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PS4 backwards compatibility? Don’t hold your breath, Sony is looking forwards

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Microsoft sprung a welcome surprise at the E3 gaming expo by announcing its Xbox One would soon be offering backwards compatibility with selected Xbox 360 titles.

However, judging by new comments from Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Worldwide studios, don’t expect the PlayStation 4 to follow suit.

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Speaking to Edge (via GamesRadar), Yoshida said the team are focused solely on creating new experiences for PS4, rather than opening up old gaming libraries.

"I totally understand people asking for [backwards compatibility], and if it was easy, we’d have done that," he said. "But our focus is creating PS4 games and adding new services.”

Yoshida offered some faint praise for Microsoft’s initiative, which will see over 100 previous-generation games work on the newer console.

However, he said Sony’s preference is for remastering old games for the PS4 in order to improve the experience.

He said: “I was very surprised. It must have taken lots of effort for them to realise the backwards compatibility, because the Xbox 360 and Xbox One use very different kinds of architecture and I’m very curious.

“They showed a very short list of titles that work, and doing software emulation means you have to work title by title. So I’m curious to see what kind of games will be included in those 100 games that they say will be compatible by the end of the year."

“Remaking games on PS4 makes the games even better – with The Last Of Us, you can play at 60 frames per second, and the same goes for Dark Souls 2. Actually, I just finished Dark Souls 2 again on PS4.”

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The executive also raised the widely misunderstood PlayStation Now streaming platform, which he again stated was designed to liberate old titles from the need for a console, rather than enable backwards compatibility.

He added: "We don’t have backwards compatibility with PS4. With PS Now you can play PS3 games on PS4, but the main purpose of PS Now is a network service.

”By removing the requirement of games running on the console itself we can bring PlayStation games to multiple devices, including non-PlayStation devices. We just announced an alliance with Samsung in the US so people who purchase Samsung TVs can play PlayStation games on their TV. So that’s the main purpose, not to provide backwards compatibility."

Is backwards compatibility a consideration for you as you weigh up a PS4 or Xbox One purchase? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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