What if the PlayStation 4 Is Not Backward Compatible?

Push Square: "It’s ironic that Sony has had such a tumultuous time with backward compatibility of late. In the transition from the PSone to the PlayStation 2, the platform holder essentially set the expectation for the feature moving forwards – but it hasn’t always managed to uphold that standard in recent years. Initial models of the PlayStation 3 included support for previous generation titles, before the technology was whipped out in order to cut costs. With the PlayStation 4 looming, what happens if the company’s latest machine isn’t compatible with its current library?"

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Ezz20132836d ago

i don't care about that
i have my ps3 to play ps3 games

so that won't stop me from buying ps4 the day it launch

Nitrowolf22836d ago

I think what people really want more now though is for their digital library to transfer over. Chances are they will, but if they don't I think we'll have some angry people

iamnsuperman2836d ago (Edited 2836d ago )

I think they will allow that but I mainly think backward compatibility will be done via Gaikai. Sony knows what games you have downloaded and to an extent the ones you have paid for in retail shops if they came with an online pass thing so a large majority of games could be readily available through Gaikai as Sony will definitly know you already have them. Now the remainder of the PS3 library could be sold to you through a standard subscription service or be only to those who have PSN Plus

The only method this would affect is the ones who didn't connect their PS3/have poor signal which I assume is a relatively small amount

jujubee882836d ago

Not a deal breaker if there is none.

If the price is around $350, than I will still buy a PS4 (regardless).

decrypt2836d ago


So do you also have your PS2 plugged in to play PS2 games?

Will you be having PS2, PS3 & PS4 all plugged in at the same time on the same time just so you can retain BC?

Also what happens when any of them breaks down, you going to constantly be buying old Boxes? Hell the PS2 isnt even in production any more. You gonna pick up any old PS2 laying around, good luck with how long that will last.

BC is a joke on consoles, if BC is what people want then the PC is the ultimate answer.

Ezz20132836d ago


yes i still have my ps2
i even still have ps1

and still play them

Arksine2836d ago

Some PSN games might be ported over, but I am almost sure that there will be no backward compatibility unless the PS3 hardware is included in the new console. Emulation isn't possible.

The options are either another $599 console or no backward compatibility. Sony is going to go with option number 2, and so will Microsoft.

gaffyh2835d ago

I'm not too bothered as long as they don't release any major exclusives on the PS3 when the PS4 is already out.

insomnium22835d ago


You don't have older devices plugged in? What are you? Maniac? I have like EVRY single console plugged in at all times. Even my Atari Jaguar in case I want to have some AvP awesomeness.

zebramocha2835d ago

@decrypt you wouldn't have your ps2 plug up but the wires are compatible so it's not that big of a deal.

MikeMyers2835d ago

Are people this flexible when it comes to playing CD's and DVD's and bluray's or do they have a separate device for each of those as well?

If they allow my content I bought off the Playstation store to be carried over then that will be fine. I also think the acquisition of Gaikai will play a key role in the future.

Sarcasm2835d ago

It's not going to be Backwards compatible of the hardware rumors end up being true.

DOMination-2835d ago

Umm.. Digital content will definitely carry over providing you use the same account of course. Sony wouldn't be that stupid.. Not sure why anybody would think it wouldn't!

But they'd probably have to be streamed.. Even psn arcade games? As they are still designed for the cell. It'll suck if you have a large collection of discs though as you'll probably have to buy again... Interesting idea re: online passes though.. That could work.

Heartnet2835d ago

Also what happens when any of them breaks down, you going to constantly be buying old Boxes?"

What happens when your one machine that plays all break? ur having to shell out 5 times the price to get it again... also have 3 seperate things is more assurance as if 1 breaks you can still play ps2/ps1/ps3 games so...

TheOneEyedHound2835d ago

You are 100% right, I would also like my psn and trophys to transfer to the PS4.

sikbeta2835d ago

It's not going to have PS3-BC and you gotta deal with it, so I hope it's more affordable than XBX3 whick I'm sure it's going to have X360-BC :P

GribbleGrunger2835d ago

What if the Nextbox isn't backward compatible?

