5.
Finally, If you have a PS4 game that is upgradable to PS5 (Watch Dogs: Legion, Spider-Man: Miles Morales), it’s going to be a little tricky, depending on if you have a physical or digital copy of the game.
If you have the disc of a PS4 game that’s upgradable, first, you’ll need to insert the disc in the PS5. You’ll then need to go to the game hub for the PS4 game, select the upgrade offer on the game hub, and pick download (or purchase with the discount price) to get it. For the digital copy, simply go to the PlayStation Store, go to that games hub, and click to download/purchase the upgrade.