Following Sony’s announcement of the PS5 game console’s hardware and design in June, the multinational conglomerate recently announced some features gamers should expect with the upcoming console. Accordingly, Sony made known that the Play Station 5 will support PS4 Dual Shock controllers and officially licensed third-party controllers. The compatibility here will only be possible on only supported PS4 games. The company has however not released the list of “supported” games.

This also means that the Play Station five will also be able to play PS4 games. The supported games could be played or used via a Blu-ray disk or downloaded on the PS5 digital version.

The Japanese conglomerate also announced that the Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets (including third party headsets), the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim controllers will work with supported PS VR games.

Ordinarily, this should sound like great news, considering the compatibility issues Play Station consoles have with each other, (i.e. PS3 controllers not working on PS4 game consoles and so on). But there seems to be a lot that needs to be cleared out with this announcement

Generally, reactions to gaming developments can be tricky depending on what the development is. As a result, it may be, we cannot exactly predict what Play Station lovers will feel concerning the compatibility of PS4 game controllers with the PS5 console. Regardless, we can deduce that most people will not be enthusiastic about this, owing to the fact that the compatibility only applies to a specific set of PS4 games. The logical reaction in this case will be to retain a Play Station 4 while purchasing the PS5 or to not get it at all.

Secondly, playing PS4 games on the five will most likely come with a lot of demands. Due to the technical and engineering differences between the two generations, PS4 games will need a “boost” mode which may is not applicable to every game. The boost mode is a software feature that improves the visuals of games played. In simpler terms, Your PS5 will be forced to work extra hard to play PS4 games, which is not necessary. Complicating this is the fact you may have to store games on the PS5 SSD to be able to play them, or use the traditional external HDD to save your games. Generally playing PS4 games on the next-gen console comes with a lot of hassles.

But it isn’t entirely bad! SONY made known that the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim controllers will have no limitations in compatibility.

While it all seems murky, we must know that SONY did however, not walk into this blindly at all. This reality is built on a previous occurrence. The Play Station Two (PS2) sold massively in its prime time. As of 2012, the console sold close to 155 million units. The Play Station three on the other hand performed woefully with just 83 million units sold. The company is coming from the standpoint that “if the older console sells better, it will affect the sale of the newer console”. As a result, SONY is embracing backward compatibility as a means of making the Play Station five more appealing to the market. Additionally, although subliminally, SONY is positioning the Play Station 4 for redundancy which will gradually make it phased out.

But the methods at play here are at best expensive and ineffective. The scarce components of the Play Station five particularly its DRAM and NAND flash memory make it expensive to manufacture. Plunging more resources to ensure backward compatibility (which is limited in applicability) is in a way counterproductive and needlessly expensive.

On the whole, to give the Play Station 5 backward compatibility is not worth it. A lot is needed (both from gamers and the console itself) to make Play Station four games playable on the next gen console.  For SONY, it is also not worth it, spending resources on research and engineering procedures without the necessary sales can be a loss for the company. These resources can be deployed into other avenues to make the console more appealing to customers.