Xbox One Vs Sony PS4 backwards compatibility

By Alan Ng - May 23, 2013

Now that the dust has settled somewhat with Microsoft’s Xbox One announcement, a few lingering issues remain a huge talking point for those interested in picking one up at launch. The first is the unsolved mystery over always-on connectivity, and the other is Microsoft’s confirmation that the Xbox One system will have no way whatsoever to play Xbox 360 discs, or games already purchased through Xbox Live Arcade.

Microsoft has said that the main reason for the lack of Xbox One backwards compatibility, is that the new console is incompatible with Xbox 360 discs, due to being based on the x86 architecture. You may be already aware that this is a similar setup to the way the Sony PS4 has been built, but Sony has already confirmed that they will be offering a workaround PS3 backwards compatibility with the PS4.

Sony has said that Gaikai will play a part in this, with users able to stream PS3 games and possibly even PS2 and PS1 games in the future. Microsoft on the other hand has already confirmed that no such plans are in place to offer a similar service. With the vast library of Xbox 360 games now redundant on the Xbox One – some consumers may be wondering if Microsoft’s system is really the right choice for them.

To make matters worse, Don Mattrick, Head of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft has been quoted as saying to the Wall Street Journal that “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards.” – if you can believe that. The exec which you saw introduce the console to the world a few days ago added that only “5 percent of customers play games from previous generations” on new consoles, which is a statistic that may come back to haunt him in the months to come.

Then again, some of you may be thinking he is spot on. Keep your Xbox 360 console to play Xbox 360 games and use the Xbox One for the latest in next-generation gaming that Microsoft has to offer – it’s simple right? Not so simple for consumers who would like to have the functionality included in a new console to play some of the old titles that they have spent fortunes of hard earned cash on.

At the very least, make those Xbox Live Arcade purchases transferrable over to the new system. It isn’t happening though and if Sony can make their Gaikai streaming service value for money – they may be greeted with some new consumers who have become disillusioned with Microsoft’s new business motives.

What are your honest opinions on the death of Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One? Do you think this is a big deal or not?

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Also See: HBO Go Xbox One app release date imminent

  • Edgar

    LOL, I remember when Nintendo believed that online gaming was for e-diots and that cartridges could never be replaced by cds

  • David

    See…I could have dealt with this if this was done for like the for the PS3 or the Wii U when they came out or something like that. Those systems are solid systems that aren’t going to fall apart like the Xbox 360 has. Most of my friends and I had to replace our Xbox 360 a half a dozen times at least and that INCLUDES several of the new model Xbox 360s. The Xbox 360 is going to fall apart very quickly compared to my other systems.

  • unsubstantiation

    This is one of the most important features for me. Since the XBOX360 had a more similar catalog to the ps3 than the XBOX had to the ps2 we can expect the newer systems to have nearly identical new release catalogs. If sony’s system ends up with superior hardware it would then mean that in everyway the ps4 would be better. Since the XboxOne is already making a break from the Xbox360 than there seems to be no reason not to jump ship if you previously were a microsoft fan, unless you like voyeurism.

  • Eli

    More than just one feature or two will affect my purchase, the only one that matter’s is does it play games, and if so willit have a big selection of quality games?

    Also that plus the fact of all the awesome things the xbox one does offer is almost good enoguh to me. I may be a little biased but I enjoy the features they showed off at the presentation.

    • Shane Blackburn

      As a -GAMING- console, and a -GAMING- company, Wouldn’t it be more intelligent to make… oh… I dunno…. a -GAMING FRIGGIN CONSOLE-? I mean, really, If you care about sports that confounded much, just watch the stuff on the TV. I mean, to watch it on the 360 you have to have the network cable that the providers give you that transmits the information in the first place, to… oh, i dunno….. their TV box. Which means that the XBOne has been beaten to the punch by companies whom have, over the years, perfected their art of delivering the information you want to you in the best way.

      The 360 has unveiled 2 games, both of which weren’t about the Games, but were more about the visual aesthetics that the system could bring across, rather than what was actually going on. In the reveal, Infinity Ward spent 10-semodd minutes talking about their new graphics engines, and their ability to make the game look and play and feel as much like a real experience as possible. While I like this, and I can safely say it does indeed help the immersion, that does not mean I want to buy a console, who is obviously more worried about attracting the people who don’t want a GAMING console, or who would only want a GAMING console because it does all these things that their stuff they already have can’t do. Which is nonsensical.

      XBOne has Skype. Woop-de-freaking-doo. So does every mobile device released in the last few years. As well as any laptop or desktop with an owner who has extended friends or family across the country or world in some cases, or even state, if you live in a big state.

      XBOne has this Snap stuff, built to allow in-media web browsing and on-the-go home-page jumps. Woop-de-freaking-doo. The problem here? Your Xbox Kinect has to be on ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Anyone else creeped out by this? The fact that it obviously takes the information it receives, pictures, facial structure captures, every ounce of log-in info. All of that is saved directly to the hard drive. Thats….. Kinda….. definitely in the ‘No’ department.

