A new report from Eurogamer details changes to Sony's certification process, in anticipation of the coming console generation. Sony has reportedly told PlayStation 4 developers that any new games must also be compatible with PlayStation 5, starting on July 13.
The Eurogamer report says developer documentation on Sony's internal partner site lists an option to check for developers, indicating whether the game has been tested PS5 compatibility. According to this documentation, a game will be deemed compatible with PS5 hardware only if its submission code runs without issues on the next-gen console hardware and provides the same features as its PS4 counterpart, per the report.
This mandate would only apply for games submitted for certification starting July 13, which is a separate date from when a game launches. Eurogamer does say it's heard that Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part 2, two major Sony exclusives, will be supported on PS5.
After July 13, any future patch to a game must maintain PS5 compatibility, and while games submitted prior don't fall under this, Sony says next-gen compatibility would be "strongly recommended" for future patches. Sony has reportedly also told developers it will be contacting them individually to discuss how to test for PS5 compatibility, in order of their scheduled release.
Sony has said that it believes the "overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5," and that backward compatible games will benefit from a hardware boost, seen in higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions. The PS5 is also planned to have a legacy mode option for running older games, which should at least offer equal parity for PS4 games played on PS5 with their previous-gen performance.
Microsoft recently shared more details about its own compatibility, where games could see doubled frame rates and "significant reductions" in in-game load times due to the internal SSD. Xbox Series X has also been utilizing one-time purchases for cross-gen titles in a program called Smart Delivery, so players who picked up Smart Delivery games on Xbox One can play them on the Series X without buying a second copy.
We'll likely learn more about the PlayStation 5's plans in the months leading up to its expected holiday 2020 launch. A showcase is rumored to be set to debut as early as next week, detailing more about Sony's next-gen plans.