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We already know one of the PlayStation 5’s most important new features

Published Oct 30th, 2019 11:44AM EDT

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The next-gen Sony and Microsoft gaming consoles are one year away from release, but there’s already plenty of talk about the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett. Sony just confirmed the official name of the product and announced several innovations for the new controller, while Microsoft is ready to offer customers an easy upgrade path from the Xbox One X to Project Scarlett if they act fast. Both devices will provide the same kind of hardware and performance, with AMD creating the custom processors and graphics cards these next-gen consoles require. And both of them will likely sell for the same price, as the two companies will fight fiercely for new customers.

Backward compatibility may prove to be a key feature for both consoles, and one developer says it’s the kind of feature that should boost the adoption of the PlayStation 5. Of course, the same probably goes for the next-gen Xbox, but the PS4’s massive success could give Sony the edge.

Sony said the PS5 will be fully backward compatible with PS4 games back in April, and that’s certainly the kind of feature that many gamers want. Upgrading the hardware without being able to enjoy the same games is very annoying, and Sony probably wanted to alleviate such concerns well ahead of the PS5’s launch. But a couple of weeks ago, Sony seemed to slightly back-pedal on the matter during an interview, when it said that its dev team is working on securing complete backward compatibility for the PS5.

Koei Tecmo’s Kazuhiro Echigoya, the producer of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms 14, told GamingBolt that the feature should help with PS5 sales:

I don’t think it [backward compatibility] will have much of an impact in growing or expanding our past titles. I think the biggest point for players is being able to carry over the content, or assets, that they currently own. Since there is low risk when shifting to this new hardware, I imagine that the PS5 will be adopted quickly.

Game developers creating new titles for the PS4 and PS5 certainly have more knowledge about the upcoming Sony console as well as access to that dev kit that kept leaking. But they’re obviously not in a position where they can confirm actual features of the PlayStation 5 before Sony announces them. Echigoya seems to be confident that Sony will have backward compatibility ready for the PS5 though, which is good news.

Comparatively, Xbox Scarlett will be backward compatible with three Xbox generations, which means Xbox One, Xbox 360, and first-gen Xbox titles should be available on Microsoft’s next console.

Three Kingdoms 14 launches on February 28th, 2020 on the PS4, at which point we might know everything there is to know about the PlayStation 5, including backward compatibility support. Sony is rumored to be planning to unveil the new PS5 console during a media event earlier that month.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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