Why The PS4 Is Seriously Missing Out By Not Having Backwards Compatibility

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One thing that I feel that the Playstation 4 is missing is backwards compatibility. It used to be a standard in their consoles that you could play your old games on their newest console, and starting with the PS3, they started to pull away from that leaving only select models to include the feature. And with the latest generation of consoles, both PS4 and the Xbox One weren’t launched with the ability to play the games from the past.

That is until E3 2015 when Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would be adding backwards compatibility to their features for the console. And it’s worked so well, they slowly have been adding more and more titles to their library every month, which works even better since their Games with Gold where they give out free digital games to players with a subscription to Xbox Live each month. And now they’re new free games are only backwards compatible games, so every game they’re giving out can be played on your Xbox One.

This is something that Playstation desperately needs to keep their competitive edge in the console war. The closest thing that they have is Playstation Now, which requires a subscription fee, whereas Xbox doesn’t charge their players to play games from the older consoles. Not to mention that the  Microsoft is capitalising on this with their latest update which allows for you to be able to purchase games from their library of backwards compatible games digitally on the Xbox Store. As well as including some older games like Fallout 3 (which was released for free for Xbox One users who purchased Fallout 4) in some of their game purchases. And they’ve done that with multiple games which give players more incentive to shell out the cash for new games as they’re getting more games for their buck. Literally.

One thing that Xbox hasn’t done that would really help Playstation in this part of the arena is to make it where you can just put your older games in your Playstation 4’s DVD drive and it will automatically download it to the system, that way you don’t have to wait for Sony to make it available. This would be an advantage that Playstation owners would have over Xbox owners. Playstation has some great exclusives from past generations that would be great to have on the newest console and might even be the deciding factor in choosing between getting a PlayStation 4 over a Xbox One.

While the Xbox has some fantastic games in its library since the original launch back in 2001, it doesn’t have quite the selection of games that have been available as far back as the creation of the first Playstation that was released in 1994. And in those six years before Microsoft showed up to the console wars, Sony released many games which are still loved by fans such as Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, among others.

I know that if the Playstation 4 was fully backward compatible, that would be enough to convince me to run out and get one immediately. They’re just aren’t enough PS4 Exclusive games to make me want to invest the money for the new console. But give me a backwards compatibility and I’ll be singing a whole different tune. Imagine, having all the Playstation games available from all 4 generations at any time. We’re talking over twenty years of games at your fingertips.

What are your thoughts on Sony not having backwards compatibility like Microsoft has set up? If you don’t have a PS4, would having this feature added to the latest Playstation be enough to convince you to get one? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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Mike Smith
Mike Smith is a writer of articles and reviews for ThisGenGaming. When he's not writing, he likes to read, play video games, runs a video game clan and likes to go camping. An aspiring novelist who can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Currently playing: Destiny 2, Halo 5: Guardians
About the author

Mike Smith

Mike Smith is a writer of articles and reviews for ThisGenGaming. When he's not writing, he likes to read, play video games, runs a video game clan and likes to go camping. An aspiring novelist who can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Currently playing: Destiny 2, Halo 5: Guardians
  • Barry Harden

    If XBone was actually the leading console seller Micro$oft wouldn’t even have bothered with Backward Compatibility. This is just Xbox’s attempt to hold on to market share with this feature given the fact that they don’t have many console exclusives. Even the multiplatform titles don’t do well on XBone so they have no choice but to offer BC in order to give customers something to play with.

    • KashIsKlay

      Call of duty sold more on xbox one with a much smaller userbase. What are you talking about

      • J.j. Barrington

        Those NPD numbers considered only standalone copies, not digital or bundles. And we know the PS4 was the only console bundled with Call of Duty during that time, so…

        • grimrook

          lol was just about 2 say that but you covered me so i will just say lol xbots lol

          • J.j. Barrington

            Kashis isn’t an Xbot. Just didn’t quite think it through.

      • Psn Merc

        Um COD has sold like 5 million more copies at least on PS4 than Xbox One Kashi. Way to be uninformed.

