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Submitted by Torchwood4 1072d ago | opinion piece

Time To Grow Up And Let Go Of Backwards Compatibility

"Now that the PlayStation 4 has been revealed, people have already given up on being excited for the console just for the sole fact that it will not play PS3 games. Now this is much more than haters on the internet bashing Sony's next big thing and is from the millions of people who think backwards compatibility is something every system should have. Backwards compatibility has become this feature that is rarely used by people, but almost everybody will complain if you don't include it." (Next-Gen, PS3, PS4, Tag Invalid, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

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Jadedz  +   1072d ago
To each their own?
It isn't needed, but it's a welcomed feature that might persuade consumer interest for that said product (at times).
darthv72  +   1072d ago
Its just a matter of perspective
i mean, to have at least one generation of BC is usually doable. It does offer that transitional point of games you may still enjoy but the convenience of playing them through a newer system.

in some cases, there are improvements that can be had from such a feature. Like the wii-u having BC with wii games. Just last night, the kids wanted to play some wii sports and I had not really been using the wii-u for that game. I will say, it did look noticeably better via the hdmi 720p display vs the component 480p the wii originally was using.

Something like that isnt asking to much. I think when it comes to BC in general, many are focused at having the full back catalog of titles being playable. So in the case of the PS4, its as if many will want all the way back to the PS1 games playable. We already have that on the PS3 and I would doubt they could really look any better than that on a PS4.

Personally, I still use my PS1 for PS1 games as I found that playing them on the PS3 or even the PS2 led to some strange artifacts on the screen. But i do like the convenience it offers if needed.

A Ps4 playing the PSN/PS3 games that people already have should be a given but I can also accept that if such a feature were to compromise the abilities of the PS4 itself then by all means it can be skipped. That is why i would never get rid of my Ps3 just like I never got rid of my Ps2 or PS1 or any of my previous systems.

It just seems like an odd decision for sony to make now considering they always offered some type of BC in their previous platforms.

But hey, even Sega never really offered it other than special add-on (power base converter was the only one). They wanted each system to be its own unique platform dedicated to its own line of games.
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Hellsvacancy  +   1072d ago
I can see why Sony hasnt added BC to the PS4 (although I would of liked it) If the PS4 could play PS3 games consumers would stop buying the PS3 and buy the PS4, the PS3 will be on the market for a few years yet, Sony knows this, they also know whoever buys a PS3 may possibly buy a PS4 at some point

Might aswel have two selling consoles rather than one
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Anon1974  +   1072d ago
It certainly worked for them this gen. When you look at the home console market, since the PS3 launched, combined PS2 and PS3 sales have outpaced home console sales from their competition. It's a mystery to me that when people talk about home console marketshare and what Sony's lost this gen, they always ignore the fact that Sony was selling not one, but two home game consoles the past 7 year. No one is saying that the Wii and Xbox 360 weren't successful and that Sony didn't enjoy a much larger share prior to the PS3's launch, but why they would choose to ignore the PS2 when talking about marketshare this gen just leaves me puzzled.

If the market can support a high end and low end gaming console, why wouldn't they sell two consoles? They have different stereo receivers aimed at different markets. They have different TV models aimed at different markets. I don't see why they wouldn't do the same thing with game consoles again.

As for BC...nice to have but it's not going to sway my buying decision one way or another.
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Shnazzyone  +   1072d ago
Well I understand why sony didn't do it. It's practically impossible to emulate an cell architecture on current PC architecture. Which is why they closest thing they can offer is cloud play of those games. I won't say they did it maliciously, but i will say it does reduce the value of the console at launch and means that if I do buy it, it's not going to be until a few years in.
SilentNegotiator  +   1072d ago
Hardware changes, you can't have BC forever. Move on, keep your PS3.
MikeMyers  +   1072d ago
Should we all have kept our DVD players when we started getting into bluray or is it far more convenient having a bluray player play both? I have a lot of digital content I bought over the years and some are timeless classics and HD remakes that I still enjoy. Why would I want to keep my PS3 to play them when they should be tied to my Playstation account or Xbox Live account? I don't have this problem on Steam.
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SilentNegotiator  +   1072d ago
Right, because the rendering of video and the complex programming/rendering of video games are identical processes. /s
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MikeMyers  +   1072d ago
"Right, because the rendering of video and the complex programming/rendering of video games are identical processes."

