Sony seems to be managing expectations with Playstation Now a bit, explaining that it is not the answer to backwards compatibility. Rather, it will be an alternative.
Word comes from SCEA VP for Marketing John Koller, who felt compelled to speak after hearing a lot from fans about the PS4’s lack of compatibility with Playstation 3 games. In his words, the service will allow fans to engage in a great lineup of titles that they may not have experienced on PS3.
Now, we do know some of these games will be sold and available for rent, and will be available on multiple devices, including smartphones, Bravia TVs, and the PS3 itself. I think it’s their push to convince consumers to build up a collection of Sony devices, thereby getting them invested in a Sony ecosystem.
So, what’s with the careful wording? Simply put, Sony may be preempting a repeat of the disappointment on Vita’s UMD Transfer program. Many Sony fans expected it to be the company’s all-in-one solution for PSP games on the Vita, allowing them to play their entire library to the new portable. Eventually, that dream fell to the realities of licensing from the 3rd parties Sony is dependent on to deliver content.
Do you think this opens up the door to possible PS3 backwards compatibility on the PS4 though? Looking at the system’s specs, I think there is a possibility that this can be added in with a firmware update. Whether Sony would want to do it is a different matter entirely. PS3s are widely available, still in production, and cheap to acquire. It may be an inconvenience for some parties, but most players are better off getting both systems if they want to keep the games.