Up until the PS4, Sony's new consoles have always had strong backward compatibility support. But with its current PlayStation 4 platform, the company has butchered a potential lucrative games foundation with its weird, fractured backward compatibility solutions, which rely on clumsy PS3 game streaming via PS Now and a handful of remastered PS2 games. And it looks like Sony isn't changing course any time soon.
Sony has a wealth of old beloved fan-favorite games that it could monetize and re-release onto the PlayStation 4, but instead of putting forth major efforts to make backward compatibility linear and painless, the games-maker has opted for a non-popular PlayStation Now paid streaming service for its PS3 games. But what about the golden era PS2 games (you know, the games that helped the PS2 become the best-selling console of all time?) and nostalgic PS One games? According to Sony exec Jim Ryan, we shouldn't expect a massive influx of classic PS2 or PS1 games on the PS4 any time soon.
In a recent interview with TIME, Sony Head of Global Sales and Marketing Jim Ryan took a page from Don Mattrick's playbook with his stance on backward compatibility; gamers make a lot of noise about it, but don't use it (probably because PS Now is clunky, awkward, and gamers already pay $60 a year for PS Plus and $60 per game). Of course, Ryan then slams the fidelity of old-school PlayStation games, which obviously look terrible on 1080p HDTVs. That's why Sony would remaster them and sell them for $14.99 a pop, like it does with its other PS2 games on PS4.
"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. 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?"