How the PS5 Keeps Your PS4 Data Intact

Nobody wants to start over

Key Takeaways

  • The PS5 makes transferring data from past consoles easy.
  • PlayStation is approaching cross-gen data support differently than Xbox.
  • Experts believe cross-gen data support is more important than ever right now.
The PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition alongside a Dual Sense controller
Sony

As gamers prepare for the arrival of the PlayStation 5 (and the Xbox Series X), experts believe that support for cross-gen data transfers is an invaluable feature for console makers to address.

Gamers are turning their attention to the upcoming generation of gaming consoles. Despite playing things close to the chest for a while, PS5s and next-gen Xbox consoles are finally in the hands of the press, leading to more revelations about how the upcoming consoles will bridge the data gap between this generation and the next.

Recent pictures of the PS5 box revealed more details about how users will transfer content from the PS4 to the PS5. Some believe that making these transfers easy is important to the future of the next generation of gaming.

"Being able to transfer a save file for your favorite game is invaluable," Samuel Franklin, founder of Games Finder and former games journalist, wrote in an email.

New Generation, Same Data

With the Xbox Series X and PS5 both set to support games that are releasing on current gen consoles, both Sony and Microsoft have found different approaches to the problems that come with offering games on two different generations of consoles. While past iterations might have required gamers to purchase a title multiple times, support for backwards compatibility has been at the center of talks about next-gen gaming.

"This is by far the best console generation shift that gamers have experienced."

According to several pictures shared by media that received the PS5, the upcoming Sony console will allow users to transfer data in a number of ways. Users can connect a PS4 and PS5 to the same home network, connect them via a lan cable, or even connect an external hard drive to the PS4 and move content over that way. Xbox Series X will also offer similar data transfer methods, and the ability to play games off an external hard drive. This makes it easy to move data over without having to download it again.

It’s important for users to easily be able to move their data over as this generation is different from past console releases. Unlike the jump from the PS3 to the PS4, many of the games that have released on PS4 will still be supported on the PS5, without users having to make any additional purchases. The same is true for the Xbox Series X, which features Xbox Smart Delivery. Both the PS4 and Xbox One still have games set to release, like Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and even some PlayStation exclusives like Horizon Forbidden West.

"Being able to transfer a save file for your favorite game is invaluable."

Sony also has plans to support the PS4 for a few more years, as stated in an interview with the Washington Post. Franklin believes that this generational shift is unlike any we’ve seen. 

"This is by far the best console generation shift that gamers have experienced," he said. "...both Sony and Microsoft introduc[ed] a wealth of features around save games and backwards compatibility from essentially day one." 

Game Saves Aren’t Completely Safe

While most games will move over on the PS5, save data is a different story. Xbox aims to bring all of your save data and games over to the next generation, while Sony has left cross-gen save data support in the hands of developers. 

"Please note that the ability to transfer game saves between a PS4 version and a PS5 version of the same game is a developer decision," a post on the PlayStation Blog read. This has already led to revelations that games like Dirt 5 won’t support cross-gen saves on the PS5. On the other hand, Sony also confirmed in the blog post that games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales will support save transfers between the PS4 and PS5.

PS4 and PS5 cases and box art for Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Data like trophies and other info is tied directly to your online account, so there’s no need to worry about that. While save data is based on developer decision, the ease with which PS5 owners can move new content over should help soften the blow that losing hours of progress leaves behind. 

Despite possible game save losses, experts still believe that the support gamers will see for cross-gen data on the PS5 is worth celebrating.