Axecution2835d ago

Havent even thought about PSN games not being backwards compatible.

Honestly i wouldn't buy a PS4 if the downloaded games weren't backward compatible. i have soooo many downloadable games. That would legit just be a big "f u" from sony in my opinion. I'd switch to PC, that would just be actually ridiculous

TheGamerDood2835d ago

It's not really going to affect me since I'll still have my PS3 for those few games that I still play, but I wasn't really fan of many of the games from this gen so I'm ready to move on to bigger and better.

sobekflakmonkey2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

I'm concerned that a lot of you don't know how BC have to think a lot of these games were designed for the cell, even the downloaded games on psn as of now, it's not up to sony to make those games work on next gen systems, its really up to the developers, quite frankly I don't care, but I would assume that your PSN account would carry over to the PS4, because its a PSN account, it would be cool if it showed you which systems you own (PS3, PSVita, PS4) and tracked your trophies through all systems.

ElectricKaibutsu2835d ago

If discs aren't BC then neither will your digital games be. The problem isn't the drive, it's the PS4's archetecture. I predict nothing will be BC and that makes me very sad. I'll still buy a PS4 either way but I want BC. Honestly I'm surprised how many people don't care.

t0mmyb0y2835d ago

Although slooooow, the Wii U did it good. I don't see why Sony wouldn't do the same.

1nsomniac2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

lol if its not backwards compatible it doesnt matter whether it's digital or retail disks its not going to play them either way. Thats what backwards compatible means.

The way the Cell architecture works, I highly doubt it will be backwards compatible. Then again the fact that it's rumoured that the PS4 will use several separate dual core chips in the it may be possible to replicate. Supposed it'll be down to whether it will be cost effective to do so.

SolidStoner2835d ago

Im sure if you read sony's licence and agreements, you would know alot about now and the future! There might.. and must be hints about this..

The_Con-Sept2833d ago

It won't affect me this time. Although I didn't make the mistake of selling my ps2 to get a ps3 I still see backwards compatibility to be too costly. I'd rather keep my ps3 now because I have a lot more than just games invested in it. It also holds my music and movies. I don't want to copy them to yet another system. That'd be another 17 hours of downtime.

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spacedelete2836d ago

If you don't care about backwards compatibility then why comment on a backwards compatibility article ? Are you that brain dead ?

If PS3 is only for PS3 games then explain why theres a PS1 and PS2 download section in the PS Store or the countless HD collections from the PS2.

Theres obviously a market for classic games so just because you want new, shiney and shallow games doesn't mean everyone does.

InMyOpinion2835d ago

"If PS3 is only for PS3 games then explain why theres a PS1 and PS2 download section in the PS Store or the countless HD collections from the PS2."

To make money. It is more profitable for Sony to re-release their games than to add BC.

Red_Orange_Juice2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

so you're allowed to comment if you want something, if I think there's no need for something I'll come and comment

Heartnet2835d ago

Cause simply put... we asked for it lol.

and you comment to bring ur side of the arguement

sobekflakmonkey2835d ago

The comments section of this website is for discussion, meaning he can come in here and say whatever he wants as long as its pertaining to the topic at hand, he's letting people know his stance on it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

BlueTemplar2835d ago

The article is "What if the ps4 isnt backwards compatible?"

People who dont care are just as entitled to their view as you are to yours.

fullmetal2972835d ago

Because PS1 games are not hard to emulate because the hardware is very old and the PS2 games are ported to the PS3.

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LordHiggens2835d ago

Speak for yourself I want to trade mine in to pay for this beast...

Scenarist2835d ago

thats that shit companies dont like

NeXXXuS2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

The PS4 is going to be incorporating Blu-Ray as well so there's no doubt that it will be backwards compatible with PS3 games.

@below - then can you explain to me why my PS3 can play PS1 games and not PS2 games?

TheBrit2835d ago

Just because it has blu-ray doesn't have any bearing on backwards compatibility what so ever.

It's the cpu and graphics chips inside of the machine that dictate how they are coded. If you have an intel chip in one machine and an ibm power4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or cell etc in another, they are two different beasts all together and cannot run software compiled on the other chip set without either an emulator built in or extra hardware - both of which come at an additional cost.

dktxx22835d ago

Are people seriously disagreeing with theBrit? Really?

