Perhaps the largest announcement Microsoft made during their 2015 E3 conference this year is that backwards compatibility was arriving for the Xbox One. Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox for Microsoft, dropped the announcement on a very excited crowd. Many Xbox One owners, and many PS4 owners as well, have been craving for backwards compatibility to play their Xbox 36o games on their Xbox One or their PS3 games on their PS4. Well, Microsoft decided to give its consumers what they wanted.
“It was surprising. I didn’t think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort,” Shuhei Yoshida, boss of Sony Worldwide Studios, told Eurogamer in an interview.
“They talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don’t know.”
When asked about the PlayStation 4 perhaps coming up with a backwards compatibility, Yoshida’s response wasn’t very positive. “PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPU’s very well. It’s going to be very challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans.”
Sorry fellow PS4 users, it doesn’t look like we will be that lucky, particularly anytime soon.
SPU’s were the satellite processing units in the PlayStation 3. It’s what made the development architecture so complicated for some developers as opposed to the more open architecture on the Xbox 360. We were treated with some fantastic games able to take advantage of the 6-core system Sony had launched, such as Naughty Dog which was able to impress more and more, but then some developers such as Bethesda ran into problems on multi-platform games such as Skyrim with its performance.
Another bump in the road to PS4 backwards compatibility would be the PS Now service. As it currently stands there are PS3 games able to be streamed. Allowing the play of PS3 games through the PS4 would seem to be counter intuitive to what Sony is trying to do with their acquired asset in Gaikai and PS Now, but perhaps a middle road could be forged somewhere in the future for Sony’s consumers.
Perhaps in the future we will be able to use our PS3 games as verification to receive a free streamed copy of the game from the PS Now service, but until then the PS4 userbase will have to deal with a pricey alternative to the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility.