Sony Explains Why The PlayStation 4 Isn’t Backwards Compatible

The PlayStation 4 has been a huge success for Sony, with global game development boss Shawn Layden recently telling TIME that the console has sold-through 60 million units worldwide, making it the fastest-selling PlayStation console yet. That being said, the PS4 is still missing some key features in some gamers’ eyes, most notably any sort of true backwards compatibility (PlayStation Now is a half-measure at best). Microsoft earned a ton of goodwill with the introduction of Xbox 360 backwards compatibility on the Xbox One two years ago, but Sony never followed suit with a solution of their own.

As Sony global sales chief Jim Ryan tells TIME, backwards compatibility is something the company has taken some steps to address with things like HD remasters of select PlayStation 2 titles, but it just isn’t something that gamers ultimately use that much, even if they claim it’s something they want. “When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” said Ryan. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3, and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”

Instead, Ryan says the company is looking to invest heavily in things people do want to play, such as eSports. “It’s a subject that is occupying us quite a lot these days, and something we’re looking at very carefully,” said Ryan. “We’re trying to find precisely what the role of the platform holder is in that value chain. Seeing how we can actually make the whole eSports thing bigger, better, different and bespoke to PlayStation is something you’re going to be hearing quite a lot about in the next year or two.”

Ryan did note that while backwards compatibility isn’t something Sony is looking into heavily right now, they are looking to Microsoft for inspiration on at least one thing, namely the company’s Xbox One Elite controller. PlayStation fans have been clamoring for a boutique version of the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller and Ryan says that Sony is looking into it. “The idea of a premium interface in exactly the same manner as we now have a premium console has a lot of logic to it, and there are such products already available in the market from third parties. But it’s definitely something we continue to look at.”

For more on Sony’s current and future PlayStation plans, be sure to read TIME’s full piece here.

Source: TIME

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)