Sony reportedly gives game devs a PS5 ultimatum

If you're thinking of holding off on buying new PS4 games because the PlayStation 5 is on the horizon, here's a bit of good news: a new report today claims that Sony will begin requiring forward compatibility with PlayStation 4 games this summer. Specifically, the report says that Sony will require PlayStation 5 compatibility in PlayStation 4 games that are certified on or after July 13th.

That, essentially, means any games that are sent to Sony for certification after that date will need to be playable on the PlayStation 5. So says Eurogamer, which cites developer documentation that was originally posted to Sony's internal partner website.

For now, it sounds like Sony might be taking a hands-off approach to this forward compatibility, as Eurogamer says that this documentation "details an option developers must check to state their game has been tested for compatibility with PS5 hardware." That suggests Sony won't be checking for PS5 compatibility itself with each game that comes to it for certification. Still, Sony does say that games will only be considered compatible if the code that was submitted runs on PS5 hardware without issue.

Keep in mind that submission dates aren't the same as release dates. Eurogamer uses the example of Ghost of Tsushima, which has a release date of July 17th – four days after this deadline imposed by Sony. However, Ghost of Tsushima would have been submitted for certification far before July 13th. Under these rules, Ghost of Tsushima wouldn't need to be forward compatible with the PlayStation 5, even though it almost certainly will be given that it's a first-party game made by one of Sony's studios.

Backward compatibility is a big issue heading into the release of these new consoles. Backward compatibility has been a big focus for Microsoft in this generation, and both Sony and Microsoft have made it clear that it will play a major role in next-generation hardware. These requirements from Sony definitely seem like a step in the right direction for comprehensive PlayStation 5 backward compatibility, but of course, we'll need to wait on Sony for official details before we have a complete picture.