Ju2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

I'd think a PPC ISA can be emulated fairly quickly on modern day x86 CPUs; those emulations usually run JIT (just in time) compilers and translate the opcode when the binary is loaded, not when code is actually executed (well, kid of - but basically code isn't interpreted any more. This gives you quite some performance head room). A problem is hard realtime and latency in a highly parallel environment; in case of the PS3 if you depenend on timing if for example all 6 SPUs + PPU run highly efficient. This will be tough to emulate. I can't see how a JIT could help here - you'd need a highly parallel machine which can execute (at least) 6 or 7 HW threads in real time. I doubt this is possible with even todays multicores. But, the CPU could incorporate SPUs even if its an x86 core (see toshiba's SPURs engine - this in combination with a JIT might work) and there was talk about a "3rd execution unit" in the PS4. Might as well be a SPU "cluster" of some sort and would classify as "compute engine". I don't think the GPU is too much of a problem. Shader code can be translated, and nobody hits the HW directly these days. As long there is a SW layer in the PS3, this can be made compatible with next gen machines.

If it's financially viable, I can imagine, they'll but some SPU metal on the chip; but beyond that I am sure there will not be any additional HW to emulate the PS3. SPUs might makes sence because they can indeed run physics completely in parallel to CPU and GPU and would not only allow BC but also improve performance on new titles (and secure some investment from the CELL). But beyond that, I can't imagine there will be anything done. This is pure imagination though. If the SPUs can't be made "tiny" and cost efficient this won't happen.

BTW: Pure PS2 emu on the PS3 is also possible as seen with the release of PS2 classics on the PSN.

Well, while it would be nice to run PS3 games, I personally don't really care. I got my PS3 for that. It'll be cheap when the PS4 releases. And I rather want a new machine stretching the boundaries than being held back because of compatibility reasons. It's a console after all, not a PC. Compatibility was never the primary focus with such a machine.

hellvaguy2835d ago

Disagreed with Brit because backward compatibility has little to do with Blu-ray and everything to do with what type of cpu is used. If they go away from the cell like a lot of speculation, its almost guaranteed there's no BC.

Deadpool6162835d ago

Your real name wouldn't happen to be Tony Stark, would it? You seem to have some impressive knowledge in tech.

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GuyThatPlaysGames2835d ago

It won't stop me but I will be disappointed. But then again it's Sony, so I expect disappointment anyways.

jessupj2835d ago

Then you must expect utter betrayal from ms, if you expect disappointment from sony.

Firebird3602835d ago

Microsoft never dropped backwards compatibility so why would we be utterly disappointed by them keeping a feature?

a_squirrel2835d ago

And yet they charged for online access. You can ignore the RROD, disk scratching and other issues. There's also ads flooding the home screen.

And you seem to have forgotten that Sony only dropped it after at least a year. And that it had bluray, which at the time, was in the thousands. The only issue I have with my ps3 is updates and install times.

sobekflakmonkey2835d ago

Xbox 360 didn't really have Backwards compatibility for ages....and it still doesnt really have it...

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Persistantthug2835d ago

But rather, the downloaded games that people bought out of Sony's store.

Sony has to figure out a way to make those games work with the PS4.
I for one will be very angry if JOURNEY doesn't work with my PS4.

Of course, I think this may be part of the reason that Sony bought GAIKAI.

We'll have to wait to see.

StraightPath2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

You dont care but people do. You not going to have all your consoles hooked up stop rubbing sonys ass. How would u feel if they charged u again for ps3 games dubbed ps2 removed ps2.bc to charge ps2 games again. It always nice to have the option.

Xbox 360 has backwards compatibility on all major xbox games. When 360 came out people were still playing halo 2 mostly on their new 360s.

a_squirrel2835d ago

I'd like it if the PS4 costed $50 more for b/c instead of playing $60/year for online access to ALL my games, ps3 or ps4.

