Best answer: As far as we know, if plans pan out accordingly, then yes, all PS4 games should be backward compatible on PS5. However, since the console isn't out yet, this could change before it hits store shelves.
What is backward compatibility?
Backward compatibility is a process that allows older legacy content to be supported on newer systems. On Xbox and PlayStation, this means that you can pop in a disc originally intended and developed for an older generation console and play it on a newer model, like using an Xbox 360 game in an Xbox One — thanks to an emulation process in Xbox's case.
Does the PlayStation 4 offer backward compatibility?
No, the PlayStation 4 does not offer native backward compatibility. The only way to play PS3 games or older on your PlayStation 4 is to purchase a digital version separately, and even then, not all PS3 games are available digitally on PS4.
How do we know games will be backward compatible on the PlayStation 5?
According to lead console architect Mark Cerny, the PS5 will be backward compatible with PS4 games because the next-gen console in based in part on the PS4's architecture. This means that those games you love right now should still be playable on PS5 whenever it comes out, so don't throw out your old discs just yet.
Shortly before E3 2019, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan confirmed to CNET that PS5 would be backward compatible with PS4 games. The company also plans to offer cross-generational play, meaning that in theory you can start a game on PS4, continue playing that same save and progress on PS5, and even go back to PS4. Your save states would be preserved in Sony's servers.
"Whether it's backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross-generational play, we'll be able to transition that community to next-gen," he said. "It won't be a binary choice about whether you have to be ether on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship."
Plans can change over the course of development, however.
Why should I care about backward compatibility?
Ask yourself if you want to keep playing your old favorite games. Now, ask yourself if you like saving money. If the answer to both of those questions was "yes," then you should understand why backward compatibility is important. You'll be able to play your game collection on a better console without needing to shell out for a remastered edition (though you can if you want to) or buy it again digitally if it is offered that way, and you'll be able to get rid of your old PS4 if it's just sitting there taking up space.
Backward compatibility also benefits game conservation efforts.
What about backward compatibility for PS3, PS2, and original games?
This hasn't been confirmed in any way, so that this with a grain of salt. Based on a patent filed by Sony, people believe that the PlayStation 5 may support backward compatibility with all PlayStation games, including those released on PS3, PS2, and even the original PlayStation. The patent appears to be for an emulation software that would allow the PS5 to mimic older consoles through the use of multiple processors.
Again, patents don't always come to fruition or mean that the company is actively working on such a feature.
You're doing yourself a disservice if you haven't played God of War yet. It instantly became one of the best titles on PlayStation 4 and, thanks to backward compatibility, should still play great on PS5.
So many choices
You may not able to use a PlayStation 5 just yet, but get yourself prepared with a collection of games that you can start playing now and continue playing for years to come.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Go up against real intelligence with these multiplayer PlayStation VR games
If you’d like your gaming experience to entail meeting some new friends or duking it out against human intelligence, we’ve rounded up the best multiplayer games for PlayStation VR.
Final Fantasy VII Remake, Below, and more release for PS4 in April
Here are the biggest PS4 games dropping this month!
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Dirt Rally 2.0, free this month on PS Plus
If you have a PlayStation Plus membership, then you know about PlayStation's free games of the month. Here are the free games you can get this month with your membership.