PS5 backwards compatibility explained: Availability, saves, peripherals & more

PS5 backwards compatibility was finally detailed by Sony overnight, with the publisher detailing how PS4 access, enhancements and game saves will work on its next-gen console.

Availability of PS4 backwards compatibility on PS5

First, Sony reiterated that “more than 99% of PS4 [and PlayStation VR] games will be playable on PS5 on day one.”

Those with a PS5 equipped with a Blu-ray disc drive will be able to play PS4 titles of either digital or physical nature, while those on the PS5 Digital Edition will only be able to play digital PS4 titles. If you’ve got a disc-based console, owned PS4 discs can be inserted into your disc tray, while digital PS4 games can be downloaded or purchased via the PlayStation Store.

While Sony didn’t detail any plans that would enable PS5 Digital owners with disc-based games to trade those in for digital versions, Sony also confirmed that “Remote Play from PS4 to PS5 and PS Now streaming are supported,” so you could theoretically play a disc-based PS4 game using your PS4 as streamed to your PS5.

Additionally, PlayStation Now PS4 games will run on PS5 provided you’ve a subscription to the streaming/download service.

Which PS4 games won’t work with PS5 backwards compatibility?

Sony’s PS5 backwards compatibility FAQ page currently lists the following titles as PS4 only, or confirmed to not work with PS5 back compat:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe’s Diner
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Trilogy Pack
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles India
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles China
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Russia
  • Risk
  • Star Trek Bridge Crew
  • Werewolves Within
  • Space Junkies

Update: We’ve added titles to the above list after advice from Ubisoft.

Will PS4 games be enhanced through PS5 backwards compatibility?

Sony again asserted that “PS4 titles get even better on PS5” by offering increased loading speeds and “imporoved or more stable frame rates” through Game Boost.

Moreover, “some titles with unlocked frame rates or dynamic resolution up to 4K may see higher fidelity.”

Do PS4 game saves work with PS5 backwards compatibility

Yes! The only catch there is that you’ll need to transfer them between console generations. To do this, Sony has confirmed you can use “LAN cables, or by connecting wirelessly (WiFi).

“If you’ve already stored PS4 games and game data in the external USB storage device connected to your PS4, you can bring them over to PS5 with that external USB storage device. And if you are a PS Plus member, you can also sync PS4 game saves on PS5 through cloud storage.”

Related: How to copy PS4 game saves to cloud or USB storage

Sony also confirmed that cross-generation titles like Spider-Man Miles Morales and Sackboy A Big Adventure will also support game save transfers. Information on that will come at a later time (and technically, that’s not backwards compatibility anyway…).

Spider-Man Miles Morales

12 Nov 2020 (PS4 PS5)

Sackboy A Big Adventure

12 Nov 2020 (PS4 PS5)

What peripherals can be used with PS5 backwards compatibility

The PS5’s DualSense controller will obviously work with PS4 games, but users can also opt to use original DualShock 4 controllers (or licensed third-party equivalents) when playing PS4 games. Licensed peripherals like PS4 racing wheels and the like will also work, as will the PlayStation VR’s Move and Aim controllers.

As detailed previously, the PS VR Camera will work on PS5, but will need a PS Camera adaptor. The adaptor will be provided free to customers.

Finally, Sony again reiterated that DualShock 4 and other PS4 peripherals will not work with PS5 games.

The PS5 heads to store shelves on 12 November.

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.