(Pocket-lint) - One of the most persistent PlayStation 5 rumours to have done the rounds over the last few months claimed that the next-gen console wouldn't be compatible with the last-gen - at least, not to the same level as the Xbox family.

However, that has now been totally and utterly debunked, with Sony ensuring its next machine is totally compatible with PS4 games - well, almost.

Here then is everything you need to know about PS5 backward compatibility.

How does backward compatibility on PS5 work?

Contrary to former reports, the PlayStation 5 is backward compatible with the vast majority of PS4 games. And that's the case from launch.

As with the Xbox Series X and S, backward compatibility is likely through emulation, which means some features and/or games may not work or may exhibit some bugs. However, on the flip side, you can also use the PS5's Game Boost feature on some PS4 titles to play them in a higher or smoother frame rate.

PS4 games can be played using the DualSense controller that comes with the PS5, or a DualShock 4 controller (or third-party equivalent). However, it's worth noting that the DualShock cannot be used to play PS5 games.

Both the standard PS5 and Digital Edition are capable of playing PS4 games, but you can only play disc titles on the former machine, of course.

PSVR games are playable on PS5 - see the details below.

Can I play PSVR games on PS5?

The PlayStation VR headset is fully compatible with the PS5. However, it will only work with the PS Camera (as with the PS4) and an adapter - it will not work with the PS5's own HD Camera accessory.

The PlayStation Move controllers and PSVR Aim Controller will work with PSVR games on PS5. You can also use a DualShock 4.

How to play your PS4 games on PS5

If you have the standard edition PlayStation 5, you can insert any PS4 games you have on disc into your console and they will install and run (apart from those on the known "not working" list below. You will need to insert the disc each time you wish to play the game.

If you have the Digital Edition and/or own digital download versions of PS4 games, you need to head to your games library on the homescreen and you should be able to see all compatible games available for download.

You can also transfer your games from a PS4 or PS4 Pro to the PS5 to avoid having to download them again.

There are two methods, either through Wi-Fi transfer from one console to another, or by copying your games onto an external USB hard drive and then plugging that into the PS5.

It is also worth noting that some PS4 games in your library will be eligible for a free upgrade to their PS5 versions. There will be an upgrade option on the game hub for each supported title.

Will my save games be transferred?

As well as the games themselves, you can transfer your save data from a PS4 to the PS5 and carry on playing from where you left off.

We're still awaiting confirmation on whether PS4 cloud saves can be downloaded to a PS5 (for PS Plus members). We'd be highly surprised if not, however.

PS5 backward compatible games list

With more than 4,000 PS4 games able to be played on PS5, we can't really list them all here. Indeed, it's easier to list the ones known NOT to work.

These are the PS4 games that are confirmed as NOT working on PlayStation 5 (as of 12 October 2020):

  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • DWVR
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Joe's Diner
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Shadwen
  • TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge 2
  • We Sing

What is the PS Plus Collection?

As well as PS4 games you may have bought over the years, all PS5 owners with PlayStation Plus membership will get free access to the following triple-A titles - all of which running through backward compatibility:

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Bloodborne
  • Battlefield 1
  • Days Gone
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy 15
  • God of War
  • Infamous Second Son
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • Persona 5
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • The Last Guardian
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Until Dawn

What about PS3, PS2 and original PlayStation games?

Sony is yet to confirm if supported for legacy PlayStation games is in the pipeline. However, with the PS Now cloud gaming service planned for PS5, it could be that games for older generation PlayStations could be available via that platform.

Writing by Rik Henderson.