You can play PS5 games on your PS4 — but there's a catch

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you’re lucky enough to have got yourself a PS5 coming on release day, you may be wondering what to do with your old console. Do you really need a PS4 if the PS5 can play PS4 games and generally do everything better?

You might want to keep hold of your ageing console, though, because it’s not dead yet. In fact, it may well be able to play PS5 games now a mysterious new remote play app has appeared.

The PS5 Remote Play app started hitting PS4 systems this morning without any sort of announcement from Sony. As you can expect, it seems as though the app will let users remotely connect their old PS4 to the new PS5 via the internet  — and presumably let you play PS5 games in the process.

Of course this doesn’t mean the PS4 is suddenly forwards compatible. This isn’t an Xbox, where all the games will be working on all the consoles for the foreseeable future. No, from everything we’ve seen so far (which, granted, isn’t a lot), this looks like any other remote play app.

In other words you will still need a PS5 around, but once you’ve activated the Remote Play settings and linked it to your PS4 you’ll be able to use your old console as a conduit to the new one. This way you can play the PS5 from multiple rooms in the house without having to buy multiple consoles. Not that you’re likely to get more than one PS5 anytime soon anyway.

PushSquare has tested the app with their pre-release PS5 and confirmed that it does work, and offers three different resolution options  — 540p, 720p, and 1080p. You can also link your mobile devices to the PS5 and play your games on them  — just as you could already do with the PS4.

The only questions we have are how controller compatibility affects gameplay. The new DualSense controller offers a lot of significant upgrades, though functionally it is still very much like the old DualShock 4. You also can’t use the DualSense with the PS4, or the DualShock 4 with PS5 games, so it’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. 

The PS5 release is now just days away, hitting the U.S. on November 12 and Europe on November 19. While pre-orders have been sold out for a long time, some retailers will have limited amounts of stock on launch day, so if you really have to have one now make sure you’re ready.

  • Use a PS4 VPN to stream extra content and avoid network throttling
Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.