How much money do you think it actually saves Sony to remove the ability to play PS2 games on the PS3 hardware? It was more of a business move than actual costs.

What will be the excuse if they don't allow previous digital content on the PS4 when Gaikai is up and running and could stream the games?
SilentNegotiator  +   1072d ago
All that's left of your argument is a "what if"

Because you don't know what Sony did or didn't save.
maniacmayhem  +   1072d ago
What's so funny is the price of tech goes down as time goes on. The ps2 costs what...less than $99 dollars? the price of the ps3 was able to come down because the cost of production is lower.

So these arguments of the PS4 not having BS because of hardware and cost is laughable and if anyone believes this they are fooling themselves.

Sony like other businesses know they are sitting on a goldmine of back catalog games that nostalgic games are foaming to play again on their new system. Charge them again through a service because BC is not provided.
kaozgamer  +   1072d ago

they saved quite a lot by removing the emotion engine chip from the ps3...
MikeMyers  +   1071d ago

"On backwards compatibility: Jack explained that Sony looked at how to "not take a greater hit on production cost, without losing PlayStation's heritage ... Hardware / software for backwards compat wasn't all that expensive. ... but we're selling PS2 software to PS2 customers, and selling PS3 software to PS3 consumers." Still, Jack seems to feel like it may have been the wrong move. "I would like to have had it in there, but Sony's collective strategy determined we could afford to lose it. We've now gone down that road, and we're not going back."
violents  +   1072d ago
Would it peak your interest and/or sway your choice to buy one if your next gen console is like 800 dollars because you want 4 console built into one?

If you dont know why its not being included then do some research and its easily apparent why its immposible. Just keep your old systems people.
lapiopoop  +   1071d ago
I don't care if it isn't included, I mean i already got my ps3 to play ps3 games and watch movies and my ps2 to play ps2 games. Like Jadedz said, it's a welcome feature
PopRocks359  +   1072d ago
What the hell is immature about liking backwards compatibility? I think it's nice to be able to do away with old tech in order to make room and save money for new tech and still be able to keep and play my games. It's obviously not an essential feature, but it's certainly a welcome one.

I don't want to be that guy (again), but would anyone honestly be this forgiving if the Wii U didn't have backwards compatibility?
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matgrowcott  +   1072d ago
If the Wii U didn't have backwards compatibility - with basically the same modified components Nintendo have been using for over a decade - that would be cause for concern.

If the Next Xbox doesn't have backwards compatibility - considering the 360 is largely computer-like already and nothing is really changing on that front - that'll be cause for concern.

Sony have completely changed the way they've built the PS4. it's really, really difficult for anybody who know's what they're talking about to complain, because frankly there's absolutely no other intelligent solution to this problem.
PopRocks359  +   1072d ago
If you're implying I'm one of the people complaining specifically about the PS4's lack of backwards compatibility, let me clarify.

It's a disappointment that the PS4 doesn't have backwards compatibility, but it's by no means a deal breaker. However I still don't see what this article is getting at by suggesting that those who prefer having backwards compatibility in their next-gen consoles have an immature standpoint and need to "grow up."


While you make a sound point about the PS4 having a new infrastructure, the PS3 also has backwards compatibility with every model supporting PSOne Classics and with some models supporting PS2 models all of which is in spite of its Cell processor and overall different infrastructure. Why they can't at least bother to put out an additional SKU (even if the release is a limited one) with backwards compatibility in it makes little sense and your defense of it comes off as a double standard.
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matgrowcott  +   1072d ago
I'm not implying anything, I'm just explaining why someone might be justified in complaining about it on other consoles, and not on the PS4.

It's not a case of fanboyism, it's a case of Sony making the biggest changes between systems.

EDIT: Those of you disagreeing with my above comment, feel free to try and explain. If it's really just "we want BC on PS4," you're more or less proving the article right...
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matgrowcott  +   1072d ago

Because additional SKUs cost money. Even limited releases cost money. They have to first decide how best to house the additional parts (which will likely mean literally remodeling many components, including the board), then they have to pay extra to market it.

