PS4 and Xbox 720: Backwards compatibility, disc vs digital

By Peter Chubb - Oct 4, 2011

Sony shocked us all yesterday when they announced that the PS3 would now be backwards compatible. However, the PS2 games will not be in a physical format, but via PSN. This now leads us into something very interesting wondering if the PS4 and Xbox 720 should support backward compatibility, and if it should be disc or digital?

With hundreds of titles available for PlayStation 3 and the 360, it would anger owners of each console to know that they cannot play their entire library of games on the next-generation consoles. The other issue will come with the games themselves, as they will not look the same when played on a new console.

The reason for this is due to the fact that Sony and Microsoft might not remaster the game, but just offer smoothing here and there, that’s saying if they do it at all. There are pros and cons here, but we cannot help but feel that the true tech fan will not want to play an old game on a new console, as they will not get to experience how a game is meant to look.

Let’s say for argument sake that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 will be backwards compatible, then it is almost certain that this will be done via PSN and Xbox Live, as the future has to be digital, you only have to look at what Apple is doing with iTunes and the OnLive game system. That system does not offer the best graphics, but they are better than the PS2 ever was.

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  • James9653

    One of the biggest selling points of the PS2 was that it was backwards with the PS1 library.  Sony failed it’s customers with removing the ability to play PS2 games on the PS3.  Not as much of an issue on the second half of the PS3 life span than the first half.  And now to be excited or thankful that Sony is allowing you to REPURCHASE content you already own is what is really BACKWARDS here!

  • ASD

    mgs4 is a 31 gb dowload not a 50 gb download!!

    • tim elliott

      yer 31Gb with just mgs4, but with mgo as well it’s more like 50gb

  • Derek

    What about games downloaded on the current consoles? One can only assume that MS and Sony would have to make those games backwards compatible but that means the entirety of XBL and PSN must be backwards compatible. (if they really wanted to piss people off but make some money, they would make everyone buy the digital games yet again)

  • I think the PS4 would be less likely to do backwards compatibility via with games that were originally on Blu-Ray.  Wanna snag MGS4?  Have fun with the 50GB download!

    We really DO have something unique with this generation, though, that can be seen in the PS Vita.  On day-one, you’ll have access to all the PSN stuff that’s already there, which is a HUGE library.  That’s the main reason that backwards compatibility was a Thing…  Giving folks a reason to grab the new console on day one despite a relatively small number of titles available.

    Sony’s made it so Vita players will be able to play multiplayer PSP games with PSP players.  Perhaps they’ll continue this trend with the PS4.

  • Andrew

    What the hell are you talking about? The unanimous decision is that everybody hated the PSPGO and it failed universally. Digital only is nowhere close to being a reality.

  • Wait, WHAT!?!? What about those original PS3’s that have the emotion engine from the PS2, will those still be backwards compatible?

  • Nsnarayan10

    lets see!!