PS4 backward compatibility explained

As part of Sony's PS4 announcement conference today, the company detailed how on-demand game streaming will work with the new console. That technology is also informing how backward compatibilty will function on the PS4.

The bad news is that PS3 games will not be natively supported on the PS4. However, through the magic of Gaikai, Sony is working on getting every PlayStation game--be it PSOne, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation 3--to be playable on the PlayStation 4.

Don't look for that functionality day one, however. Perry said that while the cloud streaming of legacy PlayStation games has been greenlit, the functionality is to be rolled out in phases.


  • krulak - September 30, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    See I dont understand it I have a ps3 that plays ps2 and ps3 games that is great but now I gotta fork out again for new console and games damn . It,s not like I haven't spent much on Sony over the years with me and my kid,s together we have 1ps3,2psp,2ps2 and 100 games plus .Now I gotta get the ps4 It is a must
  • trolley - January 3, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    You obvously are a sheep and have more money than sense, so quitcherbitchin and follow the other sheep
  • Tuvok2013 - June 11, 2013 5:53 a.m.

    I've always kept up to date with the latest games and technology, wth the PS3 it was bad enough I couldn't play PS2 games nor PS1 games with my previous saves but to now have a PS4 which won't play PS3 games either. I've spent too much money on games and consoles already to just upgrade to a another system and it would be ridiculous having to have even more cables and cameras all over the place. The Xbox is the same. None are backward compatible or should I say completely so I will stick with my PC. Losing interest in games consoles big time as the developers don't care about existing customers just new ones. If they make it backward compatible I may consider it but it would have to play major titles otherwise forget it. At least with my PC I can play my old PC games with dosbox and every other machine with emulation. PS2 is not that easy to emulate yet nor PS3 but with the way things are going coders will make emulators to get around the shortfalls of companies like Sony and Microsoft. I shall watch this space to see what happens.
  • padraig-timmins - February 22, 2013 3:02 a.m.

    Having bought the PS3 as my first ever console I was hugely impressed and loved games like Dragon Age and Skyrim. But it's an absolute huge p**s take by Sony not to allow backwards compatibility for the PS4. I don't want 2 or more gaming consoles next to my TV, I want ONE. I suppose I can't blame them too much. They want a complete change over to soak as much cash from us all as possible, but it is going to alienate customers. I think I may just move back to my PC and buy games for it and not bother with consoles any more. Padster
  • talleyXIV - February 21, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    They should make you enter a serial code for each game you have and then you'll be able to download it. Or people could stop bitching and keep their PS3 around.
  • shadowbane900 - February 21, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    I'm sure if Sony hired the folks that made PCSX2 they would be glad to program PlayStation emulators for the PS4
  • donald-barnett - February 21, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Not seeing what the problem is. It only takes but a minute to unhook your ps4 and hook up the ps3 to the tv. Thats what im doing. Folks are just lazy. Im sure there was a problem that most of us would have no idea how to solve that was causing backwards compatibility to not be available
  • CrashmanX - February 20, 2013 8:47 p.m.

    The only thing that has me curious is for PS3 games. Will I be able to pop the disc in and "activate it" via PSN and just stream it for free off Gaikai? Or will I have to buy it again? I ain't buying my PS3 games again. PS2 games though.... I'll probably buy a few of those again. Maybe. I still have my PS2. Wonder if I could HDMI mod it or DVI mod it.....
  • Divine Paladin - February 20, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    It's almost as if it's impossible to keep your PS3 or something once the PS4 comes out. With what they've revealed today, I'm sold. Honestly, I don't care too much about their wish to move towards cloud storage and lack of discs in general. It makes sense on their end, and there are legitimate reasons why PS3 games could be tough to run on the PS4. If it were like the PS3 where they got rid of that feature intentionally, I might be irritated, but even then, I got my PS3 late enough that I'm okay with buying the games I've missed out on digitally so that I have them come holiday season.
  • Anderstmnt - February 20, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    So that means I need to keep my PS3 still plugged in for all my Disc games, but my PSN games can be deleted off my PS3 & moved PS4. I'm okay with that (kind of). Native Disc based backwards compatibility would have been nice.
  • CrashmanX - February 20, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    The problem with that, is the cell processor. It's ridiculously complex to emulate or even re-build for a PS4. Price would be WAY higher.
  • Redeater - February 20, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    God bless you Sony. Making me pay twice for the privilege of playing games I bought at full price. And people wonder why the video game industry is in trouble.
  • Divine Paladin - February 20, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    When there's a legitimate reason behind it, it's totally their fault, man. I mean, it's not like their new processor physically cannot run PS3 discs or anything, and that making it compatible would make the console cost at least $100 more. Oh, wait.
  • iluvpkmnmonday - February 20, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    If you've already bought the game...why not just play that?
  • Redeater - February 20, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    Having a Wii U, 360/nextbox, my computer, a PS3 and a PS4 hooked up to the same TV. That's a little bit unnecessary wouldn't you say? Especially since word has it that the PS4 is less a console and more of a PC....I'm guessing they are skipping the easy emulation and just wanting the double dip profits.
  • iluvpkmnmonday - February 20, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    Meh, I have my Master System, Genesis, NES, SNES, and Wii all hooked up to one tv. But I understand how having a ton of things hooked up isn't for everybody. Personally Id rather just dust off an old system and hook that up instead of repaying for a game collection. Plus not packing in the guts of a PS3 in to a PS4 may keep the price down as well.
  • CrashmanX - February 20, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    Easy emulation? Do you understand what the CELL processor is and how ridiculous that thing is?
  • KnowYourPokemon - February 20, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    If someone has to pay for a game they already own to play it through PSN, it's not backwards compatible. Backwards compatible would be "Hey my PS2 finally gave out but I can just put the disc in my PS4 and play it there" Oh well, thankfully emulators exist...
  • Tatts4Life - February 20, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    It would be nice if they released FFX and XII on the PSN I think those are the only PS2 games that I own that aren't on the PSN. I'll wait until more info is released about the system before I run out to my local GameStop to place my pre order.
  • ObliqueZombie - February 20, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    Good enough for me, but if I have to pay for games that I already have....

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