In the end you're looking at hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on a product that will sell to such a small amount of customers that it's not even worth considering.

And how many people will pay full price for to cover those costs? You and your buddies? A few hundred folks on the internet? Or will some of them wait for the price to come down?

Just sticking the parts in is far harder than it sounds, and there's no way to do it and make it profitable. It's not just PS4 price + PS3 price. If it was, they'd have done it.

EDIT: Oh, and I forgot; they'd then have to make the Cell play nice with standard architecture components. I can't say I've looked into it, but I can't imagine that would be at all fun, if at all possible.

So add that to the list of costs, and the likely no-go makes it even less a smart idea.


Because the graphics card isn't a problem. The graphics card could be overcome relatively simply.

The problem is the processor. The cell can't be emulated, and it uses a unique architecture. While Microsoft had to issue a patch, to get a PS3 game playable on PS4 would require a complete remake.
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darthv72  +   1072d ago
"Sony have completely changed the way they've built the PS4."
I get what you are saying. I mean there is a completely different graphics chip that will be used. It may have been different if sony went with a next gen nvidia part which could have led to BC due to the ps3 games developed using an nvidia chip in the ps3.

But why not take the same approach Ms did when they had to change chip vendors between systems? Granted we do not have 100% bc on the 360 with all xbox games but patched emulation is still better than nothing.

im sure sony could have their teams come up with the patches to adapt nvidia based rendering on the new amd gpu. Then again, the time to create the patch would cost $$ that maybe they can put into dedicated development instead.

The lack of BC isnt a deal breaker to me if it means the system will be more stable. I just liked that convenience they offered for so long that its a strange twist they changed their mind now.

I guess it would be like a bluray player that comes out that explicitly will not play dvd's even though we know the laser is capable of doing so.
GalacticEmpire  +   1072d ago
Although not mentioned in the article, I think the immaturity lies not in the opinion of BC but in the way it's worth is exaggerated and used as a weapon in fanboy rants.

Like you say, there's nothing wrong with liking BC but claiming you aren't going to buy a console because you simply can't live without it does come off a tad immature.

I always see people who demand BC as wanting to 'have their cake and eat it too'. They demand BC but at the same time demand a low console price and, due to technical reasons, it's usually one or the other.
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SilentNegotiator  +   1072d ago
Did YOU do any complaining when Wii U's dropping of Gamecube support became official? Suggest that remastered gamecube games are a "scam" because they dropped the BC? I doubt it.
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PopRocks359  +   1072d ago
Actually for your information, yes I did complain about that. I said it was a damn shame and I was pretty unhappy about it at first, but it at least had backwards compatibility to Wii, both physical and digital games, and could potentially add GCN games to the virtual console in the future just like how the PS3 slim models (and some fat ones) don't support the PS2, but do support the PS1 (sans some emulated downloads). That's better than having NOTHING at all and I still say it's a welcome feature.

The next time you want to try and make me look like a hypocrite, why not do some research? Oh wait, it's you and you're incapable of forming an argument that doesn't involve facts or not using some sort of attack on the person you're replying to.
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PopRocks359  +   1072d ago
I can't believe I forgot to touch upon this subject before.

I think it's incredibly laughable you will refer to the remake of Wind Waker as a "scam" when as a Sony fan I've never heard a cross word from you about HD collections for the PS3 which are literally nothing but resolution upscales with trophies for PS2 games that came out a single generation prior.

Yet somehow a game from the Gamecube era being completely remade with new graphics and retooled with gameplay upgrades akin to Ocarina of Time 3D is a scam. You are either delusional or a complete hypocrite. Or perhaps both.
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aLucidMind  +   1072d ago
It was kind of obvious they were gonna drop BC for Gamecube on the Wii-U since a few years after the Wii's release, Nintendo began releasing models of the Wii that wasn't backwards compatible. That said, it did stop me from selling more of the Wii's to customers since the BC seemed to be a pretty good selling point. Not saying I didn't stop trying to sell them, but I sold a lot less after that. I'm speaking mainly of non-gaming parents buying a console for their little kids or late teens that just got into gaming during the PS360 gen.
miyamoto  +   1072d ago
I think the best solution is to buy a less expensive PS3 for PS3 games down the line (if you still don't have one) even if you have a PS4.

