PS4 backwards compatibility with software update

By Alan Ng - Jun 16, 2015

So now after Microsoft’s ground breaking announcement of backwards compatibility for the Xbox One, attention has naturally shifted to Sony and whether there are now renewed plans to bring PS4 backwards compatibility to gamers.

This was definitely a surprise to us, albeit a very pleasant one. Simply due to the fact that in 2013, Microsoft categorically said that backwards compatibility was not possible on the system – let alone disc-based.

Now it is happening this Holiday season though, so how has Microsoft managed to do it with a simple software update? More importantly, does that imply that the PS4 hardware can also support PS3 discs with a software update – if Sony really wants to?


The big road block of course, is that Sony has already signed off on a deal with Gaikai to bring backwards compatibility to gamers via streamed digital titles with PlayStation Now.

This in itself may now raise a few new concerns, since Microsoft are bringing backwards compatibility to the Xbox One for free which is massive. Gamers can simply insert their old Xbox 360 discs, download a compatibility update and start playing.


Sony on the other hand have already come in for criticism on their PlayStation Now prices, so this announcement by Microsoft is definitely going to put some pressure on Sony in this regard and make them think twice on whether they’ve made the right move.

Importance of backwards compatibility on PS4/XB1 – Each gamer will put a different level of importance on being able to play last generation games, especially if they still own a large collection of PS3 or Xbox 360 games at home. This could be a decider for those that haven’t jumped onboard the new generation of consoles, also it could even change everything in monthly hardware sales.

Should Sony revise their deal with Gaikai and enable PS4 backwards compatibility with PS3 discs, or does the hardware really stop this from being possible?

Give us your thoughts on this PS4 owners and what you think should happen.

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Also See: New PS4 update 5.5 beta test for UK, US

  • Christopher Walker

    well i will say Playstation Now, even after the price change, is still the worst idea Sony has ever come up with. It would be simple for them to add emulation software as well, I mean if i can get the emulator ePSXe on my PC and pop an old PS1 disc INTO MY PC and play it, Sony should be able to do the same just as easily especially with PS1 games. There are even emulators that play PS2 games, not very smoothly even with the best GPUs but its the thought that counts here, if a PC can emulate Playstation games than why cant Sony make Playstation emulate Playstation games?
    Hell I can even use a USB UMD reader ordered off Amazon to play PSP games on my PC through the emulator PPSSPP… Now im not saying PC is better most of these emulators run games with stuttering video feedback and bad sound quality, like i said this is even with the best GPUs and processors, because Playstation games were not designed to run on PC.
    However I feel with Xbox1 going BWC with there last gen counterpart, Sony will shortly follow, hopefully with FULL BWC, and hopefully not just disc based games but with all digital downloads from PSN, including PSP digital games as well.
    It would be nice to only have to fire up 1 console and be able to play any game I have for that brand. Instead as it is we have to pull out our PS2s and hope they still work in order to play a PS2 game, or turn on our PS3s and switch HDMI inputs just to play our last gen Playstation3 games, luckily PS3 still plays PS1 and we no longer need an original Playstation to play them and we all know how faulty those little fuses were.

    On a side note, even a Note3 can emulate PSP, PS1, and probably here soon PS2 games and if a small little device can do that, a Playstation 4 with a way better GPU, CPU, and processors CAN too.

  • SycoZi

    Click bait lol, Trying to get people mad at Sony is pretty lame without printing the actual truth. At least print the truth, you are a columnist after all.

    You think MS are giving limited backwards compatibility away for free. Too funny. MS from day one said it wasn’t possible and 2 years later, oh my, look at this, its BW compatibility on the One.

    Now the truth. The truth is that pretty much everybody that has bought a one has sold or traded their 360 and games with it. MS knows this and they are smiling as they know your going to have to re-buy your 360 games that you sold or traded and from where mainly? Why from their online store!

    People think MS are doing are this great deed, now that’s a joke. Really its an injustice to all who bought an Xbox One, me included.

    From what I heard, the PS3 and the PS4 use a different disk architecture, so it would be very difficult for Sony to do disk based bw compatibility.

    Admir Karalic- Hah, dashboard eh? Your polite about your slam but Ill keep my PS4 for GAMING and my One for the times when I want to look at its pretty dashboard as you advised gdvd. My PS4 has way more selection that my One and its getting bigger all the time thats why the One sits there beside my Wii-U.

    • Jerry

      ^^^100% True why are people so blind? I love Microsoft for Windows 7…and MAYBE Windows 10. But it seems like Microsoft is spiraling down hill.

      • zombie

        You guys are crazy.
        Why would MS care if you buy old 360 games?

  • Nettrick Nowan

    Your title seems to be stating a fact, not posing a question.

    No one else here sees a problem with that title as it stands now?

  • gdvd

    I was going to buy a PS4 this week. But I’m wondering now if that is the smartest decision…

    • Admir Karalic

      Depends, what are you down to play ? You like Halo or Gears settle down a XBox One, you want more Story Driven Games, go for PS4, there isn’t much different other than the fact the Microsoft has currently more first party games coming to it’s console the Sony, but all may change, I’m selling my PS4, personal choice, because I feel more comfortable with a XBox, but I had the console for like over one year now. Not disappointed, but there is nothing I like on the PS4, except the easy to navigate style of Dashboard :P.

  • saintfighteraqua

    I don’t see why PS Now and backwards compatibility can’t coexists…PS3 works with Now and it obviously plays PS3 games.
    I just wonder what else MS has lied about:
    Xbox One cannot work without Kinect. They remove Kinect when it hinders sales.
    Xbox One bc is impossible. They add bc.

  • Alex Nicolas

    There’s absolutely no reason why the PS4 couldn’t run PS3 games, apart from greed. PlayStation are now the only system not offering backwards compatability, quite glaring.

  • rzrfst

    It’s probably not as possible as Xbox since the architecture of the ps3 and ps4 is so different, whereas the Xbox 360 and Xbox one are more similar

    • gdvd

      Nintendo has set a great example for the other two in this regard I think. The architectures of their consoles have changed very dramatically over generations but they have paid great attention to ensuring some level of backward compatibility.

      • M C

        You do know that Nintendo has announced that they’re going with Android as their future OS, don’t you?

        • Christopher Walker

          if so that would be awesome… kinda… i love android OS especially utilized on my Note.

  • Dr vIQtor

    Let the time of Greed end, the era of gaming prosperity shall begin!