Playstation's Half Truth About Backwards Compatibility Is It Worth It?

Playstation exec over in Europe Jim Ryan, doesn't think Backwards Compatibility is all that its cracked up to be. That its a feature everyone wants till they actually have it. But, is that right? What is the real reason as to why the PS4 lack of backwards compatibility? Because, its more then just a cell processor thats in the way of gamers playing their old PS3 collection.

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meka2611195d ago

No they aren't, new features for gamers is almost always good. Doesn't matter what sony says, it would be an awesome addition. So many great ps2 games to play again, dark cloud off the top of my head. And then the final fantasy's for ps1. I had tons of old games on my vita, so no he's wrong more features is better, they are just trying to justify it.

2pacalypsenow195d ago

It's not worth the time and money to invest in BC for Sony since most people wouldn't use it, it's better to put those resources where majority of PlayStation gamers will benefit, like new IP's.

Death195d ago


Sony already invested in making old games playable on the new hardware, it's called PSNow and it cost over $380 million. How much do you think Microsoft invested in making the Xbox One b/c with Xbox 360 and do you think they may recoup that investment with b/c digital downloads and Gamepass? Both companies already invested into b/c gaming, but one spent a hell of a lot less and also benefits gamers that already bought the games with free access.

Liqu1d195d ago

He said it's not a highly used feature and he's right. If you have something that proves otherwise then feel free to share it.

meka2611195d ago

You still can't give me a reason why more features is bad? I don't care if you guys don't play old games, me and other gamers do. It's something that should be easy, ps3 games would be hard, but ps1 and ps2 games should be easy to make b/c or downloadable.

Ghost_of_Tsushima195d ago


“You still can't give me a reason why more features is bad?“

Maybe Sony is investing more into exclusives and new IP over old games? I mean it’s pretty much showing. Looks at what we got so far and what’s coming down the line.

ArmrdChaos195d ago

Those who Those who can't....say it's not worth it.

blitz0623195d ago

Wrong. Did he say more features is not better? Stop assuming that "it's easy" just cause it's ps1/ps2 unless you know the architecture at the back of your head? At the end of the day, it's still a business and implementing it will cost them time and money. With some cost-benefit analysis, considering the low usage they find, they probably decided it is not worth pursuing. I'm not saying they did the right thing, but you have to look at things from their end not just yours

Death195d ago (Edited 195d ago )


Sony has always provided an excellent first party lineup of games. If they were outputting more than usual I would completely agree. The thing is they already spent the money on a solution to play old games with the Gaikai acquisition and creation of PSNow. It's not a question of having to spend money on b/c, the investment was already made and it must have been pretty well thought out because it cost over $380 million dollars. That is a lot of games that could have been made. What is confusing to me is the statements Sony is making about no one wanting to play old games. It contradicts what they are doing.

I think we can all agree if we had to choose between playing old games or getting new ones we would all choose new games. No one is forcing this choice though, you can have both. They aren't mutually exclusive. PC has been doing this for a very long time.

nix195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

I don't speak for everyone else but once I finish the game I never play it again. I've only bought one remastered PS2 classic disc which had ICO n SotC, that also because I had never played ICO. PS2 Need for Speed is the only one I'm willing to buy. I haven't even bothered to buy God of War 1 n 2 even though I loved it so much.

@meka, sadly you guys are in the minority. That's all.

Silly Mammo195d ago


Those who don't have many new Those who have plenty of new game....say it's not worth it.

BeOpenMinded195d ago

Also I know my current purchase will roll over into any new hardware. However way you spin it that's a positive thing. That exec wants you to buy the game again if you want to play it on different hardware

meka2611195d ago

The reason I said why are more features bad is because that is what you are putting out with these comments. And yea it costs so much money to do yet there are tons of emulators out there that do more work than the system would have to. It mostly comes down to the fact that sony can't find a good way to have it work.

xHeavYx195d ago

My point of view is that the more features the better, but also I didn't buy a PS4 to worry about playing PS3 games.

Xb1ps4195d ago

If they don't want to do it for the PS4 fine.. but I think they need to start making all future hardware b.c..

2pacalypsenow195d ago


Yes but the make money of PS Now. MS included BC because they have to do whatever they can to win fans back, so they can take that loss, also MS are in a better position financially than Sony.

Death195d ago (Edited 195d ago )


Microsoft is able to sell the games on the b/c list digitally for those that didn't buy it the first time around. These b/c games are also featured as part of the GamePass lineup of games. I'm happy to see they were able to create a business model around b/c while still offering it free of charge for those that already bought the game. It feels like a very fair compromise.


