Rumor: PS4 won't be backward-compatible with PS3

According to the latest rumor, "select developers" have already received dev kits for the PS4. Inside the box is an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU--a drastic change in architecture from the IBM/Nvidia core in the PS3.

34

Whereas the rumor mill has been quite active regarding the next Xbox console (codenamed "Durango"), there's barely been a whisper of the next PlayStation. With signs pointing to the next generation of consoles launching in 2013, what has Sony been up to?

According to the latest rumor, "select developers" have already received dev kits for the PS4 since the beginning of this year. However, "finalized" beta kits won't ship until the end of 2012. Inside the box is an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU--a drastic change in architecture from the IBM/Nvidia core in the PS3.

Switching to a unified architecture developed by AMD would certainly be more attractive to developers, who have continued to struggle with the odd, proprietary nature of the Cell chip. By giving developers a more familiar environment to work with, multiplatform games might not struggle as much as they did in the current generation. In addition, third parties will be able to ramp up development for the PS4 quickly--crucial for playing "catch up" if Sony's next system launches later than the next Xbox.

However, a consequence of switching to the new architecture will be the complete lack of backward compatibility. While launch PS3s offered backward compatibility with PS2 games, the feature was eventually removed in later revisions of the hardware. Kotaku's source claims that "Orbis won't even bother, and that Sony has no plans to offer backward compatibility for its existing catalog of PS3 games." That will obviously hurt anyone that's managed to amass a large collection of PSN games over the five-plus years of the current generation.

Shacknews has reached out to Sony for further comment.

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 28, 2012 11:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Rumor: PS4 won't be backward-compatible with PS3.

    According to the latest rumor, "select developers" have already received dev kits for the PS4. Inside the box is an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU--a drastic change in architecture from the IBM/Nvidia core in the PS3.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 11:43 AM

      I'm sure they'll let you re-purchase those PS2 games you had to re-purchase because they didn't work on a PS3 the first time.
      I'm sure they'll let you re-purchase those PS3 games again over some store sometime in the future.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 11:43 AM

      In related news, I just stopped buying games on PSN. :(

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 12:18 PM

        Uh, did you miss the part where it said this is a "Rumor". Why let something like that ruin what you have been enjoying. There is no proof that this will happen. History has shown that Sony has at least provided backwards compatibility at launch but we shall see what actually happens. I have 2 PS3's and will most likely trade in one but I will keep the other. Unless you plan on trading in your PS3 for the new console, you can still play those games on the PS3 you currently have. All in all, this news is listed as Rumor and not fact to the exact hardware to be included.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 12:22 PM

          I also hope this rumor doesn't pan out. While BC becomes far less important to me over the long-term, I'm really enjoying replaying some of my PSP games on the Vita--especially as the current Vita library hasn't really caught my attention.

          • Ebu
            reply
            March 28, 2012 12:27 PM

            ^^^ So very much this

            There are a lot of PS2 games I'd play if BC worked, there are far fewer PSX games that I play, but there are a lot of PSP games that my Vita will see. Currently, Tactics Ogre Queensong.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 4:11 PM

        seriously . shit like this is just so they can sell more games on psn

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 11:52 AM

      "If you buy the disc, it must be locked to a single PSN account, after which you can play the game, save the whole thing to your HDD, or peg it as "downloaded" in your account history and be free to download it at a later date."
      "it's believed used games will be limited to a trial mode or some other form of content restriction, with consumers having to pay a fee to unlock/register the full game."

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 12:22 PM

        Interesting. I wonder how long gamefly can survive a no-rental-games world. Same goes with redbox renting games out. I will rather enjoy watching gamestop collapse though.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 8:11 PM


          My guess it wouldn't matter to gamefly since the trail period and rental period will be similar. GameStop will just have some deal where you will get a reg code on your receipt.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 12:26 PM

        If any console company is crazy enough to try this its sony

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 12:52 PM

          yep. and in 4 years they'll release a "slim" version of the console, but they won't let you transfer the games you already own to it.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 12:22 PM

      Really? This early I have to start putting up with <1% of the people this matters too? The couple guys "who still love to play [insert one (maybe two) game(s) from previous system]" and have sworn up and down in the comments of every news story about the new system that they are most definitely NOT buying the new system because they won't be able to play said game(s). Thanks, Mr. Yoon, for firing the starting gun on that crap. ;)

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 1:13 PM

        You say that, but Halo 2 was still pretty big on XBL with the 360.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 2:37 PM

          I need percentages. Give me data!