      • Barry Harden

        What does this have to do with my original statement? There just isn’t enough variety of games on XBone. The amount of titles coming out this year proves it.
        FPS fans have nothing to play so you can only imagine why they sell more right now on XBone.

        The PS4 is a world wide hit with varying interests in gaming. Activision still wants to build up the fanbase for CoD so this is why there’s a partnership right now.

        • KashIsKlay

          “Partnership” goes to the highest bidder

      • Rubix99

        “Call of duty sold more on xbox one with a much smaller userbase”.

        Actually no it did not.
        Global sales for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 as of 20th February 2016:

        -PS4 version sold 11.76 million
        -Xbox One version sold 6.55 million.

        PS4 version is leading by over 5 million.

        The NPD figures you are no doubt going by, only apply to the USA.
        And the USA is the ONLY country where Xbox One is selling most competitively against the PS4.

        Estimate for both consoles sold in the USA as of 25th February 2016:

        -PS4 has sold 14.23 million consoles in the USA
        -Xbox One has sold 12.45 million consoles in the USA

        This is not actually too bad of a sale gap. And it’s certainly not “a much smaller userbase”.

        There are actually a lot of multi plat games that sell good on Xbox One against the PS4 in the USA. It’s the European market where things take an ultra tragic turn for Xbox One hardware and software sales.

  • WEL

    Fanboys claim that no one cares about BC yet PS Now and Remasters say otherwise. The Sony fanboys never change their ways. I remember when they bragged about the PS3’s BC with PS1 and PS2 while swearing that DS3’s Rumble was not missed, that it was useless… But ever since BC was removed and Rumble came back they changed their tune like the hypocrites that fanboys always are.

    • andy

      Nobody cares about less than 5% back catalogue of a consoles library BC. PS Now is an amazing idea but until it has every PS1, PS2 and PS3 included, I don’t give a toss about it.

      And adding support for a tiny amount of your previous console’s games as BC 2 years after your new console is out IS most certainly not any kind of game changer, as proven with PS4 annihilating Xbone sales in the US alone Xmas 2015.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Not no one. Just not that many. There’s a reason why not EVERY game from last gen is getting a remaster.

    • Stephen Legerton

      If BC was such a big deal why does the PS4 STILL out sell the X1 world wide each and every month for the past 2 years and 4 months?

  • KashIsKlay

    No. This would be a great feature for ps4. Anyone saying different is foolish. I no longer have ps3. If I could play some of the games that came out last gen on my ps4 that would be nice. Who would argue against more features? That’s crazy

    • J.j. Barrington

      I don’t think anybody’s argued AGAINST it(besides fanboys that should be ignored, anyway). Rather, people have argued whether or not it’s the massive deal some have made it out to be. With all the games I have played and still want to play on PS3, I’d definitely love if the PS4 could play them. Since all my consoles and games were stolen, that’d be one less console I’d have to re-buy.

      That said, I think it’s a gross overstatement to say the PS4 is “seriously missing out” because the feature isn’t there.

      • KashIsKlay

        Eh. It is missing out. I rather have a feature then not have it. I think it would boost game(Ps3) and console sales. It would of been much more important around launch. But I’m sure all next gen consoles will have backwards compatibility in the box.

        • J.j. Barrington

          Missing out? Sure. “Seriously” missing out? I can’t fathom that one.

    • Stephen Legerton

      It would be a great feature.

      But it doesn’t sell consoles.

      The fact the PS4 still outsells the X1 every month world wide backs that up.

      • KashIsKlay

        No. It means mattrick ruined xbox for this generation. A feature is a bonus and it would sell even morw playstation 4 consoles.

  • Truthhurts24

    Sony doesn’t care about their fanbase only money. They are to poor to give away free BC games like Microsoft so they continue to charge their fans for owned games, and the sheep still praises them like idiots.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Is that why they’ve been giving away free games for years, and been so successful with it that Microsoft followed suit?

      • Dirtrocker

        Those “free games” are being paid for through a “paid” subscription service. So… they aren’t really free.

