Unless you’ve been living under a non-technological object such as a rock, then you’ve probably heard all about Sony’s big PlayStation 4 announcement last night. You can read our roundup of the full meeting here. If you’ve read through our recap of the meeting or watched it yourself, it’s likely that you still have some burning questions that weren’t answered, such as if it will block used games (Spoiler: It won’t).
One thing notably absent from the presentation was the actual console itself, and while we heard a lot about digital titles and the cloud, nothing was mentioned about backward compatibility with your old PSN games. Engadget has confirmed with Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios, that the PS3’s PSN games will not be compatible with the PS4, just like full PS3 games, as revealed at the show. This means disc based backwards compatibility, downloadable PSN titles and game saves will not work on PS4. Yoshida did say they will try to make those titles playable “in some form”. This form is likely to be via the Gaikai cloud streaming that will be so heavily integrated into the platform, and if they can get it up and running as described, we’ll have backwards compatibility via the cloud in one form or another. Gaikai themselves said that that was the plan, and that they wanted to bring PS1, 2 and 3 games to PS4 and any device through cloud.
Engadget went further into explaining the reasoning behind lack of backwards compatibility with all PS3 titles.
Because the architecture of the Power-PC-based PS3 and x86-based PlayStation 4 are so different, Sony will only bring across games that don’t guzzle the latest console’s power in emulation. The executive also said that the company aims to offer server-side and cloud services to offer a wider library of older games, but said that’s one for the “longer term.”
With the PS4 having radically different specs and parts from its sibling, it’s understandable that the games would not be compatible across systems, though I’m sure that won’t stop the slew of consumer anger at having to keep a last gen system on their TV stand. How do you feel about your PS3 games staying on your PS3? Does streaming via Gaikai seem like a good way to maintain backwards compatibility while changing the architecture of the console? I am fine with having separate ecosystems between my PS3 and PS4, but feel free to share your level-headed opinions on the matter in the comments below.