Did Ubisoft Just Spill The Beans On The PlayStation 5’s Limited Backward Compatibility?

Did Ubisoft Just Spill The Beans On The PlayStation 5’s Limited Backward Compatibility?
Credit: Sony

Even though the year is winding down, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the upcoming consoles from Sony and Microsoft. One thing that Microsoft has historically done better than Sony is backward compatibility. The PlayStation 4 was criticized for not having any support whatsoever for PlayStation 3 titles. Fortunately, Sony doesn’t seem to be making the same mistake twice.

The PlayStation 5 will indeed play certain PlayStation 4 titles. However, since it was announced, players have been hoping that the PS5‘s backward compatibility will extend beyond the PlayStation 4; maybe even to original PlayStation titles. According to Ubisoft, that’s not the case.

It’s since been removed, but a Ubisoft support page on transitioning titles to the PlayStation 5 definitely seemed to cast doubt on the possibility of being able to play early PlayStation titles. According to the publisher, backward compatibility “will be available for supported PlayStation 4 titles, but will not be possible for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation games.”

Here’s the kicker. The support page for transitioning to the Xbox Series X says that backward compatibility “will be available for supported Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox titles” on Xbox Series X.”

That is much, much different wording. The obvious takeaway from this is that the PlayStation 5 will support select PlayStation 4 titles and that’s it. In an effort to be optimistic, one could speculate that this information applies specifically to Ubisoft titles. Then again, it doesn’t make a lot of sense Ubisoft would support older Xbox titles but not PlayStation titles.

Then there’s the possibility that they simply got it wrong. If that’s the case, that’s a very specific mistake to make. The fact that they’ve since removed the line from the page could be an indicator that they’re wrong, or it could just be Sony wanting to save all the details, good or bad, for the PlayStation 5 debut.

There is another possibility, though at this point this could be grasping at straws. It’s possible that, in the same way the available PlayStation 4 titles are limited, Ps1, Ps2, and Ps3 titles are extremely limited and Ubisoft’s titles just aren’t part of that library.

It’s unfortunate, but all signs point to the backward compatibility being pretty limited. Still, being able to play PS4 titles is certainly better than nothing. That’s not going to help me play Tomba!, though, is it?

Hopefully Ubisoft simply spoke too soon and there’s more to the subject. We’ll find out for sure when the system finally makes it debut.