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All the important questions we still have after Sony’s PlayStation 5 Showcase

We know when it will come out and how much it will cost, but we’ve still got a few big PS5 questions

product renders of the PlayStation 5 (left) and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition standing next to each other, with a DualSense controller on either side Image: PlayStation/Twitch
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

On Wednesday, Sony hosted the PlayStation 5 Showcase. The livestream showed off several new games, some for the first time. It also revealed how much the PlayStation 5’s two versions would cost and when they would be released.

But as excited as fans were about Sony’s new info, the company may have left more questions unanswered than answered. The most obvious one was, “When can people pre-order the console?” Unfortunately, this question turned into an information nightmare with all kinds of different reports swirling around; retailers spontaneously started accepting pre-orders sometime Wednesday evening, and soon, the entire process descended into chaos.

Pre-order shenanigans aside though, here are all the biggest questions that Sony left unanswered after the PlayStation 5 Showcase, and all the info we know about them so far.

How does backwards compatibility work?

Backwards compatibility has been an open question since the PlayStation 5 was announced. At one point fans were told that most of the top 100 PlayStation 4 games would be playable on PS4, but now it seems the number is growing. Part of the reason that the messaging has been so confusing around this subject is that it seems like even Sony itself isn’t completely sure about the answer.

Apparently, Sony has to test each game individually to see if it will be compatible with PlayStation 5, so there’s really no way to guess whether not a game will work until it’s been tested for sure. As of writing, the last word that Sony has said on the subject, which came from PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan in the Washington Post, is that “99%” of the games that it has tested are backwards compatible. But it’s likely we won’t know exactly which games will and won’t play in Sony’s new hardware until it’s released.

What happens to all the disc-based games I have if I buy a digital PlayStation 5?

Closely related to the subject of backwards compatibility is the question of how Sony plans to let players get their games to their new systems. If you own a game digitally, it’ll probably just involve you re-downloading it on the new console. Meanwhile if you own the disc and a PS5 with a disc drive, then it should be simple as well. But the place where those two meet — players with disc-based copies of games who bought digital PS5s — is a little confusing, and Sony hasn’t offered and concrete solutions.

Sony did quickly show a preview of a service it’s calling PlayStation Plus Collection which will let PlayStation Plus subscribers play some of the most popular PlayStation 4 games on their PlayStation 5. It’s entirely possible that this is a service-based way around the disc-based confusion, but it’s not entirely clear if it’s Sony’s only solution to the problem.

What happens if I buy a PS4 game that eventually comes out on PS5?

While Sony’s been quiet on the subject, it currently seems like this will be an every-game-for-itself kind of situation. Some developers, like CD Projekt Red with Cyberpunk 2077, have already offered guaranteed next-gen upgrades. Meanwhile, other games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will offer a special (more expensive) bundle that will give players access to both the current-gen and next-gen versions of the game.

Because there’s no official mandate from Sony, similar to Xbox’s Smart Delivery feature, you’ll likely have to check into each game individually to see how the current-generation version will connect with the PlayStation 5.

Which PS5 games are also coming to PC?

This one is especially confusing and requires a bit of extra explanation. During a couple of the original trailers that ran during the PlayStation 5 Showcase, there was a black screen at the end that specified that the games were console exclusives, but that they would be coming to PC as well. Unfortunately, this text seems to have been ... misplaced, in one way or another.

One of the games in question was Final Fantasy XVI. While the trailer noted a PC version, a separate trailer was uploaded to the game’s official YouTube channel that didn’t include the PC version text. When asked for comment, Square Enix said it had no further information on whether or not the game would come to platforms other than the PlayStation 5. Something similar happened with the trailer for the Demon’s Souls’ remake, which initially included the PC text, only for it be mysteriously disappear later.

The good news is we’re sure to find out the answer to most of these questions eventually. The bad news is, we might not find out until the PlayStation 5 is actually released on Nov. 12 — or even later in the case of the exclusive games.