The PlayStation 4 will not be getting backwards compatibility

By Scorpus · 17 replies
Jun 19, 2015
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  1. At E3 2015, Microsoft decided to surprise many by announcing backwards compatibility for the Xbox One. By the holiday season, gamers will have the ability to play over 100 digital or disc-based Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One via a software emulator.

    One of the people surprised by Microsoft's announcement was Sony Worldwide Studios head Shuhei Yoshida. "It was surprising," he said in an interview with Eurogamer, "I didn't think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort."

    And he's right: Microsoft's General Manager of Games Publishing Shannon Loftis explained to Engadget that backwards compatibility on the Xbox One required "some pretty dedicated engineering effort and very talented engineers." Emulation of more powerful consoles like the Xbox 360 has historically been very tricky to achieve, but Microsoft's in-depth knowledge of the console's architecture certainly would have helped.

    As for PlayStation 3 emulation on the PlayStation 4, Yoshida basically said it's not going to happen. "PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well. It's going to be super challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans."

    Yoshida does wonder what sort of games the Xbox One's Xbox 360 emulator will be able to handle, stating that Microsoft "talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don't know." Microsoft has announced 18 backwards compatible games so far, including Mass Effect, though most titles are hardly graphically intensive.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft is currently asking gamers what Xbox 360 games they want to see supported by the Xbox One. Leading the list at the moment is Red Dead Redemption, and most of the requested titles will take a fair bit of horsepower to emulate efficiently and without bugs.

    On the other hand, Sony will continue to offer PS3 backwards compatibility on the PS4 through its PlayStation Now service, which streams older games to the console over the internet. However, PlayStation Now is rather pricey, and it doesn't allow you to play your existing library of PS3 games for free, nor is it as effective as proper (working) native emulation.

    From that perspective, it seems like Microsoft will have the better and more effective way of playing older games on this generation of consoles, so long as the company can deliver on its promise of functional, smooth software emulation.

    Permalink to story.

  2. This is comedy gold.
    Sony chatted up all kinds of eventual backwards compat surrounding the release of the PS4.
    Digital download activation this, cross-platform that. All hope mongering.

    In the meantime, Microsoft slowly prepares without much fanfare - and blammo ! -
    they offer it up in spades.
  3. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 511   +152

    You have an awful low standard for comedy gold. Come back when you can actually pop your favorite 360 game in and have it run flawlessly without so much as a frame-rate issue. Good luck. You will always need the console that it was designed to run on for the best experience. I too dislike Sony aiming high and being overconfident with what they would be able to do, but its not comedic in slightest. You just have no clue how tall of an order it is to get software from one architecture to run on another. If Microsoft can do it, I will be in complete awe of their greatness. But they won't be able to do it, at least not well.
    Rick Rambo likes this.
  4. Perhaps you should wait and actually try it before judging it.
    m4a4, Rick Rambo and Uvindu like this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    I fail to see how the patently obvious is somehow comedy gold. Sony is still trying to grow the customer base of their Playstation Now service, which is composed entirely of old titles. Introducing backwards compatibility would make the service almost entirely redundant.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, has no such service that I am aware of. It's a smart move for pushing the Xbox One, but what's less clear whether it is a better business alternative to a streaming service in the long run.
    Rick Rambo likes this.
  6. Rick Rambo

    Rick Rambo TS Rookie

    Bahaha. If I want to play PS3 games I will turn my PS3 on. I use it for nothing more than a media box now, and hardly need a PS4 if I dream of playing PS3 games on it. I had a PS3 60GB launch that could play PS2 games, and I never did; I buy the games for the console I want to play.
  7. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    Good for you but you are not the world and others, believe it or not, do things you do not. I have a few friends who liked the backwards compat in the original PS3 because they did not want to have the PS2 and the PS3 connected at the same time and using one system for both games was useful to them. I myself use my 360 to play some XBox games because my XBox broke and I am not buying a new one for a few games when they work on the 360.
  8. I was actually rather underwhelmed by the Xbox One being able to play Xbox 360 games. That only goes back one generation and I don't think it is a long term plan for future systems. It is amazing that they were able to get software running on a different architecture but there's no guarantee that they can get that on future consoles. Playstation Now seems to potentially be a better long-term plan since it aims to run PS1, PS2, and PS3 games. If Sony can actually get that running at a more reasonable price, I'd be much more impressed.
  9. Honestly! I don't care about backward Compatibility as a PlayStation console owner. My first 80 gig Fatty PS3 Had BC and I never used it to play any of my PS2 Games.... not one, and I bought that model at the time just because I thought I would. If SONY can go that route again with BC then fine, but I surely will not use it to play any of my current PS3 Games. A waste of time and resources if you ask me.
  10. But what does this "I want backwards compatibility - but probably will never use it" tell us?

