The PS4 Might Never Have True Backwards Compatibility: Here's Why and What Sony Could Do

Microsoft announced backwards compatibility for the Xbox One at its E3 press conference, and preview members are already enjoying it with a number of Xbox 360 of games.

The PS4 might never have the same feature, and this article explains why and what Sony could do to work around the issue.

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BitbyDeath1127d ago

BC is great when you start a new gen but who has time to play old games now when there are a ton of new games waiting to be played?

Lucreto1127d ago

It would have been great a year ago but it is not needed now. It's a nice feature but completely irrelevant at this stage.

donthate1127d ago

That would seem like a service like PS Now that only offers older games as irrelevant?


Personally, I like to play some of the older games that do not have an equivalent new one yet.

NeoGamer2321127d ago

Last generation saw 275,000,000 consoles sold between 360, Wii and PS3. This generation only 40,000,000 have been sold so far.

While BC means nothing to early adopters who are willing to spend $400 on a new console, BC is important to some people who are waiting for the console prices to drop and want to play their existing game library while next gen games are just coming out at $60 per game.

kneon1127d ago

It's not completely irrelevant, but it is far less important than it would have been at launch. There are just too many games coming out now to bother with those old games.

Nirvana315911127d ago

I have a PS3 sitting next to my PS4 if I want to play old games. Besides Microsoft tried BC with the 360 and failed because most publishers didn't want their games to be compatible. I don't see it being any different this time

Cupid_Viper_31127d ago

I will never truly understand how a community can simultaneously decry remakes/remasters while making Halo MCC one the XBOX One's highest selling games.

I will also never understand how Phil Spencer can say that they will not charge gamers for games they already own, announce BC and Gears of War ultimate edition at the same conference.

It's almost twilight zone-ish...

Lng1010101127d ago

@NeoGamer232: "While BC means nothing to early adopters who are willing to spend $400 on a new console, BC is important to some people who are waiting for the console prices to drop and want to play their existing game library while next gen games are just coming out at $60 per game."

What are you talking about? If they're waiting for current gen console prices to drop, why does BC matter?

ELE_Victim1127d ago

Nirvana - how did BC on the 360 fail, when at the end roughly 450 titles, including most of the biggest games, were backwards compatible?

catinthehat1127d ago

Sony cares about it's gamers that's why we get remasters instead of just playing in drab last gen graphics

WelkinCole1127d ago


PS Now is a streaming service. That it streams old games for now is because it is a new service. PS4 games will find their way to it eventually.

PS now is for those that want to stream games and eventually play them on their TV's, tablets etc.

BC is for those that want to play their old game collection on their new consoles.

Two completely different things.

MysticStrummer1127d ago

@Neo - What you said there makes very little sense.

OT - I couldn't care less and the same goes for every single gamer I personally know. We all thought BC was a great idea when PS2 did it but never used the feature. By the time PS3 released with BC it wasn't a big deal anymore so the fact that PS4 doesn't have it is equally meaningless.

Yetter1127d ago

Then why so many remasters on the schedule for all companies??

stragomccloud1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

That's justifying losing the ability to play older games, which is allowing companies to stop supporting their older products. Way to give Sony a pass to rape its customers. I always like being able to play older games without hooking up another system. That's one of the benefits of PC gaming.

bloop1127d ago

For someone that didn't have PS+ last gen I for one would love BC on the ps4. There's a few games I missed out on last gen that have been free on the PS3 on + but I gave my PS3 away when I got the ps4. I wish I could play those games on the ps4.

pyroxxx1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

Totally agree,.. last gen I only used my PS3 fat with BC compatibility twice during entire generation (and even then ICO and GOW got remastered for PS3) ,..

I get it for Souls games,.. but then again DS2 got remastered as well,..And PS4 has Bloodborne anyway,..

morganfell1127d ago


If you want to play those older games go ahead. Did you not own them already? Then they aren't free. Did you toss out the original console? That's on you. Did you come here just to find fault with Sony? Yeah.

subtenko1127d ago

What.....heres what sony could do? We been known what they have done and what they are doing... They had full BS on OG ps3, limited (like xbox) on neo ps3, and PS now (more selection) than xbox its a service but Im not playing old games most of the time on my ps4...if ya really dont have an older ps system, go on it for $20...u want it that bad...

