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Sony PS4 dilemma with PS3 game discs doubt

With details slipping out frequently on Microsoft’s Xbox 720 console, there has been a complete opposite of details for the elusive Sony PS4. We all know it is coming, but Sony and industry sources have remained tight-lipped on what kind of specifications and features we can expect to see when it releases. PS4 backwards compatibility however, may not be one of them.

We have heard minimal whispers on how Sony may be using AMD-based graphics for the system, compiled with exciting rumors suggesting that the next-generation PlayStation 4 will have specs such as a 4096×2160 output resolution and game support for 1080p 3D across all titles.

While all of the next-generation features are still very much in the air at this point, consumers will be hoping that one PS4 feature that will be set in stone, is the basic ability to play back existing PS3 titles with universal backwards compatibility across all future PS4 SKUs.

There is the ancient debate on whether backwards compatibility is really needed for a new console, but you can’t argue that it is always a feature that should be there should a gamer decide to insert a classic title for a retro session. Sony had to endure a pretty fierce consumer backlash after it was revealed that only the 60GB fat PS3 models had support for PS2 playback – leaving all subsequent models without this support.

This week, we have heard some potentially worrying information from a UK games developer, who have gone on record to say that the chances of the Sony PS4 having backwards compatibility with PS3 titles is ‘very slim’. They have told PSU in an interview that having PS3 support in the Sony PS4 would be a ‘difficult thing to achieve’, but didn’t rule out the possibility of Sony solving the problem via alternative methods.

One of these methods could lie in the Gaikai streaming service, which most of you should know that Sony are now in ownership of after a recent acquisition. The PS4 may not be able to play PS3 discs straight out of the console, but Sony could find a way to make it possible to stream PS3 titles through the PlayStation Network – but even then consumers may not be completely satisfied if this becomes a reality.

Regardless of what augmented reality and other dazzling features that may arise with the PS4 – would you agree that PS3 backwards compatibility with existing game discs is essential? Do you think it is possible to convert every single PS3 game to a streaming format for PS4 playback – we can see Sony having major problems with this.

At the end of the day, it is going to be a dire situation for Sony if GTA V owners cannot play the game on the PS4. Sony are not stupid though and we’re sure they are currently working out how to make everyone happy. Let us know your thoughts on a potential PS4 dilemma with backwards compatibility.

Written by Alan Ng

Alan has been working for Product-Reviews since 2009 and became the Editor-in-chief in 2014. He has a passion for technology, the latest mobile phones and gadgets, and the gaming industry. Alan is a graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University and completed a B.A in Commercial Music in 2008. While expressing a keen interest in all areas that PR cover, you'll usually find Alan in the gaming section, where he'll be keeping enthusiasts up to date on all the latest news and reviews for consoles and PC.

Contact Alan Ng: alan@product-reviews.net

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awaiken
awaiken

Being BC means putting the old hardware in the new console as well. I understand why they would remove that given the costs of doing so. Of course cynics assume straight away it’s so they can sell you Remastered versions down the line

Thomas

No backwards compatibility, no PS4 for me. When my PS3 finally craters I would still rather get another PS3 than have to replace games, controllers, etc. At $50 a pop there would never be enough of a difference between the consoles to make it worth replacing all of the games I prefer to play.

Danny Dodge
Danny Dodge

Simple solution- every game disk has a unique product code, register that disk with your ps3/4 profile then when it becomes available on ps store you can download it in the ps4 for free and just need to have the disk in the drive to play it to prove you still have the disk, that is the best solution.

Tim
Tim

I personally could give a rat’s ass about backwards compatibility. I’ve been a gamer since Atari. When I bought a Super Nintendo, I didn’t expect it to play Nintendo games and guess what? It didn’t! The point of a new console is to move forward and expand the scope and potential of gaming. Not to see how well it can play old games. Especially since most of the games I would likely play no longer would have server support for online play. Bottom line, if you want backwards compatibility, don’t rely on console, rely on PC.

rick
rick

who cares. why play ps3 games when there will be ps4 games avalible. simply keep your ps3 for your ps3 games. leave sony to develop the future not worry about the past

Morgan Rock

This is an absurd concept. Emulating a PS3 would be insane. It’s nothing even close to anything they’re probably considering for the PS4 (unless they are actually going with another Cell processor).

PS3 = crazy complex PPU + 7xSPU PowerPC-based processor architecture. PS4 = “which is said to include the AMD x64 CPU”. IE – it’s a traditional 64-bit complex general-purpose processor. Making the two architectures compatible would be crazy.

So no. I’ll dispel the mystery right now. It’s not happening.

Christian Dixon

Just because the PS4 comes out doesn’t mean our PS3’s are going to stop working or something.

Elliott Cook

If the PS2 games weren’t supported on most PS3 consoles, then I can’t see Sony as currently working out how to make everyone happy. Oh well, something good must be going on in Yoshida’s head.

Brian
Brian

This is the end of the first paragraph:

“PS4 backwards compatibility however, may not be one of them.”

