• Despite offering some level of backward compatibility, the coming Sony PlayStation 5 likely won't be doing so for PS, PS2, or PS3 titles
  • This is the indication given on an FAQ page from French developer Ubisoft
  • Although Sony never promised full backward compatibility covering older PlayStation consoles, a July report for a Sony patent filing was hopeful that it would do so

For gamers dreaming of playing their classic PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 games on the upcoming, PlayStation 5, you are in for a disappointment. Although Sony’s next-gen PS5 will feature some level of backward compatibility, it will not be covering the full 25 years of life of the Sony PlayStation systems.

A support FAQ on developer Ubisoft’s website asks, “How does upgrading from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 work?” The answer given is: “PlayStation 4 players will be able to join multiplayer games with PlayStation 5 players.” This clearly indicates that previous generations of PlayStation are not covered.

To be fair, Polygon notes that Sony never promised full backward compatibility for either the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation 3 for the PlayStation 5. However, reports from July speculated about the possibility of wide-ranging backward compatibility on the PS5, playable from a cloud-based game library.

Those reports, however, were based on patent filings made in Japan as Twitter user @Renka_schedule translated a Sony patent that translates to “A large number of game titles across PS1/PS2/PS3 and various generations of game consoles can be stored and used via the cloud gaming library."

"These games can be run on a virtual machine that mimics the operating system associated with each game console" the Tweet continued. In the end, however, it looks like Sony was just looking into the technology, nothing more.

Amid confusion about Sony’s plans, Sony senior VP of platform planning and management Hideaki Nishino said in March that the PlayStation 5 will support “the overwhelming majority” of the more than 4,000 PS4 titles released to date.

Meanwhile, some game developers have already pledged to support PS4 versions of their games on PS5, including CD Projekt Red’s “Cyberpunk 2077” and Treyarch/Raven Software’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.”

It is worth noting though that the support FAQ entry on Ubisoft’s website is different depending on which region you are viewing.

The Australian version of the support page notes that “Backwards compatibility will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games.” The U.S. equivalent does not mention those platforms at all.