For the current PlayStation 4 lineup of games, the PlayStation 5 provides backward compatibility, meaning you will be able to play almost any PS4 game you already own on the new console. Some games, including Cyberpunk 2077 or Spider-Man: Miles Morales, will also offer the option to upgrade to a proper PS5-optimized next-gen title.
How to get started?
Via backward compatibility, the PS5 will be able to play almost any PS4 game available. Sony also promises that certain games will actually be able to take advantage of the increased power on the new console to have quicker or smoother frame rates with a “Game Boost.” That said, Sony also cautions that some features from PS4 titles might not be available, and when playing backward compatible titles on the PS5, there may be “errors or unexpected actions.”
Sony states that, with the exception of the following games, the vast majority of the PS4’s 4,000-plus game library will work on the PS5 via backward compatibility:
- 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
- Joe’s Diner
According to Sony, while PS4 games will run on the PS5 with the DualSense controller, it suggests using a DualShock 4 to play PS4 games for the “best experience.” (However, players will not be able to use DualShock 4 for PS5 games in particular.) Other PS4 accessories will also work with the PS5, including the PlayStation VR headset and specialty racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks.
Upgrades on The PS5
Some PS4 games are going to go a step further. Some games will provide updates to a full-fledged next-gen PS5 edition instead of only providing the option to play the latest PS4 edition as it already exists.
Sony states that it would be up to developers to determine where the update is free, whether an extra purchase is necessary, or if it is only available for a limited period of time. Some games have promised that players will be able to get a free update to a proper next-gen version once it’s available, such as Cyberpunk 2077. Other games can offer free updates, but only for a limited period, like EA’s Madden 21 or FIFA 21. Sony is also encouraging developers to charge for next-gen updates, with the option of providing a discount to players who already own the latest PS4 version.
Whatever the case is for your particular game, the update process is the same, though.
Upgrade a PS4 digital game to its PS5 version (PlayStation 5 and Digital Edition of PlayStation 5)
You’re going to have to make sure you’re signed in to whatever account you own the title on to update a digitally owned PS4 game. Next, on the PlayStation Store, you will need to find the corresponding PS5 edition of that title, where it will have an offer to upgrade from your current PS4 edition to the latest PS5 version. (Again, depending on what the developers decide, the offer could be free or paid.)
Then, just download the latest PS5 version (or buy and download) just as you would any other game.
Update a PS4 game based on a disc to a PS5 version (only PlayStation 5)
It is a little more difficult, however, to upgrade a physical PS4 disc to its PS5 version. You will have a new option on the game hub in the PS5 main menu to upgrade to the PS5 edition once you have placed the disc on your PS5. You will be able to either download the latest PS5 version (or pay to update and then download, if the game needs it), like the digital alternative.
However, there’s a potential downside here: while you’re going to have to keep uploading the latest PS5 version of the game to your hard drive to play it, it’s only going to work when the PS4 disc is already on your console.
According to Sony, the conversion of saved data from a PS4 version to a PS5 version will depend on the developer. It promises more information about how that process will work (including Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Major Adventure for its own first-party titles) closer to launch.