Play it again: Everything we know about PS5 and Xbox Series X backward compatibility

You can revisit current-gen video games like Batman: Arkham Knight simply on PS5 and Xbox Collection X.

Warner Bros.

The flexibility to play your outdated video games on a next-generation console is a large deal in these first few months after launch, when there aren’t many new video games to justify the a whole lot of {dollars} you spent on a shiny new machine. Sony and Microsoft clearly know this because the November 2020 launches of their PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X draw close to, having each talked up their backward compatibility options.

The 2 corporations have been battling within the console wars for years — Sony since 1994 and Microsoft since 2001 — in order that they’ve each constructed up magnificent again catalogs crammed with classics. Let’s check out how a lot of every of these libraries you can play on the upcoming consoles.

Learn extra: How to avoid PS5 and Xbox Series X preorder FOMO


Each variations of the PS5 might be backward appropriate with the overwhelming majority of PS4 video games.



The PS5, which starts at $400 and comes out Nov. 12, was designed with PS4 video games in thoughts, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told PJDM in June. Sony’s additionally required builders to make new PS4 video games natively compatible with its next-gen console, and it is engaged on making older ones appropriate as effectively.

The corporate launched a small list of PS4 video games that will not be playable on the PS5:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Quantity One
  • TT Isle of Man – Trip on the Edge 2
  • Simply Deal With It!
  • Shadow Advanced Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Version
  • Shadwen
  • Joe’s Diner

It famous that these video games will carry a “Playable on: PS4 solely” warning within the PlayStation Retailer, so you do not obtain them by chance.

“We’re anticipating backward appropriate titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 in order that they’ll profit from larger or extra secure body charges and probably larger resolutions,” the corporate stated in March.

The swap from spinning onerous drive to solid-state storage ought to make them run quicker than they did on the PS4, so you will not be staring into the loading display screen abyss as a lot as you do now. 

In case you subscribe to PS Plus, Sony’s $60 a yr on-line service, you may get a selection of PS4 games to play at no additional value via the PS5-only Plus Collection

You may be able to use your present DualShock 4 controller to play these PS4 video games, however you may have to make use of the new DualSense for PS5 video games. And PS5 won’t be backward compatible with PS3, PS2 or PS1 games.

Revisiting PlayStation’s previous?

If you wish to play these dusty outdated unique PlayStation, PS2 or PS3 discs, you are out of luck. Sony moved away from backward compatibility after the preliminary batch of PS3s, and PS4 could not play any video games from the older consoles — in order that 2008 copy of Metal Gear Solid 4 will stay in your shelf till the world goes chilly.

This will be the case on PS5 as effectively. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan confirmed to Famitsu on Sept. 17 that the shiny new console will not play PS3, PS2 or PlayStation video games.

“We take into account the engineering specialised for the PS5, as we produced the machine,” Ryan informed the Japanese gaming journal. “Within the midst of that, the PS4 already has 100 million gamers; we thought they should need to play PS4 titles on the PS5 as effectively certainly, so we included compatibility with the PS4. Whereas implementing that, we additionally centered our efforts on taking within the high-speed SSD and the brand new controller DualSense on the similar time. So, sadly, we could not attain the implementation of such compatibilities.”

xbox seriesx vs ps5

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PS5 vs. Xbox Collection X: Full comparability


Nevertheless, there are just a few methods to entry outdated video games on PS4. There is a number of PS2 Classics you should purchase on the PlayStation Community, and Sony’s $9.99 a month PS Now streaming service helps you to entry a massive library of PS2 and PS3 titles (together with a rotating number of PS4 video games — these will be downloaded to your console). It is possible these video games might be playable on the PS5.

Sadly, there is not any straightforward technique to entry the large library of unique PlayStation, PSP or PS Vita video games with out monitoring down the outdated {hardware} or a mini console. Its competitor would not have as lengthy a historical past, however extra of Microsoft’s again catalog might be playable on its next-gen consoles.

Learn extra: Game subscription services: Read this before you choose one


The Xbox Collection X and Collection S might be backward appropriate with video games from all of Microsoft’s earlier consoles, however not all such titles.


Xbox Collection X and Collection S

Microsoft has been extra bold with backward compatibility — it is promised that the $499 Xbox Series X and $299 Series S will play unique Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One video games when the consoles come out Nov. 10. That is 4 generations of video games, stretching again to the primary console’s 2001 launch.

But it surely would not embrace actually every part. Microsoft has a comprehensive list of the video games that’ll play on its upcoming consoles: 568 video games from the Xbox 360 and solely 39 video games from the unique Xbox library are presently backward appropriate. And titles that require its defunct Kinect motion sensor will not work in any respect.

Outdated video games will get a visual boost on the Collection X and Collection S, by means of high dynamic range graphics.

“Many people in Staff Xbox play on the Xbox Collection X every day as our main console and switching between generations is seamless,” Jason Ronald, companion director of program administration for the Xbox Platform Staff, stated in a May blog post. “By the point we launch this vacation, the crew could have spent effectively over 200,000 hours making certain your recreation library is prepared so that you can leap in instantly.”

The brand new consoles’ {hardware} may scale back recreation loading occasions and enhance body charges, and add the Fast Resume function.

Maximizing your Xbox library

Microsoft additionally has a subscription service, the $9.99 a month Xbox Game Pass, that’ll get you entry to a rotating library of older video games. New Xbox exclusives additionally launch on the service, so you may get Halo Infinite and different upcoming video games the day they develop into accessible. The $15 Recreation Go Final possibility can even get you entry to Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service from Sept. 15.

Not like the PS5, you may have loads of controller choices it doesn’t matter what technology of video games you are taking part in — the Collection X and Collection S controllers will be compatible with Xbox One video games, the Xbox One console itself and PCs. You too can use your Xbox One controllers in your Collection X and Collection S.

This information might be up to date as we be taught extra about backward compatibility on PS5 and Xbox Collection X.

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Sean Keane