        • J.j. Barrington

          No more “free” than the games you have to buy in order to use the XB1’s “free” BC.

      • Truthhurts24

        No your talking past Sony Im talking present Sony they are poor. The only reason they are not completely shut down as a franchise is because of their console and phone divisions. Microsoft did copy Sony with the free games with Gold but at least they have continued that trend without milking their fans for games already owned smh. Sony also copied Microsoft with the party chat feature on ps4.

        • J.j. Barrington

          PlayStation isn’t even their most profitable division. They’re like fourth on the list.

          Please get your facts straight.

          • Truthhurts24

            Playstation is the reason they are still relevant in society. If the ps4 was not selling so well Sony would probably have to completely close their entire electronic division to avoid bankruptcy because their shareholders would not be happy.

          • J.j. Barrington

            That’s weird. I’d have thought it was their constantly profitable financial division that would be named as what kept them relevant.

            And how would a division of Sony have declared bankruptcy?

            You know what? Just don’t talk anymore. Or, at least, know what you’re talking about before you do.

          • Truthhurts24

            How about you stop acting like your one of Sonys shareholders and realize that without the big sales from playstation 4 they would be out of the console market by now. Sonys electronic division is very poor they are not successful in that area its just that the playstation has kept them from shutting down entirely . Their laptop division Vaio is gone and their tvs are not very profitable for them.

          • J.j. Barrington

            Yeah… no. See, they didn’t actually need the massive sales of the PS4 to remain in the market. If it were just on the same pace as any of their other consoles- PS3 included- it’d be more than successful.

            Ironic, isn’t it? Even if the PS4 was only doing as well as Sony’s WORST selling console, it’d STILL be doing well enough to be the frontrunner this generation.

            As for the rest of their electronics, there’s a reason the company was restructured, and there are a few things you seem to be unaware of. For example, did you know that one division can fail and not kill the others? You know, like how their TVs weren’t doing so well- they’re actually doing better now- but they didn’t kill off PlayStation. Or how they got rid of their laptops and yet their mobile is better than it has been in a while.

            Sorry, not acting like a shareholder. Just acting like someone who actually knows the subject at hand. It’s a little different from making things up, like you’re doing.

          • Truthhurts24

            You sound like a Sony cheerleader everything they do is perfect according to your logic. I bet Sony charging their fanbase for games they already owned is still consumer friendly to you correct?

          • J.j. Barrington

            How do you function?

            What “everything” is perfect?

            I notice you didn’t bother responding to anything I said. Is that because you couldn’t?

            Rhetorical question: of course you couldn’t. I came with facts, and all you’ve got is fanboy. Facts trump fanboy every time, so you’ve got nothing.

          • Truthhurts24

            Lol somebody thats biased towards Sony calling me a fanboy the irony in that statement. I already answered your question but you couldn’t comprehend what I said. Have a nice life fanboy

          • J.j. Barrington

            You didn’t answer anything. You ran away from the question like the ignorance-spewing halfwit you are. Why? Why couldn’t you answer? Is it that hard of a question?

  • XanderZane41

    When they announced PS3 games would play on the PS4 I was hoping I could just stick stick the disk in and play. Instead we got a pay to play streaming service that was overpriced. After this disaster, Sony announced B/C for PS2 games using an emulator. Sony puts the PS2 emulator on the PS4 and makes gamers repurchase the games again to play them on the PS4. I have have over 150 PS2 games that I would like to play on the PS4, but can’t because Sony won’t allow it.

    • J.j. Barrington

      You’re trying too hard, Xander.

  • NoNeedToArgue

    BC would not work on the PS4. they have already explained it. the CELL processor was in the PS3, the PS4 is an x86 machine. what is so hard to understand. The x360 was on a modified PowerPC chip, much more related to current x86 chips. PS Now literally is played via a bunch of ps3s acting as a server. it’s never going to happen. a majority of people do not care about BC. they left the old gen behind. there’s a reason BC hasnt exactly done much for XB. it’s fan service and it’s great, but it’s not really moving consoles. PS Now has much more to do with playing games anywhere than playing PS3 games on the PS4.

