PS5 Backwards Compatibility is Poor And Now We Know Why
Transitioning to the next generation of video game consoles is always difficult. While players are excited for updated graphics and smoother gameplay, launch lineups typically include just a handful of games. After new console owners blaze through the limited content, players generally return to last generation libraries until developers release more titles. For players fortunate enough to find an Xbox Series X, many studios are unlocking the resolution and framerate on older titles to take advantage of the new hardware’s power. PlayStation 5 owners are not as fortunate. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, Rocket League developer Psyonix revealed the difficulty associated with backwards compatibility on the PS5. Let’s dive in.
Forgetting the Past
Setting the game-preservation argument aside, the three major console owners approach backwards compatibility differently. Historically, Nintendo has been the most consumer-friendly with its catalogue of first-party titles; however, many players now consider Microsoft as the industry standard for backwards compatibility with the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. It goes without saying that Sony is not fond of bringing older libraries forward to new console generations. But with the release of PS5, backwards compatibility might cost Sony dearly.
In a recent interview, Eurogamer asked Psyonix about the process of transitioning Rocket League to next-generation consoles. In particular, the interview focused on taking advantage of the hardware’s upgraded performance. Psyonix responded:
Enabling 120hz on Xbox Series X|S is a minor patch, but enabling it on PS5 requires a full native port due to how backwards compatibility is implemented on the console.Psyonix
In other words, the Rocket League team was able to convert the game to 120fps quite easily on the Xbox Series X; however, the studio does not deem it worthwhile to port the entire game natively to PS5. The result is that the game performs better on the new Xbox.
What does this information mean for the future of next-generation consoles? At least for now, third-party developers are more likely to update older libraries on Xbox Series X; therefore, last-generation titles should perform better on Microsoft’s new console. Although load times will improve, players should not expect PlayStation 4 games to look much different on the PlayStation 5.
Sony could divert resources to make it easier for studios to convert older games to 120hz on the PS5, but the PlayStation company has given no indication that it plans to support such an effort. Until then, players who value older games might choose the Xbox Series X over the PlayStation 5.
But we want to know what you think. Do you plan on buying an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5? Is backwards compatibility on the PS5 important to you? Do you think Sony will release an update to make backwards compatibility easier? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter, Call of Duty and more.
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