×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason PS5 Fans Are Panicking

We already know backward compatibility is a shoe-in for the next-generation consoles. If you upgrade to a PlayStation 5, you'll be able to play PS4 games. If you go with the Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and O.G. Xbox titles will be supported.

But how far will that compatibility go, exactly? On the PlayStation 5 side of things, that's becoming less and less clear. Information shared and then later removed by PlayStation Iceland isn't helping matters, either.

According to some very observant folks on Reddit, an update to the official PS5 website in Iceland removed a key line of text previously found on the site. That line promised players could "Play a back catalog of supported PS4 games with system update." It's the "system update" part that's throwing everyone for a loop at the moment. Right now, no one knows what that means or why it was removed.

Of course, that hasn't stopped some people from speculating.

Some believe that particular line was inaccurate, and was removed to prevent things from looking worse than they actually are. That would be entirely understandable. Sony is trying to build up hype for its next-gen machine, and every single piece of messaging needs to be on point. If something can be interpreted in a negative way — even if it may not actually be a negative — it has to go.

Others, however, believe Sony wanted the mention of a "system update" removed to hide the possibility that many PS4 games won't be supported when the PS5 launches. This would be less than ideal. Sony is already on the record as having criticized backward compatibility in the past. If the PS5 arrives with subpar backward compatibility, some could draw the conclusion that Sony isn't taking it very seriously.

Bad news on the PS5 backward compatibility front would especially hurt given Microsoft's recent efforts in the space. Just yesterday, Microsoft dropped a lot of good news about how older games will be supported on the Xbox Series X.

In a blog post put up on the Xbox website, Microsoft confirmed that the Series X will launch with support for "thousands" of legacy titles. Those will include games released on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox. Microsoft made a lot of progress bringing older games to the Xbox One, sometimes adding support for higher resolutions in games like Red Dead Redemption and Gears of War 2. Microsoft plans to support all of those titles, and add some new ones, too.

Not only that, engineers at Microsoft have apparently figured out a way to boost frame rates in some games, and even add HDR to titles that didn't initially support it. We've yet to see that technology in action, but if Microsoft can somehow go back and make a game like Grand Theft Auto 5 run at 60 frames-per-second on the Xbox Series X, you could see a lot of gamers flock to the company's new console.

Microsoft already has a head start in this department, and the Xbox Series X was built so it could run Xbox One games natively. Sony, meanwhile, brushed off backward compatibility until it couldn't anymore. Now the company looks like it's playing catch up. You can undoubtedly see why some PlayStation fans are panicking at the moment.

But whether you're a devotee of one particular platform or you own them all, it's tough to say the upcoming next-gen competition will be anything but competitive. Sony knocked it out of the park with the PS4, and now hopes to continue that success with the PS5. Microsoft got its clock cleaned with the Xbox One, and is now hungrier than ever.

As far as the PlayStation 5 goes, though, there's still no word on when we might actually see the console. A potential reveal event is rumored for next week, but that has yet to be confirmed. And we still don't know anything about the cost of Sony's new machine.

If an event does happen in the days ahead, we hope Sony will clear the air on backward compatibility and what players can expect at launch. If we're really lucky, perhaps we'll get to see some of that backward compatibility in action. The PlayStation 4 generation has been chock full of amazing titles. It would be a shame if some of them weren't playable on the PS5.

We'll be on the lookout for more news about the PS5 and its support for older games. As soon as we have updated information on the topic, we'll fill you in.