No backwards compatibility for Next Gen?

2 min read


The PlayStation 3, when it originally launched at least, had full backwards compatibility – mostly because it had the PS2’s innards stuffed inside the big black box. Nintendo’s  Wii had direct Gamecube support, and a Virtual console giving it generations of backwards compatibility. Even the Xbox 360 had some level of backwards compatibility with Xbox original games, even if it was emulation driven…and largely broken. Don’t expect the feature in the next generation though.

That’s according to EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen, at least. Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference (Via Gamasutra) in San Francisco about why the current consoles will still be popular in 2014.

"An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible," said Jorgensen. "If you [play] multiplayer on a game, you’ll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation."

Though he talks about backwards compatibility, he seems to imply that it’s more about “cross generational multiplayer,” but I genuinely don’t expect the next consoles to play current games.

The PS3 required the PS2’s emotion engine for backwards compatibility – and if rumours are true, the next PlayStation will use wholly different architecture to the Cell that powers the PS3. I doubt Sony would throw in the expensive cell just for the sake of playing old games. On top of that, emulation of the older system isn’t likely to happen as its just not practical – or even feasible given the expected hardware.

Read  EA doesn’t believe we’ll see disc-free console any time soon

How important is backwards compatibility to you when it comes to next gen considerations?

Last Updated: February 13, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Only when they stop producing PS3 games, will I look into the PS4. My pockets are not deep enough for next gen. There’s heaps of PS3 games I’ve never played and they’ll be dirt cheap in a years time.

    • Sir Captain Rincethis

      Totally with you on that bud.

      • Sean Carbutt

        The backwards thingy, aint going to happen. The cross platform will happen, but for PS3 vs Sexbox only

        • Sir Captain Rincethis

          Ah, sorry, didn’t see below. Nah, I don’t see the Xbox allowing their base to play against the PS base. I see them allowing Xbox vs PC though.

          • Johan du Preez

            They tried and fail every time, the console gamers suffer against a pc players due o the mouse and keyboard, they did some test and proved that an average pc player runs circles around the top ps3/xbox players.

            They actually had this feature in Battlefield 3 beta, well more like a bug where u could join ps3 servers and xbox. I remember they fixing it quickly because pc players will go there to pad kill boards.

          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            please send me details of this test as Yolanda, who is a PC girl and writes for this site, and I were talking abiut this false assumption, usually by PC fanboys a while ago. As far as I know other than opinion on the matter, nothing has been prooved? Hence plase send link to official test!

  • Fnuik

    If I want to play “old” ps3 games I’ll just use my “old” ps3. Easy as that.

  • Mikhil

    Fuck backwards compatibility, I want cross platform compatibility for multiplayer.

    • DaeMon

      Ditto…but not crossplatform multiplayer….i dont want to play an FPS multiplayer on console vs PC

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Cuz PC would OWN

        • Hondsepop

          Totally, even with auto-aim.

          • Admiral Chief Erwin

            Auto-aim….SIES, filthy word!

        • DaeMon


        • DrKiller

          They must give us an option to play with PC gamers… Some of us will be able to compete 😉

  • DaeMon

    backward compatibility is not needed. the reason backward compatibility was removed from the ps3 once they released those 40gb models was because the demand for playing ps2 games on a ps3 was very small. while it was a nice-to-have people want more to play the games intended for the platform

    • If the PS4 had backwards compatibility, I think ALOT of people who never changed from PS2 to PS3 would gladly shell out for the PS4, skipping the now cheaper PS3, knowing they had a huge catalogue of PS3 game to still play on their new console. If the PS4 launches with less than 20 AAA games, then it’ll have a very slow start.

      • DaeMon

        I thought the same thing when the ps3 came out, I specifically got a model that had the backward compatibility, being someone that skipped the ps2. and on paper as you say above it sounds like a bonus to the console. While you may think that ALOT of people would be into that, when it comes down to it, people just don’t end up using it that often, and effort of including the backward compatibility functions are just not worth it.

        point is years ago i would be on the same page as you, but with what happened to the ps3/bluerays you realise that more often than not people will make the stretch for whats better and not always whats more convenient

  • Sir Captain Rincethis

    Tricky question. I think if they TELL you it is going to be backwards compatible, as SONY did when they launched the PS3, only to recant on the next version (which is utter bullshit, I am sure many people bought the PS3 in the hopes they could access the extensive range of brilliant PS2 titles) then that is wrong. I think it is a nice feature to boast about and one that would bring money into the market of older games. Why wipe them from existence cus you have ‘upgraded’ to a platform that doesn’t support many new titles and the ones it does support are only experimenting with the new hardware? It’s going to take a good few years to reach that Bell-curve where what the developers understand of the console matches what they can actually do with it.

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    I know the feeling, some of the classic gems I played now require emulators or hacks to work on Win7. Some classics just stay classic!

  • Valshen

    I really, *really* would like to limit the number of consoles in front of my TV. Every console that doesn’t have backwards compatibility makes me sad. And cluttered.

    • Sir Captain Rincethis

      Agreed. And the PS2 is still over R1000, 12 years after the fact!

  • their plan is probably to release the last gen games on psn so that you can buy it again. Capitalism HO!

  • Purple_Dragon

    I can understand it not being backward compatible if it is a hardware thing. I can live with it. I would prefer backwards compatibility but it’s not a a deal breaker.

    What is a deal breaker for me if they prevent used games being played on them. That is one thing I will just have to say fuck you to.

  • Tbone187

    The jump to the next generation isn’t going to be as big as the previous so I reckon backward compatibility is on the cards and should be regarded as essential…

  • Mike D

    If they are not backwards compatible, then I guess it will give me a clean slate when choosing which console to buy. I hope that they are though, as I have well over 50 current gen games in my collection, and I don’t know how many more years my console will last.

  • matthurstrsa

    I have so many games of this gen that I still haven’t completed or even played. Next gen will have to wait.

  • My PC has excellent backwards compatibility 😉

  • Melasco

    Personally I hope the PS4 is not backwards compatible…
    1. It could make the console expensive, large, noisy, less reliable etc
    2. It’s time and money wasted that should have been used to make the PS4 better

    I have a PS3…. And I’ll continue using it long after PS4 launch… For me there’s no need for it, and no need for a single console, in fact, having 2 could prove usefull one day for a second TV in the house or something like that. For others it may be better to have 1 console because of space etc…. a ps4 and ps3 will together still take less space and use less power than a gaming PC… 😛

    I think people just like moaning about anything…. there are waaaay more important things to worry about…. backward compatibility is definitely not on any priority list of mine. Show me the new hardware, and most importantly, them next gen GAMES!

    PS: Should my PS3 ever decide to die I’ll possibly wish for backward compatibility… 🙂

  • consoles ……..

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