ghost-of-tsushima-20200710215026

The PS4’s Ghost of Tsushima will load more quickly and run 60 FPS on PS5.


Sucker Punch/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

The ability to play your old games on a next-generation console is a huge deal at launch when there aren’t many new games to justify the hundreds of dollars you spent on a shiny new machine. Sony and Microsoft clearly know this as the November 2020 launches of their PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X draw near, having both talked up their backward compatibility features.

The two companies have been battling in the console wars for decades — Sony since 1994 and Microsoft since 2001 — so they’ve both built up magnificent back catalogs filled with classics. Let’s take a look at how much of each of those libraries you’ll be able to play on the upcoming consoles and how you’ll be able to transfer your saves to each.

Read more: How to avoid PS5 and Xbox Series X preorder FOMO

ps5-event-seq-00-07-14-16-still001.png

Both versions of the PS5 will be backward compatible with the vast majority of PS4 games.


Sony

PS5

The PS5, which starts at $400 and comes out Nov. 12, was designed with PS4 games in mind, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan told CNET in June.

“PS4 titles get even better on PS5. Select PS4 titles will see increased loading speeds on the PS5 console, and will also leverage Game Boost, offering improved or more stable frame rates,” the company said in an Oct. 9 blog post. “Some titles with unlocked frame rates or dynamic resolution up to 4K may see higher fidelity.”

Ghost of Tsushima developer Sucker Punch gave us a sense of how Game Boost will work — once it’s enabled, you’ll “see an extra option to allow frame rates up to 60FPS.”

The company also released a small list of PS4 games that won’t be playable on the PS5:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe’s Diner

It noted that these games will carry a “Playable on: PS4 only” warning in the PlayStation Store, so you don’t download them by accident.

The switch from spinning hard drive to solid-state storage should make them run faster than they did on the PS4, so you won’t be staring into the loading screen abyss as much as you do now. 

If you subscribe to PS Plus, Sony’s $60-a-year online service, you’ll get a selection of PS4 games to play at no extra cost through the PS5-only Plus Collection

You’ll be able to use your current DualShock 4 controller to play those PS4 games, but you’ll have to use the new DualSense for PS5 games. And PS5 won’t be backward compatible with PS3, PS2 or PS1 games.

Transferring save games

It’s possible to continuing your PS4 adventures on the new console, and Sony has confirmed a few methods of transferring your saves. 

“You can transfer digital games, game data, and game saves from a PS4 console to a PS5 console using LAN cables, or by connecting wirelessly (Wi-Fi). If you’ve already stored PS4 games and game data in the external USB storage device connected to your PS4, you can bring them over to PS5 with that external USB storage device,” the company said in an Oct. 9 blog post. “And if you are a PS Plus member, you can also sync PS4 game saves on PS5 through cloud storage.”

However, it warned that the ability to transfer game saves between a PS4 version and a PS5 version of the same game is down to the developer, and it’ll vary with cross-gen games. It’s highly unlikely that any developer will decide not to give you the power to transfer. So far, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are confirmed to have save transfers if you upgrade to the PS5 versions.

PlayStation 3

You might want to hold onto your PS3 to play games from its library.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Revisiting PlayStation’s past?

If you want to play those dusty old original PlayStation, PS2 or PS3 discs, you’re out of luck. Sony moved away from backward compatibility after the initial batch of PS3s, and PS4 couldn’t play any games from the older consoles — so that 2008 copy of Metal Gear Solid 4 will remain on your shelf until the world goes cold.

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

“We keep in mind the engineering specialized for the PS5, as we produced the device,” Ryan told the Japanese gaming magazine. “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. While implementing that, we also focused our efforts on taking in the high-speed SSD and the new controller DualSense at the same time. So, unfortunately, we couldn’t reach the implementation of such compatibilities.”


Now playing:
Watch this:

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Full comparison



9:15

However, there are a few ways to access old games on PS4. There’s a selection of PS2 Classics you can buy on the PlayStation Network, and Sony’s $9.99 a month PS Now streaming service lets you access a massive library of PS2 and PS3 titles (along with a rotating selection of PS4 games — these can be downloaded to your console). It’s likely these games will be playable on the PS5.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to access the massive library of original PlayStation, PSP or PS Vita games without tracking down the old hardware or a mini console. Its competitor doesn’t have as long a history, but more of Microsoft’s back catalog will be playable on its next-gen consoles.

Read more: Game subscription services: Read this before you choose one

xbox-back-to-back

The Xbox Series X and Series S will be backward compatible with games from all of Microsoft’s previous consoles, but not all such titles.


Microsoft

Xbox Series X and Series S

Microsoft has been more ambitious with backward compatibility — it’s promised that the $499 Xbox Series X and $299 Series S will play original Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games when the consoles come out Nov. 10. That’s four generations of games, stretching back to the first console’s 2001 launch.

But it doesn’t include literally everything. Microsoft has a comprehensive list of the games that’ll play on its upcoming consoles: 568 games from the Xbox 360 and only 39 games from the original Xbox library are currently backward compatible. And titles that require its defunct Kinect motion sensor won’t work at all.

Read more: Hands-on with Xbox Series X: Quick resume, backwards compatibility and faster load times

Old games will get a visual boost on the Series X and Series S, by way of high dynamic range graphics.

“Many of us in Team Xbox play on the Xbox Series X daily as our primary console and switching between generations is seamless,” Jason Ronald, partner director of program management for the Xbox Platform Team, said in a May blog post. “By the time we launch this holiday, the team will have spent well over 200,000 hours ensuring your game library is ready for you to jump in immediately.”

The new consoles’ hardware may also reduce game loading times and increase frame rates, and add the Quick Resume feature.

oldgames-sorrentino-mag01.jpg

Your Xbox 360 is largely irrelevant thanks to the Series X’s ability to play old games.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Save transfers

This should be incredibly straightforward because Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system will let you transfer save files from any Xbox Series X compatible game.

“As was the case with our current backwards compatible titles, you won’t have to worry about losing any progress either.” the company said in a June 15 blog post. “Thanks to our commitment to compatibility across generations, you can be assured that when you purchase a game on Xbox One today, your game library, progression and entire gaming legacy moves forward with you if you jump into the next generation with Xbox Series X.”

If you’ve still got saves for 360 games you want to access, you can transfer to Xbox Series X by uploading it to the cloud. It doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to transfer saves from original Xbox games to the Series X, so you’ll have to start that Knights of the Old Republic playthrough from scratch.

Maximizing your Xbox library

Microsoft also has a subscription service, the $9.99 a month Xbox Game Pass, that’ll get you access to a rotating library of older games. New Xbox exclusives also launch on the service, so you’ll get Halo Infinite and other upcoming games the day they become available. The $15 Game Pass Ultimate option will also get you access to Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service from Sept. 15.

Unlike the PS5, you’ll have plenty of controller options no matter what generation of games you’re playing — the Series X and Series S controllers will be compatible with Xbox One games, the Xbox One console itself and PCs. You can also use your Xbox One controllers on your Series X and Series S.

source: cnet.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here