4Sh0w1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

This is n4g.

-You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that Xbox fanboys will swear BC is a huge game changer because they are gonna start playing tons of old 360 games with many next gen releases coming= nah, if you're that into 360 games you have a 360 hooked up right now..*I will give 'em points though because being able to consolidate on 1 system is highly convenient.

-You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that because ps4 does NOT have BC a lot of Sony fanboys are going to swear it's irrelevant= yeah OK, same folks jumping for joy for Uncharted Collection, I'd buy some of my favorite games remastered too(MCC) but it still points to wanting to play old games again.

-The TRUTH is almost always somewhere in the middle: BC is important because even hardcore gamers like to re-play a few old games every now&then (I rarely want to but some games are special) and if you do NOT NEED your old system to do so that's even better. As for the average gamer its very important to folks like late adopters, budget conscious gamers, & casual gamers, because they CAN SAVE MONEY with a trade in, while they continue playing many last gen favorites along with 1 or 2 next gen games they upgraded for and *slowly they can cross over as their next gen library grows.

-lol, but yeah this is n4g, where the denial is half the fun.

Hereiamhereibe21127d ago

For real, backwards compatability is a complete waste of time. Especially considering PS4s amazing library. Besides most people still have there PS3 anyways.

reallyNow1127d ago


BC != PS Now. The main reason being PS Now is playable on things that aren't a playstation 4. PS TV, PS4, PS3, other TVs. It's like comparing netflix to a VCR/DVD combo box.

BG115791127d ago

The Xbone doesn't have true Backwards compatibility.
It's emulating the 360. You cannot play all the games from the 360 natively on the Xbone.

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BattleAxe1127d ago

Exactly, who has time to play the Uncharted Trilogy or God of War 3 Remastered when you've got games like Killzone Shadow Fall and Infamous Second Sun.

Eonjay1127d ago

Surly not me... I still have get past the Master Chief Collection and Gears Ultimate Edition.

BitbyDeath1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

The 2 PS4 games you mentioned are quite old now, but if you didn't get a PS4 at launch then I could see your point.

Travis37081127d ago

The people that never had a PS3 does, but not for the one's like me, who played those on PS3.

I buy new systems to play new games! the only remaster I've bought was the Last of Us. I regretted not paying for it last gen. It had slipped by me...

Me and many other's are buying new games this fall.

We don't need BC anymore. It's not even that big of a deal.. Most of you guys still have your last gen consoles.

WelkinCole1127d ago

The 40% of PS4 owners that don't have PS3.

Hardcore fans of those franchise that want upgraded graphics on the PS4.

Not hard to understand yes?.

MysticStrummer1127d ago

Remastered games as compared to the older versions. Not the same thing at all.

UltraNova1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

@ welkin

How exactly are those 40% ps4 new comers entitled to BC?

Isn't it unfair for former ps3 owners who actually paid full price for those ps3 games for those newcomers to pay 5-10 bucks for used ps3 gamers?

I say PS NOW is perfect for those ps4 newcomers, since it without BC I paid far less for my ps4 than I would normally and I kept my ps3 because I would hate it if I was stuck playing BC games at 10fps! And lets face it not all publishers will agree with MS decision.

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REDDURT1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

Unlike the Xbox 360 the ps3 still has games coming out so I keep mine.

BattleAxe1127d ago

Well I believe that Xbox 360 did get Titanfall and will soon be getting Rise of the Tomb Raider, among others. Will you be buying the new Tomb Raider game this holiday season?

REDDURT1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

Didn't buy the last one got it free thanx to ps plus. Enjoy it will buy the real version on ps4.

brainfart1127d ago

The(real version )as you said would actually be on pc!!! Play above 1080 @ 60 fps and up:-)

kaizokuspy1127d ago

@battle axe

Tomb raider and titan fall comparison is irrelevant. The ps3 still gets exclusive jrpg and other games that aren't coming to ps4 or xbox one, or any other console or pc. That's the point of keeping a ps3 still. If you want an xbox one or for anyone that matter, just save your money from January until novemeber bc your games don't come out until then anyways. Jesus, I only fan boy bitch, not because I hate xbox one, but because of all the potential new players who could be enjoying a better experience and customer satisfaction on ps4. Ms is doing all they can to catch up to sony but there's nothing impressive about the one anymore. Ps4 does just about everything the xbox one does but better.

Voice command for your console?
gimmicky kinect $150
ps headset out the box. $0

Suspend/resume? Shareplay? Flashsales? Ps plus discounts? Built in rewards program? Deals like, spend $100 get $15 added to your account? Al a Carte tv subscription service? Listens to its base by up votes and down votes in community ideas? Morpheus VR is coming, not some occulus rift that requires your xbox and pc to stream games to it and not true vr? Doesn't waste time with BC bc it is a niche and when consumers make the leap, they want 60 fps. You going to play 360 bf4 on Xbox one? Or buy the new? Whatever you do, whatever console or pc you decide. It's time to let 7 year old games die, unless they get remastered with 60 fps, achievements/trophies and bonus content. I complain at those with your thought process because you are delusional if you think any business practice ms has tried to build the past 3 years has been good for gamers. Poor Phil spencer has been working his juts off. Announces BC and shows hololens which will be a wasted venture bc VR is the next step not hololens. You and other xbox gamers are getting shafted and you are too delusional to see it. You scream at me fanboy, and all I want to do is save many gamers like you from hindering your hobby and keeping you from experiencing the best.


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gfk3421127d ago

BC is great if it works properly too.

As it stand now, BC from MS still needs a lot of work seeing DF's analysis.

No one wants to have BC palying last gen games in low 10s (as it runs Mass Effect on X1).

Even if payable, at least PS NOW keeps a solid frame rate.

Elit3Nick1127d ago

Bear in mind that this is the first public build of BC, it will improve by the time it gets out of beta

Tony-A1127d ago

Personally, I think that was a great announcement made by MS. To be honest, it seemed like the biggest thing they had at E3, which is saying something considering no one seems to be talking about their current gen games instead.

It's a shame, but it shows you how nostalgia can sometimes overshadow new ideas. A case made clear during Sony's conference as well, where the 3 biggest of the 15,000 surprises they had were older titles gamers we're begging to see in a new light.

BC is nice, but PSNow will do fine (as soon as PS1 and PS2 games are available).

ELE_Victim1127d ago

Nice trilling there. If there's a spot in Mass Effect that momentarily drops to low fps in the BETA stages of BC, that immediately means the whole game runs like that? Gotta love people doing their hardest to downplay MS..

Kiwi661127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

You do know that its only in beta so there will be early issues but hey lets just trash something for the sake of it plus i find it funny how ps only gamers are happy to pay to play old ps3 games and yet they downplay something that is free

Kingoftherodeo1127d ago

at least one of them is free,works and in beta

Retroman1127d ago

@ gfk342

what the HELL is "palying and payable " was you loaded on beer typing haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa . or did you forget how to spell "PLAYING" "PLAYABLE"

Davi1231127d ago

I really don't understand the point of PS Now is considered BC! PS Now are only getting old games, but Sony didn't make it having in mind BC. It isn't obvious yet to everyone if you have in consideration that PS Now is for working in smart tvs, tablets, etc, that this service is for the casual market?

OldDude1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )


The word is were, not was. If you're going to insult someone at least try to hold up your own end.

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smalltowngamer5031127d ago

Wow, does everyone really only ever play a game once and never go back to them? Or do playstation fans just never go back to play them. What's with all the excitement for FF7 if you don't like to play old games?

Cupid_Viper_31127d ago

I think most PlayStation fans still have working PS3s, so going back involves simply pressing the input button on the TV's remote.

BitbyDeath1127d ago

Which are you referring?
The FF7 Remake (announced at E3 2015) is exciting because it is being remade with new everything.

The FF7 remaster (announced at PSX 2014) is not as exciting as it is just an upscaled version of the same game we have all played ported from PC.

kneon1127d ago

The old PS3 games that I go back and play could be counted on one hand, with fingers left over. I'm too busy with new games.

GravelerMagnitude91127d ago

There are factors that determine if someone would be willing to play a game they have beaten over again.

1.There may not be time to if that person has to go to work everyday.

2. there are other games that a person haven't beaten yet.

3.Some feel accomplished enough after 1 playthrough.

FF7 is being remade not remastered. Built from ground up. So its not an old game.