Of the 1600+ PS4 games out, the average gamer owns 7.5 of them. There are over 1100 Xbox One games besides the 386 Xbox 360 games available for purchase or use as b/c. I'm not sure what the attaché rate is, but I don't believe there are many gamers that bought every game and now have nothing to play.

frdjck195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

Arstecnica proved that backward compatibility was not played at a significant margin. Less than 2% of all the games played on xbox one was a xbox360 games. The only 360 game on the top100 played game was COD black ops

JackBNimble194d ago

I would say this gen is a right off for BC, but I have a large digital library from ps3 and obviously still working on my ps4 digital library that I would like to be able to use on Sony consoles.
I don't think it's to much to ask that the games I buy are BC on Sony's platforms.

DashArrivals194d ago

@ Death... The technology of PS NOW was a necessary purchase. It is to future-proof the company. They needed that tech. The tech will evolve and get better. The growing size and storage of game and the growing internet speeds. They need this tech. It was a wise purchase. I honestly believe they they could go back, they would still buy it.

ImGumbyDammit194d ago (Edited 194d ago )

@frdjck "Less than 2% of all the games played on xbox one was a xbox360 games"

Learn to read. That is not what the data they presented said. It said less than 2% of time used. Not less than 2% of the games played. Most of the time was spent playing newer games not that they played more or less. You could have large swath of people playing COD 40 hours a week. And a twice as many people who play a lot less time on their consoles but play a lot of BC and other games (like Ori or Forza). Their data doesn't actually break down data on how many hours by game on a Xbox owner per captia basis. But lumps total hours as a maker but, doesn't fairly disseminate those values by grouping off users. Actually, if somebody turned that data analysis into me (I work for a large ecommerce company where I get several breakdown reports like this a week) I would in turn hand it back to them noting of all the missing data points and tell them to do it right.

I wish these sites actual do true, real data analysis. They are horrible at the subject and often go in with an expectation they try to prove.

Assuming we look at their data as true it means that the overall time of Xbox One usage on average that for every 100 minutes used (that includes other game, video, etc..) on the Xbox 2 minutes of that time was BC. Which translates to well over 3.5 million hours a week for BC play time.

For example, my nephew plays about 30 hours a week on one two games (Destiny and COD) and maybe another 10 watching YouTube and the occasional other game. Where as I and my brother play a lot less but when we do it is more varied. BC is heavily weighed. Unfortunately those that play one game like COD damage the balance of such surveys. It would require 4-5 people like me (who use the console less than 7 hours a week) to make up for my nephews usage.

rainslacker194d ago

Except the quote was about if people would utilize the feature on a large scale. Not about if the feature itself was desired or if it wouldn't be a nice feature to have.

I think the justification is the fact that it's not that heavily used. Sony, having been a pioneer in console gaming by offering it so robustly for so long, would likely have enough data to be able to come to that conclusion.

They ran into a roadblock with the PS4 doing it, and I honestly believe if they had come up with a workable solution like MS did for their BC(emulation), then they would have done that, since the PS4 is certainly capable enough to play PS1/2 games at least. However, then the optical drive couldn't read CD's, which would be a problem for physical BC of PS1 games, and for some PS2 games since quite a few came on CD. This would leave it in the digital realm, and since digital PS2 games were practically non-existent on PSN, and Sony would just be accused of milking 2nd buys with a digital PS1 option, at a time when digital only was a hot topic due to X1, what were they realistically going to do other than include additional hardware capable of providing full BC? Something that would have made it harder to achieve the price point they wanted.

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Bigpappy195d ago

Okay. So why is psnow selling so we'll?

DashArrivals194d ago

Of course it's not selling well. Sony mainly bought the Tech so they could future-proof themselves. The tech can evolve as the gaming industry evolves in the future. PS NOW is great for the people that want to play BC, but the majority DO NOT. It's simply a fact.
Microsoft's BC is a great feature, but it doesn't change anything in the so-called 'console war'.

Freedomland194d ago

Everybody here confusing PSNow with backwards compatibility service but actually it is not.
PSNow is a game streaming service not b/c.

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ImGumbyDammit195d ago

PSNow should be immediately closed down then. All that service is used for now is a way to charge you for backward capatabilty on the PS4. Apparently, according to Sony's Ryan, BC is not used at all ergo PSNow is not used.

Kingcorey13194d ago

Ps now is for streaming games to smart tvs and devices... it's not just for PS4.. they made it so you don't have to even own a console to play ps classics.. future proofing.

