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What Is The Deal With PlayStation 5 Backwards Compatibility?

It’s been a little while now since Sony announced the PlayStation 5. Since then we’ve all had a couple of opportunities to pre-order one, which Sony has completely messed up both times. However, now the company has finally gotten their act together, and talked about backwards compatibility on thier next-gen console.

Sony says that the overwhelming majority of the more than 4,000 PlayStation 4 games out there will be backwards compatible with PlayStation 5. If you have the version with a disc drive, you can insert the game disc and get into it from there. If you have the digital only console though, you’ll only be able to downloand PlayStation 4 games, with no option to upgrade your physical versions.

When you upgrade a PlayStation 4 game, some features won’r work. This is pretty understandable, because it’s an entirely new console and ecosystem. Of course all the PlaySttion 4 focused features aren’t going to work. However, the PlaySstation 5 will upgrade those PlayStation 4 games in certain aspects. For example, new filters and improved visuals are on offer, as well as certain DualSense feaures. There isn’t much though. For the most part it’s just about still being able to play your PlayStation 4 games in one place.

If you’re thinking that there’s one glaringly obvious issue with this upgrade service, you’re right. You can’t upgrade the PlayStation 4 version of a game from a disc to a digital version. In a sense, if you want to play your PlayStation 4 game disc on a PlayStation 5 digital edition, you need to buy the game again on the PlayStation Store. Sure, you can still log into your account and take the progress from multiplayer games with you, but there’s no way to play that physical version of Horizon: Zero Dawn on your digital only PlayStation 5.

As someone with a lot of physical games, I find this annoying, but it’s also the bed I’ve made for myself. Yes, I love physical versions of games. I do however want a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition because it’s far better for the environment. This is a choice that many others will have been forced into simply because they weren’t able to make the pre-order for a standard edition. There’s no way around it, it sucks, but ultimately we’ll all just have to deal with it. At least the PlayStation 4 games we own digitally will still work.