Poll: How Important is Backwards Compatibility to You?

The PlayStation 4 will not be backwards compatible.

Got a bunch of PS3, PS2, or PS1 games?  Too bad, bucko!  You won't be able to play them on the PS4 when it launches this fall.  Oh, you can probably jam those disks into the console but that's about as far as you're going to get.  Heck, all those PSN titles you bought?  Nope, not going to be able to play those either.

How does that make you feel?

Well, it just so happens we have a conveniently timed poll in which you can let your opinion be known.  What's that you say?  Your opinion is more nuanced than the poll responses allow?

Well nuts, that's a problem.  Hmm, what can we do about that?

Oh, I know!  Expound your thoughts either in the below comments section or in an email to SuperPACpodcast@gmail.com.  Or both!  We're not picky.

Let us know how important backwards compatibility is to you and how it might color your decision to pick up Sony's next gen box.  We'll discuss your thoughts and ours on next week's podcast.

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. Longjocks says:

    Meh. If I want to play an old game I connect an old console the same way I’ve done it for the last 30-odd years. That’s not to say we should ignore the benefits modern advances afford us and the chance it gives a company to build a better product and relationship with their customers, especially if their previous product is prone to breakdown and replacement/repair becomes problematic, it’s just that it doesn’t rate for me personally.

  2. Mr.Tastix says:

    I'm on the fence because as much as I enjoy backwards compatibility, the only people it's going to affect are those with the previous generation consoles anyway. If you have PS2 or PS3 games then it's likely you have one of those consoles, too.

    However, I still like backwards compatibility simply because, as the saying goes, "Shit happens" and if your old console stops working then backwards compatibility becomes a great boon.

  3. black manta says:

    Np backwards compatibility is a deal-breaker for me.  Suddenly my entire library worth hundreds of dollars is useless!  Unless the manufacturer promises re-releases of the titles in some way, shape or form, at a drastically reduced price as PHX Corp stated, forget it.

    With the news about the PS4, I think I'll be hanging on to my PS3.  It was my secondary platform anyway (primary being Xbox 360).  I can only hope that when Microsoft reveals the specs for the 720 or whatever they decide to call it, that it will be backwards compatible with 360 titles.  I would have to assume it will, as the 360 was backwards compatible with the majority of original Xbox titles, and I see no reason why they'd want to discontinue that trend for the next generation.

  4. Zen says:

    I understand why the PS4 will not be backwards compatible with the PS3 because of such a drastic change in hardware, but some kind of backwards compatibility SHOULD be available.  They mention that PSN games will not be playable, but what about PS1/PS2 downloaded games? Can they not implement at LEAST that for a non-streaming version?  As a game collector with over 1,500 games (that also was laid off yesterday from a job of over 5 years) I intend to keep playing my games for many years to come.  I understood when the N64 went to the Gamecube it wouldn't be physically possible, but they still implemented SOMETHING where I could play all of my GameBoy/GB Color/and Game Boy Advance games at least with an add on. The Wii U has been great because while I enjoy playing the games I have for it, my massive Wii collection plays just fine on it along with all of my Wii Ware and Virtual Console titles.  PS2 had full PS1 support, as did the original PS3 get both of its predecessors.  Sony still has as many questions with me as they have provided answers, but if it turns out ok, I will more than likely pick up the PS4 as well.

  5. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The they should sale the console for under 110$ so buying it dose not mean you have to sell off your collection to buy into the next gen……

  6. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I am glad that the WiiU offers backwards compatibility. I am glad that the Wii was backward compatible. I am glad that the PS2 was backward compatible. I am glad that the Gameboy Advance was backward compatible. I am glad that the 3DS is backward compatible. I am glad the the original run of the PS3 had full backward compatibility. 

    However, I am a realist and know that backward compatibility has its limitations. I was perfectly fine when it was revealed that the DS was only going to be able to play Advance games and not Color or original Gameboy games due to limited hardware space. I was perfectly fine when the DSi dropped Advance support. I was fine when the PS3 dropped PS2 compatibility in order to make cost savings in the hardware. I am perfectly fine knowing that the PS4 will not be backward compatible because of the drastically different hardware.

    At this point, backward compatibility is a great thing to have, as long as it makes sense. If it doesn't make sense to include it, I won't worry because I still have plenty of connection ports on my tv to hook new consoles to.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  7. GrimCW says:

    Nintendo has done it on their own consoles but again require repurchases per console. And keep it TO said consoles as well rather than going all over.