    When we buy a new product we like to have things future proof to a degree. We like to know that in a few months down the line we will have options available to us, and not be left out in the cold.

    As with Backwards compatibility. Sony's PS3 had it... and they removed it. Claiming it was a security flaw, and bye bye went the linux O/S option as well. Which immediately had people looking through the PS3's securities, and coming up with a much needed and well deserved FU jailbreak to Sony.

    Don't bite the hand that feeds... Sony did just that.

    As previously said, Sony is trying to get its crap Playstation Now up and running. Filled with old games. Please note that when the BC and Linux option was removed the overpriced digital downloads appeared in the store. Why allow people to previous gen games for free after they paid £40 for it, when we can charge them to do so.

    And this is what they want from you now. Sony and its PSN needs to be more STEAM. Digitally owned crap forever playable on all machines forever. The gaming industry is a fickle cow. She has a strappy and is ready to peg you. The retail price of games is horrendous in the first place, I personally cant justify £40 for a game. Riddled with bugs, and glitches. Download content overpriced and added so often to nickle and dime you.

    At least with Steam I can download my games as and when. I don't need a massive HDD I guess. We all know that anything over 2tb runs a higher risk of dying out anyways so having 24/7 access to add and delete games would be fantastic on a console. But you will still then see a library of 300 games and think damn why cant I sell off this crap I play only 4...

    Consume conform and obey. Hoarders.
  11. risc32

    risc32 TS Addict Posts: 209   +96

    While I wouldn't NOT call this news, I think most people bought ps4s to play ps4 games. So while I understand the horrible first world problem some will have, of actually having two consoles sitting next to each other on a shelf, it's just silly really.
    . This is all just distraction, the real issue is were the hell are the cool next gen games? To me that's the real issue and I'm afraid the answer is there just isn't going to be anything groundbreaking.
    davislane1 likes this.
  12. The Chad

    The Chad TS Enthusiast Posts: 23   +8

    It works great so you evidently have not used it.
  13. Being a preview member I can definitely confirm that it works beautifully. Its not even fully finished, and it runs games exactly like the 360 does. Along with the ability of emulating the 360 guide so you can use its party function, achievement earning ect.

    Also being able to use cloud saves through it means you pick up right were you left off on 360. I just cant wait for the list of playable games to expand and I'm blown away at how the engineer's have managed to pull it off.
  14. Perfectly stated. Thank you.
  15. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    It's obvious they'd rather sell the Playstation Now service instead of letting you use your old games. They probably could allow backwards compatibility if there was enough pushback from their fan base, but I think most people aren't worried as much about this. Most people who still want to play their old PS3 and PS2 games still have the consoles to do it, they just want to do it on their PS4 instead.

    Doesn't bother me all that much. I got both consoles and tons of games for each
  16. I am actually pretty impressed with the idea of backwards compatability. It would be nice to be able to go back and play some of the xbox 360 greats without having to dig out my 360 or pay for a remastered version.

    plus as a bonus that would surely no mean that withy games for gold you can theretically get alot more for your money.

    Also the emulation is amazing and for those who are Sony fans saying its crap or pointless just remember Sony are doing the exact same this with playstations now. The only difference is that xbox will not need an internet connection, the games are not compressed and the picture is not streamed at a lower res.
  17. Do something productive and not play old games. A weak argument can be made for the soul enriching or skill enhancing properties of a new game but that goes out the door with a previously played game.
  18. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 168   +45

    I for one am actually someone who would love to have backward compatibility. I actually used the backward compatibility on my Xbox 360 to play original Xbox games like Halo 1 and 2 and NFL 2K5. Not every old game is going to be worthy of playing on the newer system, but there are some gems out there or games that someone might have really connected with and represents a particular period of time in their life. Games like that are too good to get stuffed in a box and forgotten.

    The fact that their seem to be almost as many remastered titles as actual new titles should show that people still want to play older games. PC has consoles beat with this regard. You can play any game from any time and not have to worry about dragging out old hardware to do it.

    I have a PS3 and PS4 as well and PS4 does have PlayStation Now, but I'm not enthused to pay for games that I already own on disc or have already purchased digitally. I think a better way for PlayStation to adapt their Now service is to let you play the PS3 games if you had purchased a digital copy previously on your PS3 or if you own the disc. If you own the disc, it has to be inserted to play. If you hadn't purchased a digital copy already or don't have a disc then you buy it through their Now service.

    This is exactly what Xbox is doing with their backward compatibility. On Xbox One if you own the disc or purchased a digital copy you get to play the game. If you don't have the disc or didn't previously purchase it digitally, then you can still buy it digitally on your Xbox One.

    I'm currently in Xbox's preview program and have been able to play a select few Xbox 360 games on my Xbox One and so far it works really well and look forward to more titles being added.

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