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 12:50 PM

      So what? Are you all throwing out your PS3's? The 360 won't work either. If you want progress you need to lose the old shit. They can port them on the PSN if need be.

      Remember when the NES worked on the SNES? Me either. The SNES on the N64? N64 on the GC?

      Why are gamers entitled all the sudden? Backwards compatibility is a bonus, not an automatic. Wait till you realize your PSN, VC and Live games don't carry over. Then you'll really lose your shit.

      Same with iOS. I have zero doubt one day older iOS games won't work on the iphone 7, 8, 9, etc. It's life. Software isn't eternal.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 12:58 PM

        The Wii is backwards compatible with the GameCube and the PlayStation 2 is compatible with PlayStation games, and the original PS3s were compatible with PS2 and PS1 games...It's not our fault they made this an option for so long within certain generations of consoles.

        I personally think the RPG games have gone to shit and the only good ones are the OLD ones. So yea...I want backwards compatibility. THANKS

        First they give it to us, then they take it away due to manufacturing prices...cheap bastards.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 1:02 PM

          Yeah like how my windows 3.11 games work on Windows 7 x64 right?

          Shit moves forward. It was always an accepted practice that games were tied TO the console, not the company brand. *One* generation of consoles allowed compatibilty.

          • reply
            March 28, 2012 1:12 PM

            Yeah, that's not the same at all. It would be more like how many XP games work on Win7 and tons do.

            • reply
              March 28, 2012 1:24 PM

              Yeah? How about the Windows XP games that use heavy DRM? The Vista ones? Will they work in Windows 8 and 9? How about 10?

              There's always going to be a point where shit stops working, and that point is closer and closer when you have complicated software and protection systems. Making Mario Bros work on your calculator isn't as hard as making a AAA PS3 game work on the next console.

              • reply
                March 28, 2012 1:33 PM

                I am talking one generation and you keep bringing up 2 or 3 generations out. There's a difference.

              • reply
                March 28, 2012 1:40 PM

                Yea, but people will ALWAYS find a way to make those work on the new OS's. Just like how Dungeon Keeper didn't work on Window 7 for a while but someone found a way to patch around it.

                Backwards compatibility will always be in demand. People will always want to play old games on their new machines. Just because it's new doesn't mean you should move on from your old favorite games. ;)

          • reply
            March 28, 2012 1:14 PM

            Minesweeper.

            • reply
              March 28, 2012 2:41 PM

              Stop it.

              • reply
                March 28, 2012 3:40 PM

                However Minesweeper DLC is only available for Windows XP and above.

          • reply
            March 28, 2012 5:05 PM

            DOSbox, virtualization of Win 3.11, etc...you can run most old stuff on a PC.

          • reply
            March 28, 2012 5:07 PM

            i'm not sure how good an example that is considering that

            1.) that's a 17 year gap
            2.) it was a huge problem when 64-bit dropped support for the 16-bit layer. it continues to be a problem to this day. it was dropped because of overwhelming technical difficulty in making it work, not because nobody needed it

            • reply
              March 28, 2012 5:08 PM

              (and as others point out, there are easy workarounds here that allow you to indeed play your old games on a new computer)

          • reply
            April 1, 2012 5:27 PM

            pfffft.... DOS games work under Win7!... PC's are hardly the same environment as a console, with you know, freely available emulators and the like.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 1:12 PM

          The 360 is still compatible with a lot of Xbox games.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 4:01 PM

          New Wiis no longer support GC BC.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 1:14 PM

        PC games are backwards compatible for ages. As long as a console company keeps certain aspects of the console similar, wouldn't it be pretty easy to include backwards compatibility?

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 1:21 PM

          Well PC gaming is dead so what does it matter?

          /flamesuiton

          • reply
            March 28, 2012 5:13 PM

            So is console gaming...iPod Shuffle games are the future.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 1:17 PM

        I don't disagree with your points but at the same time, the very act of not "throwing out" the previous consoles is the only way to play the previous generation of games. These days, having a significant collection of games is a significant investment, and it would be NICE to be able to play them (at least) on the next console, even though it's not mandatory. I've used BC a lot in my consoles. I would personally pay up to ~$100 extra to have full hardware BC in my next gen consoles and won't have that option.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 1:22 PM

          Solution is to quit buying so many games at full price then. I think the real problem here is that gamers are becoming horders and expect EVERY game to work forever till the end of time. It isn't happening

          • reply
            March 28, 2012 1:30 PM

            Well, I don't usually pay full price, I normally wait for a sale and only buy a few select titles at the full retail price. At the same time though I personally (I realize I'm in the minority) enjoy going back to earlier games that I loved and playing them again from time to time to appreciate them (like art basically). Only way for me to do that fully is to keep the original console, which I guess just is what it is.