      XBOne has all of this Fantasy sports integration and whatnot. Again, however, it requires not only a constant streaming connection to the internet to access the information itself, also including your log in credentials and whatever other information may or may not be important to this, it also means you have to have your Television Provider’s information hooked up to your system. This means you will undoubtedly have to buy A) a secondary peripheral which allows the provider’s information stream to be processed into the 360, which will then send it to the TV. This means yet another chunk of money, and yet another series of downloads and updates, centered around a nonsensical, annoying ‘optional’ bonus for the system which is just going to take up even more space on the harddrive.

      Allow me to go over that minor facet of ‘…. ugh.’

      The Hard drive for the XBOne is 500gb. Do you know how fast you will actually go through that with MANDITORY game downloads for every game you own and want to play, combined with all of this tedious, annoying information saved by the kinect, and these useless peripherals, which most people won’t buy. Not to mention the massive space updates ALWAYS take up. Hell, I remember when Xbox had nearly a 1gb update. That is 1 gb of information, ON TOP of whatever amount of information that is already on the hard drive. You are probably laughing, thinking 1 / 500 isn’t bad. But as someone who has a 500 gb Hard drive, that stuff goes FAST. Every game is roughly 6-18 gbs, the bigger and better looking they are, the more they take up [graphically intensive ones take up more as well]. Combine this with the updates for the games, which are never, ever, ever, ever without updates, patches, bug fixes, nerfs, buffs, and bubble-hearths [ohwait, wrong game.].

      I mentioned downloads. Thats another thing I think I should go over to help you out here.

      XBLA downloads. This sometimes includes ENTIRE GAMES. such as Darkness 2. The full game is some 1800 Microsoft Points right now. Lets set up a hypothetical situations, and I’ve heard of people doing this before:

      You buy the game on the XBLA, giving you permanent access to the game upon your 360. But, lets say you never did your homework on the game system of the XBOne and its compatibility with its older brother [that would be the 360.]. Now, lets say you took your 360, went down to say… Gamestop or something, traded in your 360 so that your XBOne would be more within your price range. Guess what? Your $22-25 [I dunno how much 1800 MSpoints are] is down the drain. Your entire DLC collection upon the 360 is useless, chunks of worthless [until you rebuy a 360 [or in my case, buy]] information, floating around cyberspace with your name stamped on it. I’ve heard of people having spent hundreds upon hundreds upon the XBLA, various indies, DLCs, bonuses, day-one DLCs, new packs, themes, avatar items. The list goes on. All of that is utterly gone.

      Sure, some of the things are nice. I love the new controller, though it does heavily remind me of the old XBOX’s Mad Cats controller. Y’know, the big bulky one that was green and yellow, sort of like some hazardous material [jeeze that thing was horrible on the fingers lol.]. It just looks like it grabbed its crotch and hiked it back into place xD.

      And sure, It’ll play quality games, which it has given developers the chance to make Online-Connection at all times while playing a forced option.

      If I buy a console, I’m not buying it for its massive impressive uses as a replacement box for my DirecTV box. I’m buying it because its a game system. But their Press Reveal looked extremely heavily as if it was more of a ‘Full Entertainment System poured into one package.’ I’m surprised there isnt a VHS port on the side.

      • Matt DiGiacomo

        Do you have a smartphone or a phone that just makes calls? Do you have a car that only drives or one that has a radio, or GPS, or even a tv. Ect… Xbox will have all the ga,es ps4 has and more. With added dimensions with kinect. Not to mention way more apps and things that you can split screen while you use it. Get real bro

        • Guest

          Do you have a Microwave that acts as a Toaster, Dehydrator and Refrigerator as well? How about a light bulb that doubles as a heater and projector? Maybe a Dishwasher that can open cans and blends your smoothies? No? Well, perhaps that just means that just because you can add a feature to something doesn’t mean you should.

          Point is, If you really want to have a entertainment system that’s universal, Maybe you should just get a computer. You know. Something that’s SUPPOSED to be universal. Not something that’s only defining feature is that it plays games.

  • Michael Mendez

    The fact that the PS3 wasn’t backward compatible with tPS2 titles is what made me get a 360 in the first place. That, and being able to play any music I wanted during any game I wanted to. But with this next generation, I think both groups should focus more on building their impressive legacy, and less on tearing down and rebuilding. What would our cities look like if architects followed the patterns of game corporations these days? Aren’t games and consoles supposed to be about fun? Stop making this into a latest and greatest; just go for all out ultimate. That way, no one feels cheated when they blow $500+ on a new system when all anyone has to really do is go PC loyal and abandon consoles outright.

