The PlayStation 5’s release is visible on the horizon, but for the next few months the PlayStation 4 will remain Sony’s flagship console. According to a report from Eurogamer, Sony has already informed developers that any PS4 game submitted after July 13 will also have to be compatible with the PS5.
In this case, compatibility means that the game’s code has to run on the PS5 with no issues and has to have the same features on PS5 that it would have on PS4. This means that developers can’t have certain modes that are only available on PS4. Eurogamer notes that Sony also has the same rules for patches. Any game submitted after July 13 will have to retain its PS5 compatibility after each patch, so developers will have to create patches with both platforms in mind.
This new requirement from Sony only applies to games that developers submit to Sony for approval after July 13, not to games that are released after July 13. Because games are usually submitted long before they’re released, this likely won’t affect most games releasing this summer.
Sony has already promised that many PS4 games will also be compatible with the PS5 at launch. Sony has said most of the PS4’s top 100 most-played games will be available on the PS5, but there’s no word yet on exactly which games will be compatible at launch.
While Sony seems intent on making sure that PS5 users will have PS4 games to play, there’s no word yet on how exactly they’ll get these games. It’s possible that they’ll be separate versions that have to be purchased on their own. They could be alternate versions that need to be authenticated with a disk or a digital license, and then downloaded. Or this requirement could simply mean that these titles will play on the new console as is.
Microsoft has already clarified the situation for the Xbox Series X. Its Smart Delivery system, which is available to all developers, will let players play both the next-gen and current-gen versions of a game depending on which platform they’re using. There’s no word yet on whether or not Sony will offer something similar.
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