            Like I said though, I wish the option was there for hardware BC in future generations. I guess at some point they'd have to shut it down as it wouldn't be practical after a while anyway.

          • reply
            March 28, 2012 5:06 PM

            So the effect of this move is to discourage people from buying as many games...because that's not a wise move from a business perspective.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 7:20 PM

        Early on, MS said that the next Xbox (720) would be fully BC.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 1:04 PM

      I heard it was powered by the souls of Japanese orphans using a hybrid neural/spirit matrix.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 1:08 PM

      Next gen is going to be terrible.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 1:31 PM

      AMD CPU and GPU sounds like the Wii U will be on par and do just fine.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 1:33 PM

        I belive the Wii U is supposed to be on par with current gen, so no.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 1:53 PM

        Wii U CPU will be on par with current Gen. The Wii U GPU will be more modern but nowhere near the GPU rumored for the PS4 in this article. Also the CPU for the PS4 will probably be better than current gen and Wii U CPUs. As long as the Wii U has a good chunk of fast memory its GPU will allow better lighting, 1080p resolution, better anti aliasing, better shadows and better texturing. I expect to see Wii U versions looking a good bit better than current gen games while running at a higher resolution as well.

        • reply
          March 28, 2012 2:45 PM

          Yup the tech demos that were shown for the Wii U were all 1080p @ 30fps i believe

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 2:40 PM

      I don't see why they shouldn't at least make it an option. Have 2 different ps4 models, exactly the same, only one is backwards compatible. They could even make it preorder exclusive so they don't need to make more than they have to. I would gladly pay an extra $100-$150 for it.

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 2:47 PM

        You'd like be paying a LOT more than that... if they change architectures they would pretty need to put the Cell CPU in the box to make it backward compatible. There is no way you could emulate that chip in real-time on any current CPU.

        If they go this route I'd guess you'd be looking at close to $200-250 more for a model that can run PS3 games.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 3:21 PM

      Is that image super low rez?

      • reply
        March 28, 2012 6:38 PM

        That's the actual PS4 splash screen.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 5:03 PM

      I would think at this point, backwards compatibility should almost be a staple.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 5:11 PM

      If they give me a way to hook my PS3 up to the new system (as a sort of pass through) so I don't have more and more shit hooked up to my system I'd be ok with this. Otherwise I'll probably hold off on buying a PS4 (I tend to buy *all* the systems when or shortly after they release...whenever I can manage to easily get one).

      This is something I've been watching, as this sort of a move disincentivizes the purchase of games I'm on the fence about...because I know the long term value isn't there...games become a disposable thing that I don't put much value on if they have an expiration date.

      • reply
        March 29, 2012 7:42 PM

        This would be good. Think PS2 slim stacking neatly underneath the PS3 and being completely accessible from the XMB using PS3 controls.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 6:41 PM

      LOL, just one more reason not to buy one!

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 9:18 PM

      Even if so, I like owning all my old consoles, I don't even like playing gamecube games on the Wii.
      So don't really care either way.

    • reply
      March 29, 2012 8:21 AM

      I wouldn't be surprised if they toss a Cell into the first generation of PS4's so they are backwards compatible.. then pull them out of future models to save money.

    • reply
      March 29, 2012 8:33 AM

      I dont get what all the fuss is about. I have a PS3 why do i need my new console to play PS3 games. Thats what my PS3 is for! If it will keep the price a little lower screw backwards compatibly. I'm worried about this no rental/ no used games. If the next gen xbox allows used titles and the PS4 does not. Then I will get an xbox and not a PS4. And this is coming from a guy that camped out for a PS3 at launch and got a Vita at the midnight launch. This will destroy my company loyalty!

      • reply
        March 29, 2012 9:31 AM

        Would be nice to take advantage of superior hardware to improve the older games. Even the PS3 models that were backward compatible fucked this up, they did not really upscale the PS2 games, at least not properly. They deinterlaced everything, then upscaled the deinterlace, so every goddamn thing looked blurry. If there is anybody who just does not understand the point of this kind of work, it's Sony.

    • reply
      April 3, 2012 10:57 PM

      Well, then maybe Sony should design the PS4 to have a additional slot that will accepted Additional CPU that will run the "older" version of PS3 and PS2 games. If not, they should be forced to release the source code so other players can design CPU that will run the latest graphic capability of the PS4.
      It should have the ability to upgrade RAM using Standard PC ram sticks now and hard drives since hopefully the prices are starting to come down now.