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RAM0N 195d ago

Yep, I have an Xbox one and don't even use bc

TomatoDragon195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

I was just about to post this. Can't argue data. Most folks don't use bc. Wouldn't mind it...but this is the reason why it's not a priority. Keep your old consoles.

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kevnb195d ago

obvious biased article and survey, just look at how they are presenting it...

TheRandomOne195d ago

Sony is wrong & they do not wanna admit they are wrong because MICROSOFT BEAT THEM TO THE PUNCH WITH BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY

darthv72194d ago

Like how sony says uhd on the pro is not needed when ms beat them to it on the xb1s.

Choice is key and right now ms is offering choice while sony tries to justify their lack of.

ArmrdChaos194d ago

I am sure FreeSync will be considered a "wasted" feature for Scorpio also. /s

ImGumbyDammit194d ago

@ArmrdChaos Of course FreeSync is going to be a wasted feature along with BC. Well, until PS5 arrives than it will suddenly all make perfect sense to have BC from PS4 games, FreeSync and a 4KUHD drive. /s

DashArrivals194d ago

This fully shows what every SANE person already knew.
THANKS for the share

da1writer194d ago

Some here really need to drop their Console war arguments at the door and the necessary need to justify their plastic machine of choice. I'm a person that loves tech no matter the platform and just love games in general (especially retro stuff) and have no need to be a fanboy and worship an item I prefer or own, but it would benefit others to at least do a bit of digging before spouting off nonsense they don't understand.

Whenever I see people bring up backwards compatibility, you'll see hand in hand some bring up Microsoft's excellent miracle of a feature of disc-based/digital backwards compatibility (something PC has had in like forever) vs Sony's decision to do this in a streaming fashion via PS Now for PS4 like it's some sort of way to earn a paycheck from said companies (corporate slave like).

Does anyone even know the purpose of Sony buying Gaikai? Some would go into the fanboy category and say $380 million was used for PS Now only and misinform others (and repeat in nauseum). In reality, Sony purchased Gaikai for it's tech alone for future services they had in the future. There are currently five services utilizing it, one we have already been talking about with some using it for attacking purposes for some reason.!/p...

PS Now - A way to play PS3 Games via streaming on Consoles (PS4), Mobile (Xperia Phone and tablets), and PC (No longer shackled in needing to buy a plastic box to play Playstation titles)
Remote Play - Continue playing your PS4 away from the console, same platforms as above
Shareplay - Play “Couch Co-op” with a friend over the internet, can also pass the controller to a friend to help you out or try the game before buying
PS Vue - Watch live TV or record your favorite shows on an unlimited DVR
Playstation Store - Videos streaming in the background per game

So let's try to at least have a bit better conversations now and stop dragging up information we know little about to protect our feelings toward a device one owns.

mark_parch194d ago


How the hell is a free feature bad. all you people downplaying this need to stop right now. the way things are going its looking like the ps5 won't be back compat with ps4 and that sucks. i really want to keep my digital library on all consoles from now on

Orionsangel194d ago (Edited 194d ago )

Wanting to own your purchased digital collection on the same account is not wrong. If my PSN account is the same account on PS3 and PS4. I should have a right to play all my purchased digital games on PS4 without having to rebuy them.

I was so naive about the transition from last gen to this gen that I thought Sony and MS were gonna provide a link cable to transfer your digital PS3 and Xbox 360 games to PS4 and Xbox One. Because I couldn’t grasp the idea of moving on to another system and abandoning another system in a digital download gaming world.

I grew up in a world where you bought a new game system and the old system is put in the closet or sold. You sell the games and get some money back for your investment. This idea that in order to keep your digital games you must continue to own the old system is baffling to me. I figured it’s still Xbox Live and PSN. It’s the same account. I still own those games. I wonder where having to own multiple consoles to own your digital collection will end?

I appreciate what MS has done with backwards compatibility. You get to continue to play your purchased games from last gen. Which I think is fair. Especially since it’s the same account. PSnow on the other hand is not only streaming which is still not perfected but they actually want you to pay again for games you already own. That’s greedy on Sony’s part.

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Bennibop195d ago

They have the stats from ps3 days. They have no.reason to lie, as stated previously Microsoft are using bc to.cover up the lack of games launching.

ImGumbyDammit195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

PSNow is just a money grab then. I mean if you think Microsoft BC has no purpose, even though it is free on the Xbox than you definitely can't say PSNow, which is not free, can have any value, right? Or is PSNow also to mask something as well?

