PS5 fans keep hoping Sony can keep up with Microsoft’s big Xbox moves

Returnal's protagonist is surrounded by shattered astronaut helmets as she ponders backwards compatibility.

Image: house brand / Sony

Ever since Microsoft announced it would buy Activision Blizzard biggest gaming deal ever, Sony fans were keen to see the PS5 maker react somehow, as if the console giant had “big news” stored away in a t-shirt cannon, ready to be hurled into the starving crowd in no time. But signs have certainly started to align towards some sort of announcement, seemingly backwards compatibility, and PS4 and PS5 owners are ready to believe.

Speculation began earlier this month with one new patent application from Sony about backwards compatibility and exploded over the weekend when the company’s Japanese Twitter account teased a reveal of something potentially big with a simple note of “1.23”. Most fans out there interpreted this as “PS1, PS2, PS3”. Despite some game sites raise expectations, it turned out to be just the reveal of…an ad featuring pop star Kenshi Yonezu.

After that it might have calmed down a bit, but then last night PS4 Trophies have been briefly replaced with PS3 Trophies, an apparent flaw in the Matrix that some interpreted as a sign of Sony’s master plan Tokyo jungle be playable again on modern consoles. “Did it happen?!” wrote one fan.

Speculations of a new era of backwards compatibility on PS4 and PS5 can be traced back one Bloomberg report last month revealed that Sony was working to overhaul its PS Now service to make it a beefier, more compelling competitor to Xbox Game Pass. Codenamed Spartacus, the new subscription service would feature multiple tiers, one of which would give users access to “a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP games.”

The signs Sony is preparing for something since then:

The dream of playing PS1, PS2 and PS3 games on PS4 is nothing new. A small selection of emulated PS2 “classics” are available for purchase and some PS3 games can be streamed via PS Now. When Sony originally unveiled the streaming service, it promised that it would help bridge the PS4’s backward compatibility gap. but that never happened.

On the eve of the PS5 launch, Sony announced its plans make almost every PS4 game playable on the new hardware, but still conspiracy theories grew up on whether older PlayStation games would also be included in the mix due to the layout of the PowerPoint slide announcing the information.

in the stream content wars, it seems a good bet that Sony’s back catalog will eventually be natively playable on PS5. The big question is whether this step is imminent or still a long way off. Of course, fans are now desperately waiting for an answer. Hopefully the PlayStation Twitter account gives them that so they don’t have to hunt for it the next time PSN bugs.

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