Why would they need PS4 backwards compatibility on the PS4? Doh!

gil
gil

Yes, Gaikai…

MikeT
MikeT

The 80G Fat never supported backward compatibility out of the box. Only the 20 and 60GB FAT consoles did. I don’t recall the 80GB ever supporting backward compatibility, but if it did, it was because of a software download that allowed it. It did not come out of the box that way.

BrothaDave
BrothaDave

I think this has to do with the architecture of the hardware if I’m not mistaken. The same way that the 360 and PS3 games had to be developed differently I think the PS4 is going to be similar to PC specs instead of a foreign architecture like the PS2 and PS3 were. That’s where Microsoft got it right, they made it easier for developers to use who were more familiar with PC and not having to learn something completely different. With the PS4 I think they will only be able to do PS3 games through streaming or have a… Read more »

tronn
tronn

i dont see why you would backwards compatability for ps2/ps1 games on ps3 they look awful anyway

Danilo
Danilo

Dear Sony,

i bought 190 games so far for the PS3 plus about 60 games on the PSN, if i’m not able to play them on the PS4, i suggest you burn painfully in hell.

Best regards,
Psycopath

DarthDiggler
DarthDiggler

Backwards compatibility is kind of a last gen feature. I bet Sony has ample evidence on how little the feature has been used. The fact is what gamers say they want and what they do are often 2 different things.

Will MTL
Will MTL

Don’t care, if I wanna play a PS3 game I will hook up my PS3, backwards is a nice feature, but a new console should focus on the future of gaming, not it’s past, unless it’s a simple fix that is. If it’s a major investment required and fixing the issue is time consuming, forget about it and make the console good instead, or take that time and money to refine it.

GrayFox85
GrayFox85

I would love Backward compatibility on PS4 , having one console to play it all is a much better solution than having to switch between consoles to play PS3 games , specially for the first year or so in the PS4 life were AAA games won’t be available. Other methods sony says ,, whether it is streaming or download via PSN ,, why on earth should i pay (again) for my already owned games when there is absolutely no change on the game. Dear SONY ,, please do a proper Backward Compatibility.. at least make it an option in premium… Read more »

Anon Y Mous
Anon Y Mous

Backward compatibility doesn’t matter to me. My PS3 will continue to function after the PS4 is launched. I don’t understand why this is so important to some people.

MartinB105
MartinB105

The developer is correct. Unless Sony use the Cell in the PS4 (they won’t), emulating the PS3 will be at 100% will be absolutely impossible. Try to imagine how powerful a PC would need to be to emulate a PS3 at 100% speed, and you’ll start to appreciate why it can’t be done (my quad core PC can barely manage 20% speed for Wii emulation). Gaikai does not solve the problem either because you will be limited to the games that Sony decide to support on it, and you won’t be able to use your existing PS2 discs, which will… Read more »

NaotaChannel
NaotaChannel

I have close to 100 PS2 games.

I didn’t buy a PS3 because it didn’t have BC, when I was in the market for a new console. I play all modern games on PC.

If Sony refuses to implement BC again, I’ll continue playing games with PC/PS2. It may also be time to look at Wii U, and XBOX.

Balanced Blade
Balanced Blade

Hello there Peeps. I think the PS4 should be an improvement on every level from the PS3 to even warrant the purchase, or very close to every level. The graphics being its most prominant upgrade. The look and size are the last on the list of important changes. MORE POWER, thats what we want. Highest resolutions currently possible at a reasonable price. If a game with the best graphics and story line were to be produced exclusivly for PS4 then people would invest, regardless of backwards compatibility. Trust me, you will see! Peace.

Agent75
Agent75

When I got a PS2 all them years ago, playing PS1 games on it was cool, not forgetting games looked a bit better. I sold my PS1, so having one console was better than having 2 consoles. Can’t say I bothered with my PS2 much when I got a PS3, but it would of been cool playing PS2 games on it. Can’t see the PS4 being able to play PS3 games, Sony are just not bothered about that side of gaming. Like Nintendo, they just want gamers to pay for games again by downloading them. My PS3 is the second… Read more »

John
John

BC is absolutely essential! Without it, in some form or another will result in a total flop!

Stew
Stew

Don’t know what planet some of these idiots live on, my PS3 store is stuffed with PS2 games to download…

You have to wonder if any of them have ever owned a PS3, or are just Microsoft paid shills (like this blog)

John
John

If it doesn’t run my 30+ PS3 games when the system launches I won’t buy it and wait for quite some time to buy PS4, if ever. I still play the occasional PS2 game on my Phat PS3, they are better than the ugly upscaled “HD” (as if) collections for me. Stripping backwards compatibility is a stab in the back for loyal fans that want one system to rule them all. Nobody wants that streaming BS for this either. I want to play my own discs and not suck up on internet bandwith to do it and besides it took… Read more »

Adolph Chacon

backard compadibility is stupid after spending $300 or more $$$ I’m going to want to play the latest

