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Sony PS4 lacks backward compatibility with PS3 games

Andrew Williams


Sony PS3
Sony PS3

During the Sony PS4 launch, Sony confirmed that the console will not offer backwards compatibility with existing PS3 games.

The next-generation PlayStation console, the Sony PS4, has launched at an official event in New York. However, the good news comes with a sour note - the PS4 will not be able to play PS3 titles using the discs you currently own.

There is a solution, however, and it's called PlayStation Cloud. And no, you won't need a PS3 to use it.

Sony PS4 Game Streaming

PlayStation Cloud will let gamers stream games from former PlayStation consoles, including the PS1, PS2 and PS3 to their shiny new Sony PS4 over their home broadband connection, using integrated Gaikai tech.

With Gaikai, the lion's share of the game processing will take place server-side, rather than within the Sony PS4 console itself.

Gaikai CEO Dave Perry detailed the new game-streaming functionality during the PS4's launch in New York. Gaikai is an expert in the game streaming field, and probably the best-know rival for OnLive, although each operates under a different business strategy.

Gaikai's was geared towards publishers rather than gamers, and it's a tactic that seems to have worked for the company. Sony purchased Gaikai back in mid-2012 for $380 million.

The Sony PS4's game streaming moves beyond the console itself too. You'll be able to stream games to a PS Vita handheld. If you own a Vita that's been gathering dust, it may be soon time to brush it off.

Check our news feed for more PS4 launch information.

Mike Duffy

February 21, 2013, 12:46 am

.... This make ZERO sense.... You are telling me, Sony wants me to "Stream" my PS3 to a PS4 to allow me to play my PS3 games on my PS4??? WHY DONT I JUST PLAY MY PS3 IN THE SAME DAMN ROOM!

OR Further reading I see you say "With Gaikai, the lion's share of the game processing will take place
server-side, rather than within the Sony PS4 console itself." Well where does the game go? Do we proof ownership of a game and they let us play it through streaming? How do we prove ownership? If we buy a used game cant we just prove we own it and return it?

Further questioning, Why is Sony releasing such a marginal product that isnt gear toward any gamers interests? I have YET to hear from people "OH BOY Cant wait to get home and stream a video game to play!" Its such a laggy and color washed out service, there is nearly no value to do it. Not to mention data caps and all that jazz. Its been proven by third party hackers that the hardware can handle software to do it. (Example is the PSP playing ANY PsOne game if its jailbroken but Sony only release 3 every month to buy for uncracked)

An Tran

February 21, 2013, 1:11 am

Seems to me like it's basically OnLive just for the Playstations. Your old games are now completely useless unless you keep your PS3. Probably the same how your PSP games are useless when you get the Vita.

Mike Duffy

February 21, 2013, 1:46 am

Indeed, but the wording of the blogger gave me different ideas of what they intend to do. IF they show me some good proof of this streaming crap, then I might be on board... Id be willing to "rebuy" something like Final Fantasy 12 to stream but NOT if its it like 30 bucks or something stupid.

Joe Strong

February 21, 2013, 8:50 am

The article says "And no, you won't need a PS3 to use it."


February 21, 2013, 9:36 am

I don't think you need a PS3 to stream the games. I think Gaikai will make available to its users a large number of games (I highly doubt they can port every PS3 game) on its server and if you want to play any of them, you just stream it, rather than download it, which is kinda annoying. Basically this means you'll have to be always connected to the internet and disconnection will lead the game to probably quit. This also raises the question of performance drop because the game might lag if you have poor connectivity, even in a simple single player game.

For people with terrible internet such as myself this is a nightmare. I didn't own any of the last gen consoles (PC gamer), but I wanted to get into it this time. Sadly, looks like I'll never get to experience Journey or Uncharted in all its glory...


February 21, 2013, 12:47 pm

This is a non-issue. If you have a library of PS3 games, you have a PS3. You're not going to buy PS3 games once you own a PS4. TBH I'm surprised there was ever an expectation of backward compatibility.


February 21, 2013, 1:42 pm

No backwards compatibility, no sale to me. The PS3 fat be bought some 6
years ago still works fine. The only reason we bought an Xbox Kinect was
because it offered something worth having, and ran all the old titles, though that
we didn't actually sell the Xbox 360 (replaced four times by M$ incidentally)
it was meant to replace also shows how it was the backwards compatibility that
made it worth keeping too. Oh and the Wii U? As our current Wii sits in a box
somewhere, the one trick pony that it was didn't meant that we've paid it
little attention to its successor.

