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PS5 isn’t backward compatible with PS3, PS2, or PS1, says Ubisoft

Published Aug 31st, 2020 2:39PM EDT
PS5 backward compatible
Image: Sony

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  • PS5 will not be backward compatible with PS3, PS2, or PS1 games, according to a new support document on Ubisoft’s website.
  • Sony has yet to officially confirm or deny that PS3, PS2, or PS1 games will be playable on PS5, but this is the most convincing evidence yet that they won’t be.
  • Sony says that “the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5,” but it’s unclear how many will be playable on PS5 at launch.

Sony has spent the past seven years crushing Microsoft in the video game market. Not only has the PS4 outsold the Xbox One throughout the generation, but Sony’s selection of first-party exclusives trounced Microsoft’s at every turn. With all of that in mind, the PS5 outselling the Xbox Series X might seem like a foregone conclusion, but Microsoft does have one trump card Sony doesn’t seem to be able to match: Backward compatibility.

All year, Microsoft has been hyping up the fact that thousands of games will be playable on the Xbox Series X from day one, stretching all the way back to the original Xbox era. Meanwhile, Sony hasn’t been nearly as forthright about its plans for classic games being playable on PS5, but according to a newly added support page on Ubisoft’s website about transitioning to next-gen consoles, PS3, PS2, and PS1 backward compatibility is not in the cards.

“Backwards compatibility will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games,” the support page reveals, perhaps unintentionally.

Sony has been suspiciously quiet about how or if games that came out before 2013 will be playable on the PS5, but this support article definitely makes it sounds like there will not be any way to play PS3, PS2, or PS1 games that you currently own on the new console. If this turns out to be true, it could give Microsoft a huge leg up.

Sony first confirmed PS4 games would be playable on PS5 in an interview with Wired over a year ago. Since then, the only other information that the company has shared about backward compatibility on PS5 was during a deep dive presentation in March, in which system architect Mark Cerny announced that “almost all” of the 100 most played PS4 games will be playable on the PS5 at launch. The company eventually added that “the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5,” but didn’t offer a time frame for when that might be the case.

It’s worth noting that the PS4 wasn’t backward compatible with the PS3, PS2, or PS1 either, but that a sizable selection of those classic games are available on the platform through the PS Now subscription service. Presumably, this service will carry over to the PS5 in some form or fashion, but this is yet another one of the countless things we don’t know about the PS5, which is probably less than three months from hitting store shelves.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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