At least when one breaks down the other is still functional.

PS3 has pretty decent graphics even when 1080p or 4K is the norm.

And PS3 ain't like the PSOne or PS2 wich are in SD and doesn't look very good on HDTV.

Plus the wife can watch Netflix on PS3 or the kids can play LBP on PS3 while the hubby plays the man-games on PS4 all at the same time.

Also there is Gaikai service as an alternative solution to this problem.

I wish PS4 games also have 720p display mode bcos my HDTV although it said 1080p on the box can only display GT5 at 1080i.

I tried my PS3 on other 1080p HDTVs and I get the same results.

Is that an issue with my Ps3 unit? pls help. thanks.
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Thepcz  +   1072d ago
lol what a cop out
how tunes change. hilarious!
Aclay  +   1072d ago
Backwards compatibility for me is usually really nice to have early on in the console's lifecycle for the first year or two, but admittedly after that I rarely take much use of backwards compatibility.

When the PS4 comes out, I know I'll still be buying some PS3 games b/c there were a number of them I just never got around to buying-- and by the time the PS4 does come out, many of those games are going to be cheap.

Would've been nice to be able to play all those games on the PS4 and have one PS console that could play my entire PS library like the launch 60GB PS3 I still have, but I guess I'll just have to leave the PS3 out on my TV Stand a while longer alongside the PS4.

Only reason why the PS4 not having BC will be a small hassle for me is, I'll have to do some rearranging on multiple shelves of my TV stand to make room for PS3, PS4 and my Sattelite Receiver on the Top Shelf.
PS_Family  +   1072d ago
Nope. I invested too much in PSN and PS games and don't want more than 2 giant systems plugged in my T.V.
PS_Family  +   1072d ago
Love that Sackboy pic hoarding games.
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cyclindk  +   1072d ago
1) Streaming will solve this one day when every connection is over fiber optic and bandwidth is opened up full throttle

2) PC's have always had the luxury of backwards compatibility thankfully, so there's always that option for people

3) Wait a bit and any console you can think of and all the games for it can be had for cheap.
Mathew9R   1072d ago | Spam
Sketchy_Galore  +   1072d ago
As unhappy as it makes me I accept that the PS4 will just be too different in terms of hardware to play PS3 games but I'll be damned if I'm gonna grow up too.
Spectator1  +   1072d ago
'Backwards compatibility has become this feature that is rarely used by people, but almost everybody will complain if you don't include it'

Yeah, I agree, that seems to be the case.

Wouldn't bother me at all if neither the PS4 nor the 720 had any BC whatsoever.
puamdefokejpn  +   1072d ago
They would ,.. but makes no sense putting Cell into PS4, because cost would be to great,.

I still rock my original 60 fatty,.. and as much as I was glad there was BC, I only used it 2-3 times in entire 6(7) years,..

Will probably get another ps3 when it is really cheap, just for my old games,..

Keep your consoles guys. People who have games have PS3s, people who don't have PS3s, should not have PS3 games,.. It would be neat, but I'd rather have ps4 more affordable to more gamers.
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jjb1981  +   1072d ago
I don't care because I'm going to keep my ps3. Also the inclusion of hardware to play games based on the cell processor is going to jack up the price. I'm buying the ps4 for ps4 games. That's just my opinion.
MelonSaurus  +   1072d ago
Backwards compatibility is useful in giving a new console solid footing since without it the console is relying specifically on its exclusive titles. The first PS3 model contained BC and it was dropped later with the slim. But by that time the console had already built up a substantial library of games. I still stand by the belief that the PS4 should contain BC in its first model, even if its dropped later on.
matgrowcott  +   1072d ago
It was dropped way before the slim. The BC models didn't actually make it long enough to see a EU release.

6 months to a year?

And it's because it was a feature that added too much cost and it was a cost people weren't willing to pay. Why would Sony repeat that mistake?

Also, see my above posts on why BC is completely impossible on PS4 anyway.
DigitalSmoke  +   1072d ago
Its a cool featurs but understandible if not possible from a hardware perspective.

