When it comes to backwards compatibility Sony was always the big name in the business. When the original PlayStation 3 launched it had backwards compatibility all the way back to the PlayStation 1. However, today it seems like Microsoft is pushing that effort as the Xbox One does support Xbox 360 games while the PlayStation 4 doesn’t offer that ability.
It now appears though that the PlayStation 4 will never get support for older games. PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan, said that while backwards compatibility is a much-requested feature it gained little to no use.
“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Ryan told Time. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”
While the PlayStation 4 does play PlayStation 3 games through their online streaming service, PlayStation Now and Play Station 2 games can be played through the PlayStation Store. People are needing to purchase the games again even if they owned them and this is the problem. While backwards compatibility is a demanded feature its likely seeing very little use and its likely to have even less use under the current system and you are going to need to repurchase older games. Which goes back to the comment that Mr. Ryan made of “they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?” but instead it should be worded as “they looked ancient, like why would anybody pay for this again?”.
However, the Xbox One offers a catalog that is constantly growing of more than 300 Xbox 360 games including Red Dead Redemption and Call of Duty: Black Ops II and the best part is you aren’t required to purchase the games again.
Microsoft first announced the backwards compatibility feature at E3 2015 and when it did rang a buzz throughout both the gaming community and the press. However, PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida said that Sony had no plans to offer a backwards compatibility solution of its own on the PlayStation 4. “Backward compatibility is hard,” Yoshida explained at the time. “I won’t say we’ll never do it, but it’s not an easy thing to do. If it was easy we would have done that.”
While this is a fair and valid reason to avoid the integration as it can be costly and from a purely business perspective does not bring in much to any additional revenue as the games are not needing to be re bought and while its a wow factor it is not the primary driving factor that someone purchases the latest console from the company. However, its still something that I and other gamers have come to love and its something that we have come to expect especially if Sony wants to win the console war against Microsoft.
What do you think? Do you think that Sony should look at integrating a better backwards compatibility system in their console?