PS5 backwards compatibility revealed — these PS4 games won't work

(Image credit: Sony)

Just a month before launch, we finally have a much better idea of how the PS5 will handle backwards compatible PS4 games. And it's mostly good news, though a few older titles will be left in the dust.

Sony published a new PlayStation support page that details how backwards compatibility will work on the PS5. As Sony has stated before, the "overwhelming majority of the 4000+ PS4 games" will work on the next-gen console. The company notes that select games will benefit from the PS5's Game Boost, which will allow for higher or smoother framerates. However, Sony didn't specify which titles will get these benefits.

Sony also notes that "some functionalities that were available on the PS4 console may not be available on PS5 consoles" for backwards compatibility games, and that there may be "errors or unexpected behavior." The company also revealed that a small portion of PS4 games will not work on PS5. Here's the full list:

  • Watch blocked streaming sites and avoid network throttling with a PS4 VPN
  • 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

Fortunately, this small list doesn't seem to include many popular titles (apologies for all the Joe's Diner fans out there). 

Sony also outlined how to play both your physical and digital PS4 games on PS5, and both processes seem pretty straightforward. Playing a physical game is as simple as inserting the disc and selecting the game from the home screen, while digital games can be transferred from PS4 consoles via either external storage or Wi-Fi data transfer. You can also simply download any digital games you own from the PS5 menu.

As far as PS4 games that offer a PS5 upgrade option (such as Marvel's Avengers), you'll follow similar steps, but also select an upgrade button that will show up in your games hub. You can see Sony's full instructions here.

PS4 hardware compatibility 

You'll be able to use your DualSense controller, DualShock 4 and officially licensed third-party controllers (including racing wheels and arcade sticks) when playing PS4 games on PS5. You'll also be able to use your PlayStation VR headset, PS Move Controller, and PSVR Aim Controller when playing PSVR games. As Sony has stated before, you cannot use DualShock 4 controllers for PS5 games.

Sony also detailed some other odds and ends, noting that the Share menu will be replaced by the Create menu when capturing screens and videos while playing PS4 games on PS5. The newer HD camera won't be compatible with PS4 games, and HDR will automatically be switched on when playing games. PS5 also won't support PS4 tournaments or the In-Game Live from PlayStation feature.

All in all, it looks like you'll be able to safely bring most of your PS4 collection over to PS5 without any issues. However, we'd love a deeper look at how much better these games will run on the new console, as the Xbox Series X is already delivering some seriously impressive performance for older titles.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.