SquidBuck195d ago

Wrong, PSNow allows pc gamers and people without gaming systems to play older games, including ps3 exclusives.

ForeverTheGoat195d ago

They recently just allowed it for pc. PsNow was always intended to charge people to play old games. It is just a money grab.

Why o why195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

Cash grab for me personally especially since there's no workarounds for price if you still own the originals

Those moaning about bc tend to be guys who prefer Xbox and somehow they use more of their energy attacking Sony for not having bc than they do ms for lacking in current gen output. . Go figure. It's not a false dilemma where we have to choose between bc or a steady flow of actual new games though . . It is possible to have both. .

Did I use it last gen on my fat ps3. . . .Not really, would I mind having the option. . .of course not. . Is it the highest thing on my list of priorities no way as I still have a working ps3. . .something some Xbox guys know very little about😁

darthv72194d ago

@benni... sony dropped bc in the ps3 rather soon and sold more systems that werent bc than they did with. They really cant make an objective view if they didnt support it long enough to really gauge interest.

They can only theorize. And not even having it in ps4.... they can only keep repeating the decisions of the top dogs and that is: no bc.

@why, i for one still use the feature in my ps3 because its a convenience that is to good to not use. Taking a break from ps3 games to just as easily pop in a ps2 or ps1 classic that has not been remastered... AND running over hdmi instead of component or svideo. Its such an easy thing to get behind.

One system capable of playing 3 gens of games. I feel bad for those who missed out on such a great feature and only look at what sony is saying now as the gospel.

Choice is never a bad thing but to not even provide choice is. That was something MS was chastized for and yet sony is praised.

I dont get the logic sometimes.

DashArrivals194d ago

The TECH behind PS NOW, is what they bought. They bought it to future-proof them. The gaming industry will evolve and so will the tech. They need this technology. It was a wise purchase.

ImGumbyDammit194d ago (Edited 194d ago )

@SquidBuck You keep saying that. But, I bet the data for PC usage for PSNow is nil or damn close to non-existent usage. Not a scientific study but not single person I know plays PSNow on their PC. How many people do you know that use PSNow on the PC? And if Sony truly believed in the service they would not have dropped the only devices (Vita, PS3, disc players, smart TVs, Roku, etc,,,) where this type of service made sense.

Who are these people without a gaming system. For your info a PC is a gaming system. There are no other systems outside of a PC or PS4 that can use PSNow.

Did you even read your statement "to play older games" so BC. Play older games. And only systems that do use that streaming PS3 BC now are PC and PS4. You somehow think there is large group PC uses that really want a PS3 but don't have money to buy one. So they stream old PS3 games at 720p to their PC's. Sorry, I doubt that demand exists. PC gamers are not fools. They can be a little arrogant, but hardly fools.

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Shadyceaser194d ago

They took ps3 bc after about a month ... Bc never arrived in most regions.... Australia comes to mind ... So they wouldn't know ... The outcry was huge in my circles... We all jumped ship and bought 360's

nitus10194d ago

I call BS on that.

I live in Australia and purchased a PS3 day one (PAL Version) which can and still play PS1, PS2 and of course PS3 games. I also have a library of well over 100 PS1, PS2 and PS3 games but I rarely play them since I also have a PS4.

Even with a BC PS3 PS1 games do look very grainy on my 55" HDTV while PS2 games do have a tendency to look "washed out" although still acceptably playable compared to PS3 games. PS4 games are pretty much all 1080p and are much more graphically pleasing compared to PS3 games although to be fair some PS3 games were 1080p and still hold up graphically today.

BTW. All PS3's from day one to current can play PS1 games. The question to ask is how many people today actually play the odd PS1 game and how often?

Note: The important factors for a game to be good are in order:
1) It must have good gameplay.
2) Be graphically acceptable.
Although to be fair those features are subjective but all this is pointless unless you have the game.

xsta1ker194d ago (Edited 194d ago )

give it a rest with the ms no games crap xbox has plenty of games... ok so some exclusives have been canceled
and shortened there exclusive library of games this year.

this doesn't mean ms is going to stop making exclusives for their console thats the dumbest fanboy statement
out there. Microsoft knows they need exclusive games for fans and more importantly business.

it's the fanboys that need to take advantage of any mistakes buy it's opposition to make themselves feel better.
it's kind of a bully mentality you know the type pick on someone in front of there friends makes them feel good about themselves.

but in the end the bully gets what he's been disheing out and
comes to the realization he's been acting like a real Dbag.

