top of page

Backward Compatibility is more important than ever for the Next-Gen Consoles

Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation brands have announced their respective next-gen consoles, but what games are we going to play on them? This year is already stacked with the most prominent studios working on some of the industries biggest games which leave gamers with one question:

"Is upgrading my console on day one all that important?"

Games like Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us II, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, and Marvel's Avengers are scheduled for release throughout 2020, while the next-gen consoles are targeting a Holiday 2020 launch. Which consumers are going to sell off their systems to get the next one when they haven't even had much time to finish the games I just listed?

The obvious answer for Xbox and PlayStation is backward compatibility, but what are their plans?

(Source: Xbox)

Microsoft's Xbox Series X

Xbox head Phil Spencer revealed their compatibility plans for the Xbox to Gamespot claiming:

"We wanted to make sure we had that, day one."

Xbox already had plenty of experience in backward compatibility with their Xbox One and Xbox One X. These current generation consoles are already playing games that are two generations old in some cases with Xbox and Xbox 360 titles running directly on the Xbox One and Xbox One X. In some cases, these titles gain an increased bump on graphics with

Microsoft's Xbox One X Enhanced.

Since Xbox has had all this time to work on backward compatibility, gamers should not worry about their games when it comes time to upgrade their consoles.

(Source: Sony)

Sony's PlayStation 5

The next-gen PlayStation 5 has very little information coming from Sony, but reports have come from Wired. They sat down with Mark Cerny, the architect of the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 for an exclusive interview.

In the interview, Cerny mentioned that the PlayStation 5 will allow current PSVR functionality. He also goes on to discuss how the PlayStation 5 has similar hardware to the PlayStation 4, so backward compatibility with PS4 will be in the PS5.

More recently, rumors of more backward compatibility have been unearthed by HipHopGamer. During one of his streams, HipHopGamer explained that PlayStation is working on a "Remastering Engine" that will allow gamers to access a game library that spans every PlayStation. While the details of this supposed engine are still unclear, it is best to look at this as nothing more than a rumor.

Currently, PlayStation is offering older games through the PlayStation Now service. This service runs an app on your PlayStation 4 and allows you to play games from previous consoles. Games from PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 have already made an appearance on PlayStation Now, so, for now, we will have to look to the service model for the entire PlayStation library.

What do you think of the backward compatibility promises of PlayStation and Xbox? Which system are you looking to buy on day one? Let us know in the comments.



bottom of page