    And (most of) Sega's ports are actually fairly old and had already been done. Most are more along the lines of re-releases than brought back. Except that they've jumped onto pretty much every platform out there now in various forms. And it is a lovely breath of old air. Big bonus is Sega does provide bonuses usually too. Rather than just direct ports they often have some enhancements for the games that can offer them. They really do it right.

    I was more along the lines of Sony (you know, the company the article was moreso about than others?), another LONG time competitor on the console market and has a LOAD of old MMO's its pretty much just milking or let to die. Yet they are using cheap tricks instead of solid fixes. They also nixed it on the Vita after promised support for the digital PSP games.

    Ever seen a PS2 game run in an emu at true 1080 with full AA and other tweaks? Some could easily pass for early PS3 titles! And those "HD" remakes are complete jokes by comparison in most cases (given most are just upscaled to 720 and then thrown onto the new console for quick money)

    Or MS, whom dominate the PC market by right and could easily pull a trick rabbit out of the hat for cheap, but instead outdate and kill their product after promising to support it further.

  8. beemoh says:

    >But you know, god forbid they take an obvious idea like that and run with it.

    Yeah, Sega have been doing that for ages. There's loads of them on Steam.

    Oh, and then there's Virtual Console on Wii/3DS/Wii U.

    But, y'know, it's easier to whinge about money-grabbing, isn't it?


  9. GrimCW says:

    Meh i'm not for or against backwards compat. as i would like an actual leap, rather than a baby step in hardware, and can actually see where this would detract from the ability to work on that.

    But the idea that it MUST be streamed, and COSTS more on top of already purchased titles…

    That kills the deal for me. I'm already against the idea of streaming games due to quality and control problems. Now lets also look also at what net providers are doing in the way of limiting and throttling back data… Anyone else see a MASSIVE problem in the future if all of these become combined?

    In other news, if they really wanted to cash in on backwards compatibility, they'd cash in on the Emulator market for PC's. Think of it, a license Emulator that plays your favorite past games, and then a digital sales, combined with disc compatibility, all right there on the PC. Carrying all the fun enhancements the current (free, fan made) Emu's provide, but giving cash to the companies that own the licenses. They could easily knock off the free emu's, create a new market for old content, and charge for it all…..  But you know, god forbid they take an obvious idea like that and run with it.
    I mean hell, for old or dieing MMO's, how much do you think people would pay to get their hands on custom server programs?

    Easy cash cows completely ignored and left unnoticed except by crappy legal attacks… oye..

  10. PHX Corp says:

    I openly support backwards compatibility but I refuse to buy my games again unless Sony and microsoft sweetens the pot(i.e Massive Discount if you have purchased the game through a retailer or Digitally through its game store.) like Nintendo is Doing with it's virtual Console on wii u. or allows the disc to be inserted to activate a digital or on demand streaming copy once or even a built in emulator that Runs on x86-64 processors

  11. SeanB says:

    Something worth looking into, is the statistical discontinuity between the percentage of people who claim to consider backwards compatibility when buying a new system, and the people who actually USE backwards compatibility in their new system.

    Original research, it used to mean something.

  12. Sam-LibrarIan Witt says:

    I am very disappointed to hear that PS4 will not be compatible with older games. When the PS2 came out with its weak launch line up, one of the big selling points for me was that I knew if I bought it I could still play all my PS1 games on it while knowing that as time went on the PS2 library would continue to grow. Same goes for the original PS3 model. I still have launch titles from the PS1 that I enjoy playing on the current consoles, but after hearing about PS4's lack of support, I honestly don't think I'll bother with it. 

  13. Neo_DrKefka says:

    I don’t think most people get it you can stream PS1, PS2, PS3 games on their new service for digital content. They won’t allow you to use your old PSN purchases but they want you to buy it again on their new streaming service

  14. beemoh says:

    It’s not making me not want one, but it’s a bit of a disappointment that it’s not there.

    Given that they won’t be pressing PS3 games for much longer and aren’t pressing PS1 or 2 games any more, backwards compatibilty isn’t really of much value anyway.

    They’ve pretty much killed PSN releases for the forseeable, though…


  15. -Jes- says:

    Obviously, most people around here will vote towards Backwards Compat being a necessity..

    But we all know that the masses (read: mindless fan drones) will gobble up the PS4 even if couldn't actually play games.

Comments are closed.