ElectricKaibutsu2835d ago


For real. I never thought of that before. Even if they do gaikai for BC they'll be charging for it.

fermcr2835d ago

PlayStation 4 is not going to be Backward Compatible. Sony is going to port PS3 games to PS4 and resell the same games (with a few extras) to the same people that bought the PS3 version of the game. It happened with PS2 games on the PS3 and is going to happen with PS3 games on the PS4.

Persistantthug2835d ago (Edited 2835d ago )

all PS3s have backwards compatibility with PS1 disks.....yet, they still sell PS1 games in the store. Sony could have removed PS1 B/C long ago, but they didn't.

vlonjati772835d ago

Ezz2013- Did you read my mind? :) .on the ps2 backward case I had the ps3 that played ps2 games.I cant stand the cables.So in this case I have ps3 for ps3 games and ps4 for ps4 games.I might be sick but like order.even now I built my game/movie room with surround system and lot of other cables and nothing is showing :) I hid everything.Nothing can beat the article that said 'Sony is pumping too many exclusives,they should slow down or they will hurt themselves' hahahah.

Abdou232835d ago

I don't see it as a problem, i won't throw away my PS3 once i get PS4 you know.

showtimefolks2835d ago

I think ps4 will be BC with ps3 games and not ps2 or ps1.

And I am fine with that. A lot of the great PS2 games have gotten HD collections or HD remakes and others are on DN under playstation classic

BC is not as big of a issue as some people make it out to be, we don't expect nintendo to be BC for N64 games now do we?

I would love to find out the percentage of people who actually play PS1 games on original PS3 which had BC.

Just make sure ps4 can play ps3 games and I am fine with that much BC, I personally don't need ps4 to be BC with ps1-2

aquamala2835d ago

this is what I don't like about console gaming. if I upgrade my PC, not only can it still play all my old games, they play and look BETTER! because the new rig is more powerful.

console gaming on the other hand, people are HOPING there's backward compatibility, even if PS4 can play PS3 games, they are still going to look like PS3 games, want to see The Last of Us in 1080P? buy it again next gen!

BlmThug2835d ago

While it certainly won't stop me purchasing a PS4 day one, it'll be a nice bonus to have BC for PS1-3

Aceman182835d ago

won't bother me none the playstation line has the variety i look for in games, and that's all that usually matters to me so i'll still be buying PS4/Orbis even if there's no B/C

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majiebeast2836d ago

It would be a welcome addition but it would not make me not buy a ps4 because i keep all my old consoles.

LOGICWINS2836d ago

"What if the PlayStation 4 Is Not Backward Compatible?"

Then the PS4 will sell less initially and people will wait to buy it later. Many people who buy new consoles at launch have the ability to do so because they have credit/money from trading in their old consoles.

NastyLeftHook02836d ago

People don't by ps4's to play ps3 games.

LOGICWINS2836d ago

I will be. PS3 games will still be on the market for at least half a decade.

MmaFan-Qc2836d ago

What if the PlayStation 4 Is Not Backward Compatible?

im gonna play ps3 games on my ps3.

its THAT simple.

starchild2836d ago

It's actually a big feature for me. I don't want to keep all my old consoles hooked up to my tv, it's too cluttered.

I loved the fact that the PS2 was backwards compatible and I also really appreciate that my 80GB PS3 is backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games.

This is a super important feature to me. I hope Sony can find a way to make the PS4 backwards compatible with PS1, PS2 and PS3 games. Or at the very least, PS3 games.

Red_Orange_Juice2835d ago

I still have plenty of games to play, and I DO NOT want multiple gaming devices under my tv

Ju2835d ago

Agree. At some point you gotta move on. Get a PS3 (if you don't have one) to play those games. It's not becoming obsolete because the PS4 releases. I think it'll have quite some time ahead. Sometimes you can't have everything.

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JoGam2836d ago

Dude im sorry but no one I mean NO One will even care except for some hardcore Gamers day one. No one is going to not buy cause its not backwards compatible. No one cared during Xbox 360 and that was the first system to launch this gen.

LOGICWINS2836d ago

Never said that people we're not going to buy it because it doesn't have BC, but they just may not buy it INITIALLY.

Canary2835d ago

That's because the original Xbox had a pitiful library.


Educate yourself on why BC is important before shooting your mouth off next time.