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The End of Backwards Compatibility?

Are new video game systems wanting to direct players away from the past?

Jon Bishop


February 26, 2013 - 5:00 pm

Bryan Preston, in a recent post here at PJ Lifestyle, wrote:

Sony says that as things stand now, backward compatibility is not built into the PS4. Gamers will not be able to play legacy games on the new system, which may impact some of this year’s bigger releases like the Tomb Raider reboot. They say they’re working on it. They may be setting up to sell multiple forms of the PS4, some that will include backward compatibility for a price, and some that don’t. Backward compatibility can be gotten around via streaming games, but that requires hefty bandwidth that most American households still don’t have, or via downloads, which will take up valuable hard drive space and may create other issues. We’ll see. But the failure to provide backward compatibility from the get-go is an ominous sign that Sony may be looking to roll out their new box at one stated price, which is not the actual price gamers will end up paying if they want to keep playing their old Call of Duty titles on their shiny new systems.

I agree with him, but, sadly, backwards compatibility appears to be on the way out. According to Mark Deering of Gadget Insiders, the Microsoft 720 won’t be backwards compatible, either. It appears only Nintendo will allow its customers to play older games.

But it makes me wonder if Microsoft or Sony were ever interested in it at all.

Speaking from experience:  Microsoft only offered some backwards compatibility with its 360. And those games they said that worked often didn’t. So I gave up playing them on my system.


Jon Bishop likes to write.

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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It had to happen because games evolved to a point where even hardware compatibility will never recreate the experience. You'd have to not only make sure the game is playable, but the online servers are still up for co-op play, and the achievement/trophy system somehow crosses over. There's the whole problem with transporting DLC and purchases to new platforms to, especially if they were ports based on the old hardware.

Really, BC for me only mattered on the handheld systems, and apart from a few rare games not worth bringing over, a new system means a break from the past. The better games may get ported, like Ico/Shadow of the Colossus did to PS3; it just sucks though if you are a big JRPG fan.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Go outside. It's nice out there, you know. Birds, and trees and such.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
And actual HUMANS.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
"But it makes me wonder if Microsoft or Sony were ever interested in it at all."

Sounds like gamers are realizing that their consoles are really just computers. It has been this (to some degree) for a while. Legacy support becomes a huge burden as hardware changes but only the big houses (like MS & Sony) can afford to say they aren't doing it anymore.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
And Microsoft and Sony wonder why console sales are faltering. Couldn't be because they keep screwing the gamers, you know, the people who use the consoles? That's just crazy talk, you know.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
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