    • Matt

      But you could play PS2 games on the PS3… Just not on the slim model

  • lisa

    it is a HUGE deal; i’m not going to abandon my 360 and my huge array of amazing games for a device that will only have a small handful at first. this is a huge dealbreaker for me.

  • Roshee4xbox360

    Backward compatibility means alot more going from xbox360 ->xbox1 & ps3 &ps4 than xbox ->xbox360 & ps2 -> ps3, because this current generation has arcade quality games and franchisees were so numerous, that you may not want to see them in the next generation. Ex.) no more halo nor GOW please!! And some of the current gen games where so good i will still like to play them years from now. both Microsoft & Sony are blowing smoke up our a***. because Backward compatibility can be done in both machines through software emulation if these CPU are indeed 20X more powerful than the current ones. or through a hardware security Chip fix for extra $$

    • Shane Blackburn

      I agree Microsoft is blowing smoke up our rears. However, Sony is doing their best to do right by gamers. They Completely redid their system’s infrastructure. From the ground up. The original playstation system, all the way up to #3, used a Cell-based infrastructure, though 3 was going in a completely different direction from that. Now, they have built the structure more like a PC’s structure, allowing the system to use far more of its resources in a more manageable fashion. This makes the games incompatible, such as trying to play a Linux game on Windows, or vice versa. It just doesn’t work because of the way their systems run.

      And don’t say Emulation Software, because that is a tedious, time consuming group of programs, that would have to make their base software extremely accessible to use. Which would lead to . Basically, Emulation Software compromises integrity and security.

      Making the systems into a sort of dual-capable-system would require cordoning off their resources, cutting everything in half. While you may say this is something that is what you want, hold your arguments for it for a moment while I tell you why you don’t. If you want all of these systems to work as intended, they need all of their designed ram and CPU power, not to mention their HDDs. This means that making it a Dual-Architecture-Enabled system would literally be slicing them in half to give you what you want. Now, I’m not saying its not possible. By all means it is, its just redundant or just illogical to do. That would mean every PS4 would have all of its resources from the start split in half, including, potentially, internal components space to make up for this, to allow for this sudden split of infrastructure.

      Not only that, but say you get a problem with the system, you then have to check BOTH sides of the system, taking however long it is to do it, rather than simply checking the one side that covers all of it. Not only that, but where did you get 20x more powerful? Are you thinking of Theoretical cores? because Logical cores it maxes out quickly, even as such running at the best of the best it can put out only works for so long before the system begins to overheat, which leads to even MORE problems on top of everything else.

      Also, at least Sony is trying to help, they are trying to work a way around the Backwards Incompatible architecture they are using, which helps optimize your game experience, to make sure you have the best game experience. Even if it isn’t physically backwards compatible, it could be digitally backwards compatible, utilizing some form of game-tagging on the GaiKai to allow for a quick download of information and BAM! on we go!

      Basically, in short, Don’t let your opinion cloud your logic. It can tend to cause problems.

      Also, what is the Hardware Chip comment about? What, are they going to tag the CD like Microsoft already IS about to do, and force it to work in only a few places? That is downright ….. just meh, trying not to cuss. Its actually hard when trying to describe things

  • jeremy

    Backward compatibility on a console makes it a launch purchase for me, lacking it makes it a 2-3 year after launch purchase, im not going to buy a new console with 2-3 games worth playing and stare at my huge investment dwindling as I play my last gen collection. So I’ll be moving towards the ps4 at launch and preordering as soon as its up for sale.
    I’ll still buy an xb one, It just won”t be until 2016.

  • Green Wolf 343

    wow your comment section wont let me post a link to prove im correct .. are you afraid of being proved wrong lmao

  • Green Wolf 343

    not true PS4 will not have backwards compatibility either

    • Glorb

      Yeah that’s why SONY said it would have.

      • Shane Blackburn

        I have faith in Sony in this regard. They have definitely seemed to have taken up the mantle of ‘Good guy Gaming Console’

  • Gary Gooner Harper

    not a big deal everyone will get over it soon for as long as the new games are amazing i.e Forza ,Fifa, Cod, GTA, Grid

    • daedae22

      Lol actually they won’t. Loads of people are jumping ship and going ps4 after the reveal. Sony’s spike in stock on wall street the day of xbox ones reveal say’s it all. Consumers have options to go to companies that are still interested in catering to GAMERS. Microsoft will learn that soon enough when their system flops.

      An ex Microsoft Xbox enthusiast.

      • Gary Gooner Harper


        • Lando

          Awesome reply “face palm”. Xbox One sucks, everyone knowns it. 78,000 people were polled on IGN and 76% said they were disapointed with the Xbox One, 76% of 78.000 people, do the math Gooner (lol), Xbox One is a dud.

        • Shane Blackburn

          I think he is trolling

        • Shane Blackburn

          …… That is your response? You are defending this unwholesome travesty of a console and downing the other console developer who is actually making a GAMING console?