Sony Says Backwards Compatibility "Incredibly Important" For PS5

The company suggests that crossplay between current- and next-gen systems could be a possibility.

While Sony hasn't officially named its next-gen PlayStation the PlayStation 5, the company has released a few new tidbits about the company's hopes for backwards compatibility. 

From the looks of things, it seems that PS4 players and PS5 players might be able to play with each other when the system launches. 

Last month, we reported (via Wired) on the first official details regarding Sony's next-gen gaming system. Aside from confirming the system's architecture and that it would support PlayStation VR, Sony also confirmed that it would support backwards compatibility

At its recent Sony Investor Relations Day 2019, company representatives provided new context to that revelation. Specifically, Deputy President of Sony Interactive Entertainment John Kodera and President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan suggested that cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and Sony's next-gen console would be possible. 

Of Sony's increased emphasis on a seamless generation transition, Ryan said: 

“Backwards compatibility in a networked era is something that’s incredibly powerful. 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 that they have on their next-generation console [with] groups of 10, 20, 50 gamers.

We see this, given the size of the community that we’ve been able to accumulate over all these years on PS4, as a really critical success factor for us; we think it’s really important.

Kodera followed by emphasizing the importance of bringing the PlayStation community together and bridging the gap between console generations. 

Having compatibility is a positive thing. Not only can a game be played on the next-generation console, cross-generation – the community can enjoy the games together... bridging that compatibility has a very important role to play.

It's worth noting that neither of these statements completely confirms crossplay functionality will make it into the final next-gen product. It simply confirms its importance to Sony, and that the company is exploring it as a possibility at this time. 

However, let's throw on our tinfoil hats and say the probability of this happening is significantly high. 

Editor in Chief

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Published May. 22nd 2019

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