A report by Eurogamer reveals that Sony has initiated a new policy regarding the PS5 compatibility of PS4 games which may also impact the PS5 compatibility of games like The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima.
The basic terms of this agreement are really quite simple. Any PS4 games which are submitted to Sony for certification from July 13th onwards must also be compatible with the PlayStation 5. There seems to be a little debate about what compatibility actually means in this instance, but the report suggests that it essentially means that any PS4 games which fall under this new certification policy must be technically compatible with the PS5 and support all PS5 features.
There are a couple of things to note about that. First off, it’s still not clear if Sony is saying that buying a PS4 game that is compatible with PS5 means that you’ll simply be able to play it on PS5. That certainly seems to be the case, but some questions regarding the specifics of that policy remain unanswered. It’s also worth noting that Sony has reportedly noted that this policy doesn’t technically apply to patches and other updates released for existing games beyond the July 13th cutoff date, but they do encourage developers to ensure such updates are PS5 compatible.
Given that we don’t actually know that much about the PS5, there’s still some debate regarding what the extent of PS5 compatibility actually means in this instance. It’s easy enough to imagine that it means PS4 games affected by this policy must be able to technically run on PS5, but it could also mean that they must be compatible with certain PS5 features that haven’t been revealed quite yet.
But what about games like The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima which aren’t formally affected by the terms of this new policy? Well, Eurogamer reports that it sounds like both of these titles will end up being PS5 compatible despite the fact that they wouldn’t technically have to be. That possibility opens the door for other developers to simply decide to go back and make their titles forward compatible.
As you can see, there are still a lot of questions about the specifics of this policy which remain unanswered. We highly suspect that this is paving the way for Sony’s version of Xbox’s “Smart Delivery” system which allows you to buy certain Xbox One games an play them on Xbox Series X. This could also be related to the PS5’s backward compatibility features, which, again, do seem to be slightly behind Microsoft’s own policies in terms of the numbers of games the PS5 will theoretically support.