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PS5 fans just got terrible news about old games

The PlayStation 5 is officially set to arrive on Nov. 12, 2020. However, there are still a few big questions about the system that have concerned hardcore fans. One of the biggest mysteries ever since the PS5's announcement has been whether or not the console will be backwards compatible with games from prior PlayStation consoles. Sony has finally put those questions to rest, and the answer is not the one that most fans wanted to hear. 

While many fans were hoping to see the PlayStation 5 playing games from the PlayStation 3 and older, that is not going to be in the cards. Unfortunately for anyone who was hoping to fire up their original copies of GTA 3 or Jak and Daxter on the PS5, the system will not support any games older than the PS4 era.

This was confirmed in an interview published by Japanese gaming site Famitsu (translation via SiliconEra). Famitsu sat down with Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan to talk all things PlayStation 5. At one point in the interview, Famitsu expressed surprise that the PS5 will reportedly be backwards compatible with 99% of the PlayStation 4 game library. Famitsu then asked, "By the way, will there be compatibility with PS1, PS2, and PS3 titles?"

Jim Ryan responded, "We keep in mind the engineering specialized for the PS5, as we produced the device. In the midst of that, the PS4 already has 100 million players; we thought they ought to want to play PS4 titles on the PS5 as well indeed, so we included compatibility with the PS4."

This is a great move on Sony's part, as it will not only give fans of the current console generation more of an incentive to upgrade, but it will also make that transition between consoles smoother. Gamers are still going to be able to play their entire current-gen library on the PS5. As Jim Ryan recently told The Washington Post, he fully expects the life cycle of the PlayStation 4 to last at least another "three or four years," so continuing to engage the PS4 customer in meaningful ways is a logical choice here.

As Ryan pointed out to The Washington Post, "Many will transition to PS5 [in 2020/2021], we hope if we do our job well, but tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4." Depriving those customers of their content in the next console generation wouldn't make much sense from a business standpoint.

Unfortunately, the rest of the PS5 development cycle apparently kept Sony from realizing a way to make the PS5 backwards compatible with other generations of Sony consoles. Ryan explained to Famitsu, "While implementing that [PS4 compatibility], we also focused our efforts on ... the high-speed SSD and the new controller DualSense at the same time. So, unfortunately, we couldn't reach the implementation of such compatibilities."

In other words, Sony was very much focused on the advancements that have been made with the PS5, which ended up taking precedent over further backwards compatibility. It seems that Sony might have considered working towards fuller backwards compatibility, but put it on the back burner as development proceeded. Whether this means that Sony will explore this compatibility in the future is unclear at this time. However, anyone who was hoping to pop a PS1 disc into their PlayStation 5 console this holiday season is going to be severely disappointed.

In fact, some fans on social media have already expressed their displeasure towards this news. GigaBoots tweeted, "This is literally the biggest mistake of the PS5." On the other hand, some people have mentioned that this isn't going to push them away from snagging the PlayStation 5 when it comes out. However, backwards compatibility is a serious issue for many fans, so this isn't exactly the best news for a large portion of the PlayStation fanbase.

Presumably, PS4 re-releases of older games will more than likely play on the PlayStation 5, so there's at least a little bit of comfort in that. Your PS4 copies of the Devil May Cry HD Collection probably won't be going to waste. 

Sony's dedication to continuing PS4 support can also be seen in the recent announcement for the PlayStation Plus Collection. As part of customers' preexisting PlayStation Plus membership, PS5 users will also gain access to this collection of 18 big name PS4 games. The PS Plus Collection includes such heavy hitters as Uncharted 4, God of War, and Batman: Arkham Knight.

In other words, although many fans may be rather disappointed in the lack of PS1-PS3 compatibility on the PS5, there will still be plenty of options for fans of the current console generation.