Legacy support is lacking outside of PS4 games
[Update: Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has confirmed that PS5 won’t natively support PS3, PS2, or PS1 games through backward compatibility. We’ll see about digital re-releases, though.]
Don’t pack up your original PlayStation 3 just yet if you’re invested in PS3 games or backward compatibility with PS1 and PS2. If anything, superglue that sucker in place – it’s not going anywhere.
While Sony hasn’t divulged the full details on how extensive backward compatibility will be on PlayStation 5, reading the room, it’s looking like support for the “overwhelming majority” of PS4 games is our best bet on the new console and everything else – PS1, PS2, and PS3 – is wishful thinking.
While this isn’t the be-all and end-all on the subject (and it sure would be nice to have clarity from Sony), according to a Ubisoft support page, backward compatibility “will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games.”
[Update: After widespread circulation, Ubisoft removed that sentence from the support page.]
The meaning behind that wording could be interpreted in a few different ways, so for comparison’s sake, it’s worth looking at the equivalent support page for Xbox Series X. As Ubisoft puts it, backward compatibility “will be available for supported Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox titles” on Xbox Series X.
It’s a stark contrast. I get that BC support isn’t a priority for Sony and many players, but for those of us who do care about it – enough to dig up a Ubisoft support page for details – it’s such a big deal.
Mentally, I’m at the point where I just hope all of my PS4 games work on PS5. The bar is that low.