The Importance of backwards compatibilty on PS4 and its possible effect on 4K remakes

Posted September 15, 2012 by Shamarri Miller in Editorials

With the announcement of next generation PlayStation looming on the horizon. One question is on my mind will the next PlayStation be Backwards compatible? I truly hope this happens and while this may not be a big feature for a new console like it was in past generations. I would love to see it return and feel as though now backwards compatibility is more important than ever.

The most important reason I would love to see backwards compatibility return in the PlayStation 4 would be because today our usernames are pretty much our identities on PlayStation Network. I would love to be able to, not only carry on my username, but also the ability to play all my PS3 games on my PS4. I would hate to have to turn on my PS3, in order, to earn trophies in Uncharted 3, then have to power on my PS4 to earn trophies in Uncharted 4. It just makes sense to have one machine do all that work. Besides I also don’t want to get a game invite on my PS4 and it be for a Killzone 3. Then I’d have to log off my PS4 and get on my PS3 to play. What an inconvenience .  With PSN being a major platform, in and of itself, and it always being”On” I feel its likely we should have one unified PSN servicing PS3 and PS4.

With gamers having so many more ways to obtain their content it will also makes sense to have backwards compatibility. I want the ability to download my PSN games, DLC, apps,  movies and other content. I mean how tragic would it be to not have the ability to play some of the awesome release that have come out on PS3 over the years like: Stardust HD, Journey, Flow, Flower, Calling all Cars!, and others. Or to lose my first season of Walking Dead and Falling Skies.

Also this has been the first generation where games have been patchable, instead of stand alone products like they were in the PS2 days.  Imagine developers like Naughty Dog, not only having the ability to have The Last of Us run on the PS4 with the usual host of improvements Sony provide such as improved loading and texture smoothing, but also the ability to patch in features to make the game actually use the PS4 hardware instead of just running in an emulator untouched. The ability to increase the frame-rate of my favorite PS3 games seems very enticing or the ability to have my games render at a higher native resolution( Possibly 4K). All this is possible and could go along ways to prolonging the community of online games. And I think I would be ok if developers charged a small price for these upgrades.  The ability to patch games could also alleviate the need to have 4k remakes.

The last reason to have backwards compatibility is so I can trade in my aging PS3 towards the Purchase of my shiny new PlayStation 4. 🙂

About the Author

Shamarri Miller



    Captain Obvious

    I don’t think Sony will provide full backwards compatibility in the PS4\Orbis. The PS3 architecture unique and Sony wants to adopt easier programming approach.

    The PS4 would likely need to have the PS3 hardware inside it in order to run PS3 games.

    It would drive up the cost unnecessarily and next-gen games would see no benefit from it.

    If Sony wants to make the most powerful console for the money, then they’re going to have drop backwards compatibility. Possibly in the future Sony’s R&D team can emulate the PS3 on the PS4 using software only, but that’s a lot of research to pay for if it’s even possible.

    Of course Sony may be able to use a modern version of the Cell CPU and possibly use that as the basis for the PS4. But that’s highly unlikely considering how complex programming for Cell already is and it still wouldn’t provide 100% PS3 backwards compatibility because of other hardware differences.

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