Stranger On The Road
Stranger On The Road

While I do understand the need to reduce the cost of the new system when it is introduced, I will say that backward compatibility is must. Although, if the first installment of the console doesn’t support PS3 games, I wouldn’t mind it that much since the PS3 is still in the market and it is still doing well. Plus I honestly don’t see developers dumping the PS3 until a year have passed on the PS4, and even then I can see some developers still targeting the PS3. On the other hand, by the time the 2nd installment of the PS4… Read more »

Jewy McJew
Jewy McJew

There is no way the PS4 will be able to play PS3 games without them being re-compiled and downloaded. There is just not enough juice to emulate the cell.

jose
jose

The ps2 had backwards compatibility, and it is still the best selling system of all time. The ps3 didn’t after a while, but you could argue that a bigger issue for game sales was the cost of the system, and the economy at the time. I think if the ps2 can have backwards compatibility, and still outsell the ps3, then clearly, price is a greater factor than backwards compatibility for game sales. The backwards compatibility was also an edge against the lacking dreamcast, gamecube, and xbox at the time.

lodrs
lodrs

If losing backwards compatibility means better hardware, than so be it. I buy a new console to play new games.

Lunatic Medic
Lunatic Medic

You’re both wrong.
Launch 20 and 60GB were B/c
As well as the first batch of 40/80’s.
Next batch of 40/80’s were NOT
then the MGS4 Gun Metal Gray 80 WAS

old man, there was NEVER a ps2 emulator on the store. You’re referring to the “PS2 Data” application that HELPED the ps3 to read ps2 discs better after a slew of complaints that some well liked games weren’t being read properly.

Daniel Smith

As long as the physical console isn’t the size of a small Tyrannosaurus I won’t be too bothered. PS3 is big enough as it is.

Joshua Mudd

It would be nice to have it, but not needed.

Joe Hendrey

This article is ill-informed. If people wanted backwards compatibility, they would have payed for it. The consumers have said very clearly that they don’t care about it when the ps3 came out. People simply aren’t prepared to fork out the extra dough when it comes to the crunch. Keep in mind that to make a console backwards compatible you essentially have to put an extra chip on the board because the jump in performance isn’t generally enough to do proper emulation of the previous generation. Obviously you could re-code all the ps3 games for the ps4 but that’s even more… Read more »

Givingtwo Cents

Let’s see Sony show how much love they can give to their loyal fans who have bought games for the PS1, PS2, and PS3 and wishes to play it on the PS4. Companies have denied people their wishes and have taken stuff off the shelves as soon as it gets popular. We can only wait and see what kind of soul Sony has.

PsychoSploosh69
PsychoSploosh69

I can’t see where the problem with is lies. With the ps3 not being able to play ps2 titles, it was understandable because of the huge upgrade in hardware between the 2 systems. Ps3 is blu ray, and ps2 was dvd. Totally different formats, and at the time, I don’t even think regular blu ray players were capable of playing dvds. That came a few years later. I personally would love if it had backwards compatibility, much like everyone else. I can’t see the ps4 being that big of an upgrade graphics wise or anything else over the ps3. I… Read more »

Drunk On Drank UK
Drunk On Drank UK

I don’t think we will be seeing the PS4 in the UK for at least 2 years.

bonezai
bonezai

bad article

Jason DefCon Ebeling

I was very annoyed when Sony stripped the PS3 of it’s BC of PS2 games I’d actually like to see a PS4 with BC for all PS games (1, 2 and 3) but I dare say that would be a bit of a stretch. I think I might just upgrade my PC over buying another console it would be cheaper than a new console.

Jill
Jill

Ever since the Metal Gear Solid HD collection was released, I never bothered about backward compatibility of the PS3, or bothered to own a PS2!!! I don’t think a lack of backward compatibility of the PS4 should be a dealbreaker. People can still own a PS3…. and wait till the PS4 drops in price and more PS4 titles get released before owning a PS4.

Admir Karalic

60 GB Model AND the ***80 GB FAT MODEL FIRST GENERATION***, supported the Backward compatibility. When you write a review, include every information that is out there.

Drkhunter
Drkhunter

To be honest I’d rather the console was the best it could be rather than the most compatible. I enjoy a retro session as much as the next gamer, but that’s why I kept my PS2 and PS1 😉

Nick Anteau

i think it would be nice for one reason: anybody remember the launch of the ps3? the games were $h!t for about a year, before all the exclusives came out. i mean, R@C ToD came out in late 2007, LBP in 2008, uncharted in 2007, ece. for a year, there were no good first party games for the ps3 (except for motorstorm). but, if you had the ps2, you could trade it in and keep your amazing ps2 games. if the same thing happens to the ps4, why on earth would you get it if the ps3 has an amazing… Read more »

Cod4life
Cod4life

I’m happy with my ps3 if ps4 can’t play games I already have then why buy it

Sweet 'n' Tender
Sweet 'n' Tender

Nope, no big deal… I don’t think I ever put a PS2 disk in my phat PS3.

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