Backward compatibility is “incredibly powerful” for bringing players to next-gen.
Sony suggested it’s exploring PlayStation 5 cross-gen play with PlayStation 4 thanks to backward compatibility in its next-generation console.
During a Sony Investor Relations Day 2019 Q&A session, PlayStation heads indicated PS5 could include cross-gen play with PS4 players through the PS5’s backward compatibility features, suggesting people playing PS4 games on their PS5 would still be able to play online with others who are using a PS4, or potentially even play cross-gen titles across these systems.
Deputy president of Sony Interactive Entertainment John Kodera said through a translator, “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.”
Prior to this quote, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan commented on PS5’s backward compatibility, saying “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.”
Prior to this Q&A, a video of Sony’s next-gen console performance was demonstrated, showing its loading times in comparison to the PS4’s. This video spurred a lot of fan questions about the PS5, including price, its utilization of an SSD, and more.
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Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.