Sony Interactive Entertainment’s CEO Jim Ryan was interviewed by Famitsu shortly after the PlayStation 5 Showcase, where he talked a lot about the PS5; including its backwards compatibility feature with older consoles, like the PS4 and PS3.
In the Japanese interview, Jim Ryan mentioned that the PlayStation 5 will have a 99% compatibility with all PlayStation 4 titles, after the development team had tested and checked all released games. He also mentioned the PlayStation Plus Collection that lets PS5 owners play select famous PS4 games for free, such as Persona 5, Monster Hunter: World, and Mortal Kombat X.
However, when asked about the PS5 backwards compatibility with PS3 and older games, Jim Ryan ultimately concluded that the team did not have enough time to work on that. You can read our translation of the snippet right below:
Famitsu: We were also surprised when we heard that it will have 99% compatibility with PS4 titles. By the way, will there be compatibility with PS1, PS2, and PS3 titles?
Jim Ryan: We keep in mind the engineering specialized for the PS5, as we produced the device. In the midst of that, the PS4 already has 100 million players; we thought they ought to want to play PS4 titles on the PS5 as well indeed, so we included compatibility with the PS4. While implementing that, we also focused our efforts on taking in the high-speed SSD and the new controller DualSense at the same time. So, unfortunately, we couldn’t reach the implementation of such compatibilities.
This statement from SIE’s CEO Jim Ryan gives further confirmation that the PS5 will not have backwards compatibility with PS1, PS2, and PS3 games. Earlier at the end of August 2020, Ubisoft updated the support page on its Australian website with a note that suggested the PlayStation 5 will only have backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 games and not for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation titles.
PlayStation 5 will be available worldwide on November 19, 2020. Several countries will be able to get it one week earlier on November 12, 2020, which are the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea.