Aside from sequels to Gears of War and Halo, Microsoft’s rabbit-out-of-the-hat moment during its E3 press conference on Monday was undeniably the announcement that backwards compatibility will be introduced for Xbox One in the near future, opening up “hundreds” of existing Xbox 360 games across physical and digital. As such, it’s understandable that PlayStation fans have been wondering whether the feature would migrate over onto PlayStation 4? In short: not a hope.
In a recent interview with MCV UK, Sony’s PlayStation Europe Boss Jim Ryan noted that the platform holder has zero intention of building an emulator for the current-gen hardware that would open up its back catalogue of software. Hardly surprising, especially when you consider the push towards an all-digital future with the subscription-based PlayStation Now.
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Here’s Ryan’s official statement:
We are just taking a different path. To the extent that you are investing in software technology – which is what this is, it’s delivered through software not through hardware – we are trying to commit our resources and put our emphasis on delivering on the promises we made right at the start of this whole PS4 thing, to be the forward-looking, socially-connected console. We are placing our bets on things like SharePlay, on things like Play as you Download, and things like Suspend/Resume.
As we alluded to before, implementing backwards compatibility for PlayStation 4 really doesn’t make a lot of sense for Sony at this time beyond mere fan service. After acquiring Gakai in 2012, the Japanese publisher has been slowly engineering its gaming-on-demand service into the PlayStation Now we know, and opening up the vault of software from the PS3 era would surely only undercut this strategy – not to mention all of the remastered compilations.
But what do you think? Do you believe that Sony’s ought to introduce backwards compatibility for PlayStation 4?