After PlayStation boss Mark Carney previously hinted that continuing to create the top games for PS4 could potentially hinder the breadth of next-gen titles, another Sony executive has said owners of the legacy console can expect many of the big PlayStation studios releases for some time yet.
Speaking in a Q&A on the PlayStation Blog, PlayStation Studios boss Herman Hulst said he’s not about to leave the 116 million PS4 owners in the dust, especially when many of them still can’t get ahold of a PS5 for love nor money.
When asked how the PS4 factors into future first-party development for the company in the years to come, Hulst said it remained “very much” part of the plans. However, he also pointed out the need for the PS5 to have flagship exclusives in its own right.
He said: “You can’t build a community of over 110 million PS4 owners and then just walk away from it, right? I think that’d be bad news for fans of PS4, and frankly not very good business.
“Where it makes sense to develop a title for both PS4 and PS5 — for Horizon Forbidden West, the next God of War, GT7 — we’ll continue looking at that. And if PS4 owners want to play that game, then they can. If they want to go on and play the PS5 version, that game will be there for them.
“That being said, it’s also very important to have showpieces for PS5, hence the development of Returnal and Ratchet (& Crank) that are exclusive to PS5.”
So, there you have it! Many of the best PS5 games will be available for the PS4 too, at least for the next couple of years.
We mentioned this was just the latest u-turn from Sony recently. Earlier this spring the company confirmed it wouldn’t be shutting down the PS3 and PS Vita stores after outcry from fans who wanted the store kept open.
Analysis – PS4 gamers rewarded for loyalty, but this is a risk
Sony clearly believes there’s still plenty of life in the PS4, despite the machine now being 8-years-old. The decision to keep it alive also is also a reward for the PS4 gamers who helped Sony absolutely batter Microsoft in the last-gen console war.
However, releasing key franchises like Gran Turismo and God of War on the old machine might leave some gamers reluctant to buy the new console, knowing they can play on the PS4. How compromised the experience will be remains to be seen.
Sony is clearly banking on wowing recreational gamers enough with the PS5’s superior tech to ensure the hardware upgrades keep flowing. However, it’s also possible the extra resources dedicated to ensuring a last-gen version co-exists with the PS5 could distract from making the best next-gen version possible.