Looks like playing multiplayer games on your next-gen PlayStation won't just limit you to other PS5 owners. Sony has confirmed that PS5 owners will be able to play with their PS4-owning friends through backwards compatibility.
This came during a question-and-answer session at Sony's IR Day 2019 conference, in response to a question about backwards compatibility. He says that backwards compatibility is something that's "incredibly powerful" and a "critical success factor." We've known for a while that the PlayStation 5 will be able to play PlayStation 4 games, but the ability to still hop into an Apex match with your PS4 friends lets you upgrade without as much worry about userbase.
"Backwards compatibility gives us the opportunity to migrate that community from PlayStation 4 to next-gen," said chief executive officer Jim Ryan. "Using the ability to play the PS4 games that they have on their next-generation console."
Vice president John Kodera emphasized the ability to not only play old games on the PS5, but play them together across console generations as a community, as a positive. Buying a PS5 on launch day won't mean you suddenly can't play games with all your friends still playing on the PlayStation 4.
Sony released a lot of info on the PS5 during its presentation, including a video showing the PS5 crushing the PS4 Pro in a load-time race. But the company also expanded on its general vision for the future, including a focus on streaming—possibly without a console—and its commitment to the last few exclusives still coming to the PS4.
If you want to keep up-to-date with all things PlayStation 5, head over to our guide on the need-to-know details.