If in years to come the PS4 is some sort of big hit, ends up with a large
library of games that are so much impressive than PS3 titles, and nearly all
developers stop developing for the millions of PS3 out there because they've
all died or their owners decided to bin them, then, just maybe then, we'd
consider one. Besides if the new Xbox offers backwards compatibility, and is ‘interesting’,
it will be a no brainer upgrading to that, I’m not compelled to buy Sony, and
the lack of backwards compatibility having taken away an ‘anchor’.


February 21, 2013, 2:15 pm

I assume that you put your ps 1/2/3 disc in and the PS4 will recognise the game and then allow you to stream it.

Makes sense in a world of fast, unlimited broadband, not so for those without it (majority of people I assume). Moral of the story, don't pack away your PS3 if you want to keep playing those games.


February 21, 2013, 2:21 pm

completely agree...had had two PS3 (thanks to the light of death) and dont see myself having any buyer loyalty now to Sony. As above, they will probably rip us off to stream our bought games. Will probably see what the new Xbox brings to the table and make a decision then (or just keep my PS3!)


February 21, 2013, 2:58 pm

That's not the point, because it means you can't replace your existing PS3 machine, but would have to add another component to your equipment rack. Note that every Blu-ray player is backward compatible with standard DVDs, so backward compatibility is something most people expect. Since the PS4 is supposed to have a Blu-ray player, it's hard to understand why they can't make it compatible with PS3 discs. No sale for me.


February 21, 2013, 4:39 pm



February 21, 2013, 5:44 pm

For people like me, who didn't own a PS3, it makes a big difference. I want to play those games and am ready to invest in a PS4, but now I know I can't play those games.


February 21, 2013, 7:47 pm

That would be great if it is true, but they never mentioned anything like that.

Mike Duffy

February 21, 2013, 9:05 pm

I agree with the terrible internet part :P

Mike Duffy

February 21, 2013, 9:08 pm

Another thing worth mentioning, Ever notice Stream video games look like shit? The coloring is really washed out, and blocky graphics totally pull you out of immersion. I guess the biggest plus though is that if you own a PS3, the specs on the PS4 arent wallet breaking (like NEEDING to buy a new TV) Consider the jump in screen res from Ps2 to Ps3 lol New TV for PS3 left the PS2 in the dust. Anyhow, Its a twisted scam just create buyer demand for the PS4 over the PS3 games.

ओं मणिपद्मे हूं

March 7, 2013, 1:58 am

I agree with you, i've always been a PC Gamer, and.. with this, there is no need for me to stop upgrading my pc, and just buy the ps4, i wanted to buy the GoW collection, even before the PS4 release, but with this..i just won't buy a thing, like Gran Turismo, i had on my plans MGS, and Little Big Planet and LBP karting.. but, right now i dont feel motivated to buy a PS4 like I was before the announcement

ओं मणिपद्मे हूं

March 7, 2013, 2:12 am

Well, i was a pc user, and I was thinking in buying the GoW collection..and I dont own a PS3, but i wanted to play Gran Turismo and Little Big Planet, and LBP Karting, but now, i dont feel like playin Knack.. and is an issue for me, i dont want to buy a ps3 to play those games now i have the time (and the TV) to play them, I wanted a PS4.. I know there will be bether games, but, its really weird to say you wont be able to play GoW Ascension on PS4 and that there is no reason to buy it, if they expect us to upgrade our consoles. I wont upgrade, i dont own a PS3, but i guess the idea of releasing a Playstation exclusive game, is for people to buy it.. but, in 6 months when the console is released, GoW ascension will be obsolete, at least for me and all those who buys the PS4.

ओं मणिपद्मे हूं

March 7, 2013, 2:17 am

same as me, i bought a good TV, now i want something that lets me enjoy it, I have the money and i was planning on getting some games and the PS4, but now all those games i just heard about..and walways wanted to play, are obsolete.. but.. damn.. "GoW Ascension OBSOLETE in a half year??


March 12, 2013, 2:01 pm

Which is why I've switched to Xbox 360, so I don't need to buy the same games all over again, for a new console. Sony may find it financially beneficial to force consumers to update their game collections for compatibility with their latest console; However, all they are really doing is alienating new customers and pissing off their dwindling fan base.


June 12, 2013, 12:27 pm

My problem with this is that even though it has a blu-ray drive which is the SAME tech as the PS3, all of a sudden PS3 games can't play on it? It makes sense for the Xbox One because it's only just utilising it but this is crazy.

For new games you may buy sure, but not my existing collection.

Dennis Johnston

September 2, 2013, 1:47 pm

I don't see why everyone's bitching. its a practical business model that everyone follows: New hardware,new system and new games...They didn't produce the PS4 so we can just keep buying the old catalog of ps3 games. Its called keeping your ps3 and using it when you wanna run those old games. AT least thats what Im gonna do. Im also gonna enjoy the new stuff they bring with Ps4. Dont like it,dont buy it.....

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