Neither of the next generation consoles from Sony or Microsoft feature native backwards compatibility, though Sony has said it’ll use its Gaikai cloud streaming service to bring PS3 games to the PlayStation 4 in the future. It’s been rumoured Microsoft will similarly utilise it own cloud technology to bring ersatz Xbox 360 compatibility to the Xbox One. It’s probably not going to happen.
that;s not to say it’s impossible. According to Microsoft’s Albert Penello it does work – but there are too many inherent problems for t to be completely viable.
“It’s really cool and really problematic, all at the same time, insofar as it’s really super cool if you happen to have the world’s most awesome internet connection. It works way better than you’d expect it to," Penello told Polygon.
"So managing quality of service, the tolerance people will have for it being crappy. Can you imagine, in this day and age, with the bad information around, and we can’t control the quality of that experience and make sure it’s good, or have to tell people they can’t do it?"
It’s a problem that Sony’s going to have with Gaikai – and Microsoft will be watching that unfold with a keen eye. Sony’s own Gaikai streaming will launch in the US first, and then start rolling out to other territories and regions. I honestly don’t expect it to work very well locally.
"I’ll be really interested to see how our friends in the Bay Area [at PlayStation] deal with this problem," Penello said. "But I can tell you, it’s totally possible. We like it, we’re fans of the cloud. We’re not shy about that."
How much does backwards compatibility really mean to you though? The Wii U, for example, has full Wii backwards compatibility – but do you know how many time’s I’ve used the feature? Exactly once, and it was just to test that it worked.
Last Updated: November 11, 2013