Nothing is wrong with playing old games, but your main purpose for buying an xbox one, ps4, or pc is for the games coming out later.

meatnormous1127d ago

I still have my ps1, ps2, ps3. I have an XBONE but my 360 died quite awhile ago. I was happy to hear of BC for 360 games because of one game that cannot be played anywhere else,Ace Combat 6 fires of liberation. I have all my old consoles cause BC isn't the same as playing it on its original console. I was a huge socom fan and trying to play socom 2 on ps3 was not fun. FF5 doesn't work well on my ps2. I hope the BC on the XBONE works out so I don't have to buy a 360 to enjoy the one game I loved for the system.

starchild1127d ago


This might make sense to a hardcore Sony fan that probably only has a Ps3 and PS4 hooked up to their TV, but a lot of gamers have multiple consoles of different brands. I have a gaming PC, PS4 and PS3 hooked up to my TV. Until about 9 months ago I also owned a 360 (I still have some Xbox 360 games though). Having the devices I have hooked up is already cluttered enough. I wouldn't want it any more cluttered. The fact I can get an Xbox One and play my 360 games on it is an attractive proposition for sure. I don't know why some people are trying to downplay it.

@ Bit by death

Yeah, but it's still fundamentally the same game, right? I mean, that's what console fanboys always say when they want to downplay the superior graphics on PC for multiplats. "It might look and run better but it's still basically the same game", they say.

FFVII might be remade with more up to date graphics, but it's fundamentally going to be the same game. Otherwise what's the point? Fanboys of that game will riot if the devs mess with the core experience too much. And why even call it Final Fantasy VII if it changes into something else?

BitbyDeath1127d ago

@starchild, the main story should remain intact but I wouldn't be surprised if they made a few new additions or changes to parts of it. A remaster wouldn't have this luxury.

Cupid_Viper_31127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

@ Starchild

I can't speak for everyone and claim that no one is trying to downplay it. There are clearly those who will and have tried to. On that same token, I'm not sure why some are overplaying it, claiming it to be a game changer, etc. In my opinion, it is nothing more than "nice option" and mainly because of convenience.

To me a bigger deal than BC is the fact that PS4 has 100 more games out than the XBOX One in the same time frame. That is not a good trend, and BC doesn't solve that issue.

Shareplay is another thing that is head and shoulders above BC for me. I can play games I don't own and make up my mind about if it is worth my money or not. I can participate and play a friend's game without owning or having to shell out a single coin for the game. BC doesn't answer that.

I Have already used shareplay way more than I have used BC for the past 2 generations combined (PS2 and PS3). I don't own NBA 2K15, but I play it fairly regularly with a buddy of mine. I own Fifa 15 and he doesn't and we get to share that quite often too. And we do the same thing for a bunch of other smaller titles that he wants me to try, and vice versa.

BC is a very nice feature to have, there's no denying that. The same way one can't deny that the perfect timing for this feature would have been November 2013, at launch. Generally, console adoption is slowest during the first year on the market. Unless you have a runaway successes like the PS4 or the Wii.

At this point, you could question if Microsoft are desperate to stop 360 owners from going to the PS4. Because it appears that not enough of them are sold on the XBOX One. You can argue that if Xbox One has already seen a $150 price drop, plus Halo, Forza, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, BF4, Destiny, and a few more heavy hitters which were really popular on the Xbox 360, then what are those Xbox 360 owners waiting for? Because every month, Sony is taking in 1 million new gamers, while Xbox is bringing about a quarter of that number.

I doubt there are a lot of Xbox 360 owners that are waiting for "Xbox 360 games" to make jump on the XBox One.

kaizokuspy1127d ago

@smalltown ff7 is getting a remake. Reimagined, different battle system, changes to the story etc. Ps4 is getting the ff7hd pc port supposedly this winter as well as the remake in the future.

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PlayableGamez1127d ago

So by your logic, PS Now is render useless on PS4?

