With hype building and the launch of the PS5 looming on the horizon, it’s hard not to wonder if sticking with the PS4 is pointless. New games, better graphics, instantaneous loading – Sony’s new console looks to be better in almost every way, and contemplating the sundown of the current generation is only natural.
Will the PS5 edge out the PS4 to the point of making it obsolete?
It’s a loaded question, and one that’s often ambiguous depending on how you go about playing games. Yes, the PS5 introduces redundancy to the PS4 in some ways, but the current generation isn’t necessarily going to dust.
Will I still be able to play my PS4 games when the PS5 releases?
Yes, you will absolutely be able to play any game on your PS4 when the PS5 launches. If your console is functioning, then you’ll have no issue whatsoever.
Even if PSN support for the PS4 was theoretically dropped years down the line you would still be able to play offline and single player games. The only difference would be that games would run in their shipped state (no post launch patches). There is the potential of losing access to digital titles as a result of the storefront being shutdown, but that is a problem that applies equally to the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.
Those with physical copies of games don’t need to worry about this and it’s one of the biggest reasons people keep buying discs despite the convenience of digital games.
Should I buy a PS4 now?
One of the more popular considerations for those who haven’t bought into Sony’s ecosystem yet is whether or not it’s still worth buying a PS4. The answer depends on how invested you are in cutting edge technology and what you’re able to spend.
The PS5 will be able to play a good chunk of PS4 games via backwards compatibility, but it’s also going to be significantly more expensive that the cheapest current generation consoles. Although an exact price hasn’t been mentioned, the internals of the PS5 point to a launch price more in line with the Xbox One X as opposed to the base models offered by either Sony or Microsoft.
2020 has continued the PS4’s trend of incredible exclusives with The Last of Us Part II and Ghosts of Tsushima earning a 94 and 83 metacritic score respectively. Microsoft, in contrast, has mostly failed to deliver worthwhile exclusives this generation.
If price is the biggest factor and you’ve suddenly found yourself with tons of free time due to the pandemic, buying a PS4 isn’t a half bad idea. The launch of the PlayStation 5 isn’t going to suddenly erase all of the amazing exclusives on the PS4, and there’s the potential for a free PS5 patch of some sorts if you do decide to upgrade. Just this year we’ve seen heavy hitters like The Last of Us Part II and Ghosts of Tsushima. Some of the most praised games of years past include:
- Gran Turismo Sport
- Ratchet and Clank
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Shadow of the Collosus
…And the list keeps going. You won’t be dealing with the cutting edge, but the back catalog of games is endless and you’ll have the added benefits of most games being relatively cheap.
Will the PS4 be supported after the PS5 comes out?
Yes, the PS4 will be supported even when next-gen arrives. What isn’t known is how long new games will come out on last generation consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One. If prior generations are any indication, you can expect cross generational games for at least a couple years.
In most cases, cross-gen games for the older platform won’t run as well and will have some omissions, but you’ll be getting new experiences nonetheless. Some upcoming AAA that will be cross-gen include Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077.
If you’re new to PS4 then there enough games to easily induce the paradox of choice. Overall, it would be foolish for Sony to drop the PS4 without thought due to the staggering amount of units out in the wild.
Will PS5 games work on PS4?
No, PS5 versions of cross-gen games and next-gen exclusive titles will not work on the PS4. If there are PS5 games you’re looking forward to playing – Gran Turismo 7, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart to name a few – then you will need to buy Sony’s upcoming console.
Games exclusive to the PS5 and Xbox Series X will most likely be few a far between at the start of the generation, but eventually there will be an uptick (within 2-3 years is a good bet based on other generations).
PS5 exclusives are likely to take advantage of new tech like ultra fast loading times and ray tracing unlike current-gen titles.
Still a darn good console
Despite what consumerism tells us, the PS4 won’t suddenly turn into a terrible console when next-gen arrives. Its library is expansive, the buy in is modest, and it’s the most populated console for online gaming if that’s your sort of thing.
If you’re more of a casual gamer, then scooping up a cheap PS4 might be the right move.
Find yourself committed to play games as your main hobby?
Jumping in with the PS5 may make sense. It’s reported to support backwards compatibility making a PS4 purchase a tad redundant (so long as you can stomach the sticker price). Next-gen releases will most likely be a trickle as opposed to a river of content at the start, but there’s no doubt that Sony will begin to pump out incredibly AAA titles as the system matures.
Lover of games, tech, nature, and strange electronic music. Shaped by Sega, PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox – platform agnostic ever since. Currently overwhelmed by choice on my Xbox Series X thanks to Game Pass.