Yesterday, Sony announced the PlayStation 4. Although I won’t be focusing on the console’s technical specifications or upcoming titles, there have been some news regarding backwards compatibility and services that will allow users to play classic titles, so for now, let’s focus on that.
First of all, the PS4 isn’t backwards compatible with older PlayStation titles, according to what was said at the company’s presentation. Instead, the upcoming console will make use of the “PlayStation Cloud” service which will allow users to stream the entire Sony catalog from the original PlayStation to the PS3. This will be possible thanks to a technology developed by Gaikai, a cloud-based service that Sony Computer Entertainment acquired on July 2nd, 2012.
Although Gaikai easily solves the problem of the lack of backwards compatibility, what remains to be seen is if players who already own games will have access to them on this new service. I have dozens of classic titles on my PSN account (which were certainly not that cheap) and I wouldn’t want to buy them all over again to play them on a new service which I’ve never used before. And taking into account I was having some issues with my internet connection while I was watching the live event yesterday, maybe a cloud-based service isn’t the best solution.