    • Dirtrocker

      Yet it can play digital versions of the PS3 games. I call BS on their “explanation.” It’s just a way to get you to re-buy games. If NO ONE cares about BC, why then, do they keep making money hand-over-fist on remasters of PS3 games? It’s because people still want to play older games.

      • NoNeedToArgue

        Did you read the explanation? The ps4 does not play digital versions of PS3 games. It streams PS3 games. Ps now works on the ps4 the same way it works on the vita and TVs equipped with ps now. It is done via streaming. It’s not even playing on the ps4. It’s just using the app. It’s the exact same thing as Netflix.

      • J.j. Barrington

        The argument is not “No one cares.” You know that, and you’re trying to muddy the waters so people don’t get the message correctly. The argument is “Not a significant number cares.”

        And, as NoNeed says, the PS4 CAN’T play digital versions of PS3 games. That’s why they’re not available through the Store. That’s why there’s no way to get a PS3 game to actually play in a PS4.

        And a remaster isn’t the same as a native version of the game… hence the name “remaster.” You can’t even play the remastered version on the old hardware, because it’s not built for it. So there’s no point trying to call it BC, as it’s fundamentally a new release.

        Furthermore, it’s not as if the WHOLE library is being remade. Only specific, popular games are getting remasters.

        But something tells me none of these factual remarks mean anything to you.

  • Orko

    What i can’t understand is why Sony doesn’t AT LEAST make digital PS1 classics cross buy/play supported on PS4. Digital PS1 classics are currently cross buy/play on EVERY Playstation system capable of connecting to PSN (that’s PSP, Vita, and PS3), but NOT their newest most powerful PS4. Why? If 2 weaker handhelds can do it, surely PS4 can also.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Definitely agree here. I’d at least like digital- seems they excluded whatever codecs or whatnot would allow for the hardware to play the discs natively- to be playable.

      • Stephen Legerton

        Wrong reply

        • J.j. Barrington

          I’ll get it right next time, I promise.

  • Revolver Ocelot

    Yeah, it’s definitely missing out on Carcassonne and poor emulation.

  • Trinity

    What would be a better feature than full on BC is cross buy with some of the PSN purchases of PS2 or PsOne classics that I have already purchased. I won’t buy it for third time and kind of silly that the PS4 being the more powerful console not being able to play these games when my VITA, or PS3 can =/

    • J.j. Barrington

      You mean they stream the games? That’s not at all contingent on the power of the local hardware.

      • Soda Popinski

        Where in Trinity’s post does she (he?) mention (or even hint at lol) “streaming”?? Nowhere. Digital PS1 classics are cross buy on PSP, Vita, and PS3. Meaning you can buy, download, and play digital PS1 classics on ANY of those 3 systems without a problem. Let’s add the newest most powerful PS4 to that list Sony!

        • J.j. Barrington

          You’re correct. I misinterpreted the comment.

  • Tony

    I have too many PS3 game I have yet to play. A high end gaming PC and few reasons to buy a PS4. BC with the games I own, both disc and PSN store purchases WOULD very likely push ME in buying a PS4. But it ain’t gonna happen. It will be years, if ever that I own one.

  • Jay

    Yeah that capability to play ps3 games would definitely be an added feature, matter of fact it would have encouraged me to get one sooner being that the catalog is not extensive as I like. And why I still have my PS3 and all its games sitting ontop the ps4 in my entertainment center.

  • John Tambanillo

    No, Mike Smith, PS4 DON’T NEED backward compatibility. Not even “desperately!” So I don’t know if you’re just wishfully thinking Sony will hear you or you’ve been living under a rock, but DAMN, do your research, man! Check and compare the sales between XBOX and PS4.

  • Peter Wiggle

    PS4 does NOT need disc-based backwards compatibility. With PlayStation Now, it’s perfectly fine the way it is now. You want to play PS3 disc-based games? Well play them on a PS3.

  • 1madchef

    The only reason I didn’t get a ps4 is because of all the digital games I have on my PS3 that I won’t be able to play. I got myself a gaming PC instead