Garethvk195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

I do not care about it. Our PS3 played PS2 games.I play new games on my console not last gen titles. If I want to play them I have the older consoles. To me it is about moving forward not backwards.

ImGumbyDammit195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

If you are moving forward not backwards why do you still have the old consoles? Seems like if they have no value (always going forward never back remember) So, head over to the local Goodwill and donate everything. No need to have them around, share the joy with somebody else less fortunate who might appreciate the past games today.

Garethvk195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

Have not played them in years. Just traded in Wii U. Keep PS3 as backup 3D Blu Ray player.

blackblades195d ago

It's called a collection, hell I still got old tips and tricks mags and old console boxes.

ImGumbyDammit195d ago (Edited 195d ago )

@blackblades So they are unopened game boxes? That would be a collection. Otherwise, those old games are not worth anything (remember going forward was Garethvk's point I was responding to) Keeping htem sounds like an excuse to me. I don't use it but like to keep it around. That is what pack rats say; everything has purpose even if you haven't touched it in 5 years. As for those mags, what purpose do they serve if you will never play those games they talk about again. Going forward remember. Either that or deep down you know you want to play those older games someday.

@Garethvk PS3 as a backup 3d Blu-Ray player. Fine, I will accept that as an excuse for keeping the PS3 console itself. But what about those games? You got rid of them right? If not, you will donate them right? Once again always going forward, no need to have the old silly PS3 games you apparently see no value in ever playing again. Seriously, there are plenty of people that don't have money that would love to have those games. Not only donation centers like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Vets, etc.. but, also children hospitals, after school community centers in low income areas and the like.

snoopgg195d ago

I still use my ps3 to play games and watch movies on my sonyxbr tv downstairs. I play my pro on my Samsung ks8000 upstairs. My 360s I couldn't donate cause they had rrod! My ps3 works fine yet, and will keep it to play my backlog of physical games on Blu-ray I have. This is not a problem in any way. I don't need bc, cause i still use the original way these games were made to play to actually play them.

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chobit_A5HL3Y195d ago

bc is always a good feature but most people won't use it. when peopel upgrade to a new console, they generally leave the previous generation behind, and if they don't, they still have the old console.

BeOpenMinded195d ago

Removes the need for the old console and the new one plays the game you purchased. I want to keep what I buy even if I don't replay many games. It's good value, a smart move, and most importantly pro consumer in a digital age

mastiffchild195d ago

I concur. While BC is always nice to have I really barely, if ever, used my launch 60gig PS3 to play anything other than current games. I think I played an old ratchet and GoW2 and that was it.

Recently, mind, I ran low on space in front room and decided to pack away my CRT and the PS1 and 2 and finally just use that PS3 to play all my old PS games. Even then, mind, Im usually playing PS4 and PC, Switch or Xbox games of the current gen. I like to play old games but its still much less frequent than new and tended,until just lately, to be as much about playing them as I remember them and on original hardware as about just the games themselves. Playing a Snes game via emulation isnt the same as firing up the console and a crt and BC can fall into the same trap for me. As I say its really only space issues that have forced a change for me.

Anyway, bc is nice but as a general rule people are much more about new games.

DragonbornZ194d ago (Edited 194d ago )

With Microsoft's generation-less approach to their future consoles, gamers in their ecosystem won't need to keep their old consoles because their games will work on the next one regardless.

I understand Sony's position on BC, but that was before online multiplayer took off and digital blew up, not to mention games will age a lot better from PS4/Xb1 to Pro/Scorpio to Ps5/Xb2 than they did from the ps1/2 to the ps3.

I don't know how Sony will tackle backward/forward compatibility for their next console, but Microsoft's approach will be akin to pc gaming. Stronger hardware will play all your games better.

corroios195d ago

Again, BC is being used this gen as a «weapon» to try and hide the huge lack of exclusive content. BC is nice feature, importante at the star of any gen, but after that it wont have any kind of impact.

Of course its always a plus to play your old games, but its not a game changer like so many say, because if it was the PS3 would sold even more and the Wii U would be a huge sucess.

nitus10194d ago

There is a problem if your old game has online requirements and the servers for that game have been shut down. If that is the case then you have what is in effect a coaster or just wasted space on your storage unless that old game has a campaign or single player mode. Even if the servers of the old game that you like are still up how many people are still playing it?

Of course, some games do have couch coop or PvP but you have to have someone to play with you. Fine if you are a child/teen but not so great when you are an adult with commitments.