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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.

Dead Words

July 13, 2015, 7:59 pm

This is a big win for Xbox. If anything can push Xbox to the forefront of console gaming, it's this.

Graeme Willy

July 13, 2015, 8:10 pm

Xbox One was designed to stay within parity of Xbox 360's architecture: They both feature Radeon graphics chips, so nothing special needs done there, they have embedded GPU-based RAM, they have similar processors, despite the 360 being of PowerPC...still, it is by design very similar. Using Microsoft's existing VMware software, they are then able to virtualize the Xbox 360 OS. It's essentially running Xbox One as the host and the Xbox 360 OS as the guest OS, just like a typical VMware setup. I reckon the Xbox One is designating 6 threads, about 512mb-1gb of RAM and a couple CU's to the 360 guest OS and reserving the rest for Xbox One OS tasks, to maintain a fast, snappy interface that you can still use on top of the 360 OS...meaning, you won't be locked into just the Xbox 360 OS, you'll have all your usual Xbox One functions. I do love Microsoft's software skills, these days. The Xbox One using Hypervisor is pretty dope in of itself. I just wish they would give a "forced" OS presetting for anti-aliasing and anisoftropic filter values for 360 games, to further clean up the picture and give the 360 titles a more filtered image quality. Just like you would on a PC.

Ricardo Jackson

July 13, 2015, 9:19 pm

Two things that come to mind is that if you already own a 360 than backwards compatibility is not going to sway you on an xbox one purchase. Second your favorite games might not make it to the list so unless the game that you want to play make it to the list chances are you'll stick with your 360 if this is all that interest you. Also now that they have emulation on the xbox one of the 360 be on the watch of a successful counter part made for the pc by hackers. Then you'll see halo reach and 4 or games that would never release on pc work/look better. What use wil the xbox one have especially with them finally creating an ecosystem to co-exist with windows 10 devices. Eventually all the attention that the xbox one is getting will be moved to other windows 10 devices.

Jecht_Sin

July 13, 2015, 9:45 pm

The PS4 has cross buy with some remasters, though. Which plays the games better.

But yeah, they are digital only titles for obvious reasons.

XbotMK1

July 13, 2015, 11:50 pm

This backwards compatibility is way overblown. This is not true backwards compatibility the way the PS3 was backwards compatible with every game. The Xbox One is only backwards compatible with about 20 games and it is going to take years to expand.

The same Xbox fanboy rejects who bashed the PS3 for it's price when it had full backwards compatibility are the same jack*sses who now think backwards compatibility matters.

The reason why the PS4 is not backwards compatible is because Sony can't implement it. The PS3 architecture is too alien to offer the half*ssed backwards compatibility like Microsoft is offering. And Sony decided not repeat the true backwards compatibility mistakes of last gen by including PS3 chips inside the PS4 which raises costs.

Tom

July 14, 2015, 8:51 am

I think most of the comments miss the point about people welcoming and being happy about the announcement of backwards compatibility, its not meant to be and never will be a major feature for the console but what it is is showing that Microsoft is continuing to repair the PR damage that was done in the lead up to the launch of the Xbox One (i.e. focusing on non-games and the Kinect).

As Sony admit (in quite a weak way IMO, suggesting that we may not see many games become backwards compatible, was that the best they could come up with?) it must have taken a huge amount of work to get an emulator to work on the Xbox One with very little potential monetary reward to come from it, so the only reason they did it must be because they know they have ground to make up and are willing to do whatever they can to bring gamers back onboard

One With Shadows

July 14, 2015, 10:48 am

"If you're backwards compatible, you're backwards.".

A_NonnyMoose

July 16, 2015, 6:00 pm

I wish I had the time to quickly play through every single game I have purchased so I could be on top of my PS3 library, but the constant churning out of titles I'm interested in playing combined with the fact I'm not an unemployed teenager means I just haven't been able to keep up - I have a pretty busy life outside of my gaming hobby.
I have a couple of small stacks of purchased-new PS3 games I still haven't yet gotten to, not to mentioned the dozens I've only just recently completed in the last year, and a short list of PS3 titles I haven't yet bought but intend to once I've cleared my stacks.
What I hear Sony saying is this: 'We're more interested in squeezing additional dollars out of our customers than we are trying to honor the significant investments they've already made in previous products.' Although I totally get Sony is a business here to turn a profit, I still sense they see their customers more as ATMs and less as loyal patrons.
Full disclosure: if I truly wanted to, I could more than easily purchase a new PS4 system with all the extras right this minute, and a slew of new games to go with it - my stepson already has one, as a matter of fact, that was given to him for Chrismtas - but for me, it's the principle of the thing -- although I am of significant means, I'm not confortable being treated as an ATM by a company I *chose* to loyally follow more than a decade ago, and the hundreds and hundreds of dollars I've spent over the years on their product shouldn't be something just waved aside as they try to goad me into "looking forward."
If they won't respect my investment or loyalty to their previous console and desire to play through titles I'm not done with yet, then they will just have to wait until I'm good and ready to catch up. I'll use my income for other things instead, and they won't get another dime out of me until I'm ready to give it to them. I'm not worried; the new PS4 games I'm interested in will still be there, waiting to be played, and by that time will probably even be on sale.

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