No show stopper for me, i advance with my time.
wishingW3L  +   1072d ago
more like "stop being a sheep" and ask for stuff, demand it, complain about it, that's why we pay for! The point of technology is to make things be more convenient for everybody and not just for game publishers to milk us more easily.
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InTheLab  +   1072d ago
Would it kill you to just keep your PS3?

Who goes out and buys an expensive new PS4 to play PS3 games?

Seriously, it's not even worth arguing at this point. If Sony gave you the option to pay for BC, none of the mofos complaining about the lack of BC would pony up that extra cash.

It is time to let it go.
younglj01  +   1072d ago
Personally I'm happy with the PS4 not having BC..If we "truly" want next-gen console Sony couldn't promote their Cell tech for future PS consoles.Think how hard the PS3 was for 3rd party developers(something I still can't understand) if Sony created an power and faster console but simple(PS4) then 3rd party developers wouldn't have anymore excuses.

The fact only and I mean only Sony 1st party studios was able too push the PS3. With Beyond and TLoU still too come why would you even get rid of your PS3? Hell we didn't even know the scope of the PS4 ...Could Sony also release more PS3 exclusives and PS4 launch titles at E3?

With PS3 and PS4 been completing different is mind-blowing. Because personally I thought Sony was working on some-type of Advance Cell Chip. And if I'm not mistaken but I thought Sony brought GaiKai too handle their BC issue?
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ceejaa  +   1072d ago
short and sweet. its all about price. bc costs more. then people would complain about cost. next gen. u have a ps3 for older games.
mav805  +   1072d ago
I think it's of course convenient to have BC but when did this become a necessity? Thinking back to my early gaming days on the NES, Genesis, SNES, Saturn, Dreamcast...up to the N64/Gamecube, PS1/2/3, xbox/360, Wii/U only what, 4 had full BC?

If it's going to add cost to the machine to include, I'd personally rather do without or have that cost put towards more powerful specs.
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tomjeck251   1072d ago | Spam
Fatty  +   1072d ago
Ah good, another apologist article. All of the manufacturers should have at least an emulation program for their new consoles. I keep all my old ones anyway, but the feature has been nice in the past when I got a new title for the older console and discovered the older machine needed a repair.
Hicken  +   1072d ago
Are you willing to pay the extra cash for backwards compatibility? Cuz Sony isn't willing to risk implementing it and then having people complain about the cost of the system being too high.

I would most definitely prefer the PS4 have backwards compatibility. But I would prefer even more that the PS4 has a reasonable price.

Which would you choose?
maniacmayhem  +   1072d ago
Hasn't the PS2/PS1 gone down considerably in price? Isn't the price of production very minimal now? Aren't there free emulators on PC that can play PS1/PS2 games? Isn't the PS4 closer to a high end PC?

Yes, it is.

I'm pretty sure Sony's gaming division which I have heard on N4G is doing very well could afford a hit and offer one of the solutions above to the PS4. Since it is a dedicated core gaming system.
matgrowcott  +   1072d ago

So you're suggesting Sony go and download an illegal emulator off the internet and just stick that onto their new system?

What you seem to be forgetting is that the current Sony-made PS1 emulator has been made for a certain architecture. Same for the one used on mobile devices (and Vita). This isn't a trivial thing. It should be relatively easy (like that 6 month wait on Vita was easy) compared with PS2 and PS3 emulation, but they could have games available through Gaikai in a matter of days. If the service is ready, they could have every current digital title available in a matter of hours.

Same with the PS2. Emulation for the PS2 is fairly buggy. It's workable, most of the time, but it can take a certain amount of fiddling on the part of the end user, which is absolutely something Sony can't allow. On a game-by-game basis, it's doable, which is why you can download individual games, but, again, Gaikai is the easy answer to this one.

So in short: they've offered a solution, and it's the most sensible one all around. Of course a couple of people are going to be disappointed, but it's funny that the people who are complaining don't really have a good reason Sony should put hours of work and loads of money into this when Gaikai is a solid option.

How they handle current ownership is the issue at hand, but of course, you're all so bugged out about the stuff they JUST CAN'T DO that you're missing the point entirely.
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Fatty  +   1071d ago
I would sacrifice extra money for it. The system is going to be pricey no matter what; it has amazing tech, so I don't think it will come cheap. Adding $50 to a system when someone is already prepared to shell out $450-500+ dollars isn't a huge difference.