BitbyDeath1127d ago

In future PSNow is said to get brand new PS4 games on it but til then point still stands, why play old games when you bought a new console and have a zillion new games that you could otherwise play?

joab7771127d ago

We don't need it. Yeah, we would love to say it's possible, or on a random night be able to have some nostalgic moment, but I'd rather Sony do something else. Put the time into Now. Or remake Demon Souls. I have my PS3 and 360 anyway b/c they do more than play games. If ya feel ya have to do something, give PS+ owners 1 Now game a month to play, or a discount on PSN downloads etc.

pompombrum1127d ago

Memories? I still have my original copies of FF Anthology - 9 on my PS1 and still keep my slimline PS2 under my tv. I don't think it seems like a big thing but for people who like to replay older games from time to time, it's a convenient option as it saves space on needing both consoles, just like how I only need my PS2 for both my PS1 and PS2 collection.

themonado1127d ago

It's a good feature to have when you're waiting for the games you want

Clover9041127d ago

Especially now, with all of these huge open-world games. Just this year we have Bloodborne, The Witcher 3, Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4, Persona 5 (okay, P5 isn't open-world, but it's still going to be huge)

PersonMan1127d ago

I don't like any of those games you listed.

medman1127d ago

You're not lying...I've still got my ps3 and 360, and the only time they get booted up is when I watch netflix, a blu ray, or the espn xbox backlog of current gen games is already pretty long, and getting longer with each month that goes by due to psplus download titles. I haven't bought an xbone yet, and I'm not sure if I will, but for me, backwards compatibility is an absolute non-factor, and most of my friends are in the same boat I am. In fact, I can't think of any console I've ever bought where I didn't move on from the last gen pretty's nice to think of going back and playing old games, but personally I don't know many people who do.

Lennoxb631127d ago

Its not that being able to play older games is a big deal. Having the OPTION to is the big deal. You may not play your older games but there are lots of people that still do. Nobody can ignore that fact.

Spotie1127d ago

lmfao. If being able to play the older games isn't a big deal, nor is having the option. Being a good feature to have doesn't make it a big deal. Power windows are great on a new car, but they're not a big deal. The option of having power windows is no bigger.

Can't believe people agreed with that nonsense.

Oh, and I play my older games. Still have my PS3, my PS2, my SNES, right along with a 360 and a PS4, a 3DS, and a Vita. BC is nice, but most people would have kept their old hardware- especially if they still have the games- so BC suddenly showing up some two years after the new generation of consoles release is FAR from a big deal.

andibandit1127d ago


"Still have my PS3, my PS2, my SNES, right along with a 360 and a PS4, a 3DS, and a Vita. BC is nice"

Seriously if i had that shit out, I think i would still be single.

magiciandude1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )


Coming from the same individual who defends remasters and PSNow...

It's one of the most requested features among Xbox One owners. "FAR from a big deal." You're laughably inconsistent with everything. Whenever Sony does something, it's a big deal. Whenever MS does something similar, you go straight to downplay everything about it.

1127d ago
Letthewookiewin1127d ago

Honestly Bitby, I don't have time to play old games. I already have a backlog I'm never going to get to. Ya it's nice it's there but it's not so people need to move on. And the rumors coming in about X1's ability to run old games decently isn't a good sign already.

nitus101127d ago

Well I am going to agree and disagree on this one. Some so called old games are classics and still fun to play although that is being subjective. Having BC at the start of the new gen is IMHO a great means of getting people to purchase your new console since they can carry over their old last gen games. This was my main reason for purchasing a PS2 and later the BC PS3.

Yes there are a ton of new games for the PS4 but IMHO there are so many that are just a regurgitation of the original game. Where is the new IP? that to me is more important.

I have a BC PS3 and some of the so called old PS2 games are really fun to play and there is nothing like them for the later consoles. Even for the PS3 there are still new games coming out for it and there are hundreds of games in many genres that are still fun (again subjective).

As for the PS4 I don't see enough games that I would like that would give me a reason to buy it. I won't deny that there are some games that I would like to play on the PS4 but I still have a backlog of games that I am still playing on the PS3.

magiciandude1127d ago (Edited 1127d ago )

Other than PS1 and PS2 games, there isn't much Sony can do apart from what's happening now: remasters and PSNow. That, and keep supporting the PS3 until the PS5 is announced, hopefully, with BC for PS3 and PS4 titles.

BC is among the most requested of features, and for many gamers it is the most important feature besides playing Xbox One games. Xbox One is great for a media center, but BC is for gaming. That's why is still great regardless how old the games are. The free Xbox 360 games included with major AAA releases will give the PS4 a run for its money here in the US, Canada, UK, and some other parts of the world.

PSNow only works in areas with a good enough internet connection, and why would anyone think Sony is willing to let you stream games for free even if you bought it digitally? Let's keep it real...