You can now play PS5 games on PS4 — here's how

Astro's Playroom
(Image credit: Sony)

The first major PS5 console update drops today and brings with it a bevy of important tweaks to Sony’s flagship gaming machine, but perhaps most impressive is that with this patch PS5 games will be playable on PS4

Unsurprisingly, PS5 games cannot be played natively on PS4 but the ability to play next-gen games on what is now old-gen hardware comes thanks to Share Play. This system allows PS5 users to share their screen or chat with those still playing on PS4.

It goes further than just screen sharing, however. Share Play now has cross-generational functionality, meaning PS5 gamers can (virtually) hand over the controller and allow players on PS4 to take control of whatever game is being played. This was confirmed in a post on the PlayStation blog

Of course, the system isn’t perfect. Firstly you’ll need to have a friend who already owns a PS5 (which is no easy task, considering the state of PS5 restocks), then you’ll need them to allow you to take over their console. And lastly, you’ll both need to have pretty solid internet for Share Play to function without significant input delay and stuttering. 

Sony also hasn’t revealed how the system will work for games like Astro’s Playroom which is heavily reliant on the features of the PS5’s DualSense controller such as adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. Perhaps certain games that require PS5 exclusive tech will be blocked from the program.

Overall though, this is pretty exciting news and if you’re desperate to play upcoming next-gen exclusive titles like Returnal or Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart but haven’t been able to find a PS5 in stock, you could theoretically play these games entirely through Share Play. 

If you’re still after a PS5 because you’d rather play PS5 games on an actual PS5 instead of a PS4 through Share Play, then make sure to keep tabs on our where to buy a PS5 guide containing the latest stock information as we get. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.