Now if it was $100 to the price, that'd be different, though I think they would add a bigger hard drive to make it feel like a better value for the price.
maniacmayhem  +   1069d ago

"So you're suggesting Sony go and download an illegal emulator off the internet and just stick that onto their new system?"

Yes, that is exactly what I'm wait..What I'm suggesting is that is doable to have an emulator for PS2 games. And the amount of resources they have and experience with their own tech they could turn out emu's that are far less buggy than some of the ones found for free made by hacks and people on spare time on PC.

Of course Gaikai is the more practical solution. Trickle down games on a paid service or offer them again for a set price.

Excellent option only from a business standpoint.
Spitonyourgrave  +   1072d ago
So I should grow up because I want to play my old games on one system that's supposed to be a beast?
I should pay for crap HD collections?

Sony propaganda at it's best!
Tyre  +   1072d ago
The title makes no sense in respect to BC and is patronizing to all gamers. no further comment.
KillrateOmega  +   1072d ago
It is kind of immature to complain about BC. If you want to play PS3 games that badly, then play them on the PS3 itself. It's not like you can no longer use the PS3 once you've bought a PS4 :P

If no BC means that the price for the PS4 will be lower, then I'm all for no BC.
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BrianC6234  +   1072d ago
It doesn't really mean it will be cheaper. More like other features will be included, like all that RAM.
aLucidMind  +   1072d ago
It's hardly immature to complain about not getting a feature that each console prior had; the main complaint is that it is a bit inconveniencing to have to unhook your PS4 and hook up your PS3 every time they wanted to play a PS3 (or PS2/1 game) and vice-versa. It takes a short amount of time, sure; but it gets very tedious after the first few times.

That said, I personally don't care about BC. It is just a nice feature to have that is simply more convenient and user-friendly than the alternative.
KillrateOmega  +   1072d ago
It's one of those things that's mainly used in the first year or two of the console lifecycle when people are still making the transition. After that, people make far less use of it as they have now gotten sucked into the various current-gen franchises.

There's also the problem of the different architectures that the PS3 and PS4 will have. While they HAVE overcome this problem in the past (PS1 and 2 --> PS3), it still requires more work on the devs' part. Somebody has to pay them.

It's cost money to integrate and make use of. All for a largely temporary usage of the feature.
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aLucidMind  +   1072d ago
I know that; I was just stating that it is wrong to think complaining about the lack of BC is more of an immaturity issue rather than an issue with convenience. However, it may not just be temporary; I still play many of my PS1 games on my PS3 despite having many PS3 games. For many, it will not just be temporarily used for the first couple years.
BrianC6234  +   1072d ago
I agree with this. I bet people complaining about this issue also cried over the PS3 being too expensive when it came out. You can't have it both ways. Features cost money. Would you rather be able to play old games on the PS4 or have the 8GB of GDDR RAM? Sony had to choose which features they'd include in their new console. I think they chose right on those two.
Hayabusa 117  +   1072d ago
More RAM please :)
BrianC6234  +   1072d ago
Since I got two disagrees and only one agree I guess more people want to play old games. They can stick with the PS3 then and we'll move on to the PS4.
worldwidegaming  +   1072d ago
Go forward or be left behind.
Very simple, people can cry and complain but take a look
at what complaining has done? Nothing but have developers talk smack. Can you imagine going into a store and the manager starts to talk smack because what you bought did not work? Yeah, gamers take punishment with a smile.
Take a look at DLC and DRM complaints.
kamikazepikmin  +   1072d ago
what a stupid a$$ article
Hayabusa 117  +   1072d ago
Everything comes at a cost. So ask yourself: if the PS4 had backwards compatibility, what would that cost be?

A complex system architecture?
A more expensive system?
A higher loss per-system sold for Sony?
More time?

I think Sony made the right decision. BC is a bonus feature, nothing more.

Let the PS3 play PS3 games, and let the PS4 play PS4 games.
#29 (Edited 1072d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Vita3DS  +   1072d ago
Fuck that! Maybe to go back on line up against time.
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