Nine Things You May Have Missed in Sony’s PS5 Backwards Compatibility FAQ

Sony decided to do another of their notorious stealth PS5 information drops today, first publishing a support page for PS5 backwards compatibility before releasing a PlayStation Blog post with additional details. While there are plenty of big obvious talking points here—like reconfirmation that 99% of the PS4 library will work on PS5, and Game Boost mode offering enhanced performance on select games—the announcement was filled with additional small PS5 details that you may have missed the first time around.

From a tease of the new PS5 UX to confusing messaging about the PS5 HD Camera, and even a section on Remote Play, here are the nine things you may have missed from the PS5 backwards compatibility FAQ.

Nine Things You May Have Missed in Sony’s PS5 Backwards Compatibility FAQ

New PS5 UX Features

The PS5 UX/UI (user experience/user interface) is one of the top things on our list of things we still don’t know about the PlayStation 5. While far from confirming or detailing any PS5 UX features, Sony’s post offered a cheeky tease stating simply, “PS4 games will also take advantage of some of PS5’s new UX features, but more to come on that later.” Sony is at least acknowledging that’s a critical set of details people want to know about. With just 34 days to go to launch, “later” seems like it should end up being pretty soon.

PS5 HD Camera Will Not Work With PSVR

If you want to use your PSVR headset with the PS5, you’ll need your PS4 Camera and an adapter, which will apparently be free, somehow. The new PS5 HD Camera that players can preorder now will not work with PSVR, begging the question of what it’s even for and why it can’t track the PSVR headset. This piece of the FAQ opens up a lot more questions about Sony’s VR plans moving forward, and what their intent with the PS5 HD Camera is. Maybe just a streaming tool, or something for the Create button menu? PSVR 2, eventually? For now, however, don’t get rid of those old PSVR peripherals if you want to play VR games on your PS5. You’ll still need them all.

As an added detail here, the PS5 HD Camera will not be compatible with any PS4 games, so if there were any games that used the camera in some way (none I can think of off the top of my head), you’ll need the old PS4 Camera. And maybe hold off on ordering a PS5 HD Camera until Sony gives us more details about what exactly it’s good for.

PS5 Remote Play

You will be able to remote play your PS4 on the PS5. While a cool feature that expands the possibility of backwards compatibility, we’d prefer to see it the other way around (allow us to use the PS4 to remote play the PS5). There’s no reason to resort to using a more powerful console to remote play a game from a less powerful system if native backwards compatibility allows us just to play the PS4 game right on the PS5. Storage concerns are one exception, but buying a cheap external hard drive seems like a better option that resorting to using your PS5 to remote play your PS4. Sony notes that any boosts will not be available via remote play, as the game is running on the PS4 and just being streamed to the PS5.

If the PS4 got a remote play app that allowed us to connect to our PS5s, it opens up the opportunity to play the PS5 from a second room in the house without having to move the system. How I’d love to have the PS4 in my office and still be able to access my PS5 via remote play. It’s a pipe dream for now, but hopefully something Sony is considering.

WD Black P10 5tb portable Game Drive review 2

External USB Storage Will be Plug-and-Play

With hundreds of games on a 5TB external hard drive, one of my primary concerns was that the PS5 word force me to reformat the drive and I’d need to redownload all of my games. A quick line seems to indicate this isn’t the case, however. “If you’ve already stored PS4 games and game data in the external USB storage device connected to your PS4, you can bring them over to PS5 with that external USB storage device.” Looks like games stored on an external drive will just work when it’s brought over to the PS5. You’ll probably still need to be logged into the correct PSN account with the right license permissions to access them, but I’m just happy that I won’t need to destroy my bandwidth and data caps.

Sync Saves via PS Plus Cloud Storage

Your PS4 saves will carry over to PS5, at least for any native PS4 game being played via backwards compatibility. These saves (as well as the games) can be transferred over via LAN cable connection, direct WiFi transfer, and via the PS Plus Cloud Storage. Didn’t quite finish Ghost of Tsushima? Want to start a New Game+ run on The Last of Us Part II? Still seeking a Platinum in some game from three years ago? You won’t have to start fresh on the PS5. With automatic save uploads to the Cloud, this feature will basically be seamless.

It’s important to note that save transfers for backwards compatibility are different from save transfers for games getting a proper full PS5 upgrade/version. Sony notes that this decision is up to the individual developers on a game-by-game basis.

PS4 to PS5 Version Upgrades

For games that do have a proper PS5 upgrade instead of just being played via backwards compatibility, Sony detailed how that will work. Each eligible game hub will have an “upgrade offer” section, showing that particular game’s upgrade path. Whether paid or free, this is where you’ll be able to make sure you are playing the best version of each game on your console.

Adjust Controller Vibration

The PS5 will allow you to adjust the vibration intensity of the controller. This bullet point doesn’t specifically call out DualShock 4 controllers, but it’s in a section about compatible controllers and peripherals under a support page about backwards compatibility, so I have to imagine this feature will also function with PS4 controllers—DualShock 4, Move controllers, etc.

Erica PS4

No Support for Game Companion Apps

If you had a hankering to play Erica on your PS5 using the phone app, I’m sorry to disappoint. It’s just not going to function. Fortunately Erica can be played via controller without too much issue and there aren’t many games using external phone apps on the console (Sony pretty quickly abandoned its whole PlayLink idea).

This comes along with confirmation that the official PS4 second screen app will not work with the PS5, hopefully signaling a whole new mobile app update/integration on the next-gen console. Apps that access game APIs, however, like any Destiny companion app, will still work, as they don’t connect through the console to function with the game. The same goes for JackBox games, which connects through the JackBox site. This is limited to any app that requires direct console connectivity.

Create Button Functions Exactly Like Share

This one seems like a no-brainer, but the new Create button on the DualSense will offer rather similar features to the Share button on DualShock 4, though the menu will be different, somehow. Sony stopped short of explaining more about the mysterious button revealed earlier this year, but so far it seems like it can take screenshots and video in the same way the Share button does. However it opens the “create” menu instead of the Share menu. How they differ has yet to be detailed. Hopefully it’s something we’ll hear about along with the promised PS5 UX reveal coming “later.”

With about a month to go until release, Sony seems to really be ramping up messaging about the PS5. This week along gave us the PS5 console teardown and this extensive FAQ finally answering some burning questions about PS5 backwards compatibility—while dropping quite a few other details in the process. I’m resting a bit easier knowing my massive collection of games on a 5TB external drive will easily carry over to the new console, though I’m questioning why I still have a PS5 HD Camera preordered at this point.

Did you catch any other little details that we may have missed? What else are you waiting to learn about the PS5? Let us know in the comments below.