The PS5 and Xbox Series X could be fully backwards compatible with both Sony and Microsoft’s back catalogue of games, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has suggested. This would mean that the PS5 could run most games from the original PlayStation to the PS4, while the Xbox Series X would do the same from the original Xbox to the Xbox One.
Sony and Microsoft haven’t completely opened up about their approach to backwards compatibility in the next console generation, but Guillemot’s comments indicate that we could see a huge number of games being made available on both systems.
“Those consoles will be running almost all the back catalogue of the previous consoles,” Guillemot said in a financial call with investors. “It will be something new in the industry. It will help the old generations to continue to be big consoles on the market for years to come.”
Guillemot doesn’t elaborate on this point, but it certainly suggests that the PS5 and Xbox Series X will break new ground when it comes to backwards compatibility. The PS4 and Xbox One have been compatible with older games in some form, with the Xbox One allowing certain Xbox 360 games to run on the console, while both systems have made retro games available for download. However, neither console was fully backwards compatible with its manufacturers’ line-up of old games.
It’s unclear how Sony and Microsoft would pull this off, and whether both consoles would allow older physical copies to be played on them, or if these games will be available to download or stream instead. Considering that Microsoft is heavily pushing cloud technology for the Xbox Series X, and Sony has also been ramping up its PS Now service, opening up a vast library of old-school PlayStation and Xbox games to stream could be a big money-maker for both companies.