News Article

Talking Point: Has the PS4's Lack of Backward Compatibility Affected Your PS3 Purchases?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Lingering doubt

Sony was fairly clear about the state of PlayStation 4 backward compatibility during last month’s PlayStation Meeting. While revered Gaikai gaffer David Perry had already alluded to the lack of native PlayStation 3 support during his portion of the press conference, Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida later confirmed that the upcoming console will not support your current generation content in any meaningful manner. But has the revelation affected your usual purchasing habits in any way?

The company has promised to investigate streaming solutions on the PS4, but it’s unclear whether it will provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional hardware-based backward compatibility. Running content in the cloud will not be an inexpensive endeavour for the platform holder, so it seems unlikely that it would give you access to your current generation catalogue for free. As such, until the company announces differently, it’s probably safe to assume that your PS3 collection will be tied to its existing home for the foreseeable future.

For those of you that intend to keep hold of your PS3, that shouldn’t raise much of an issue. With titles such as Quantic Dream’s intriguing Beyond: Two Souls due out around the same time as the next generation machine – and rumours regarding Gran Turismo 6 and LittleBigPlanet 3 both for the PS3 – it may not make sense to offload your console right away. But we understand that there are those of you that don’t have room for multiple systems, or may be planning to sell your current slate of gaming equipment in order to afford the next generation machine. And that does provide a problem.

The release schedule over the past couple of weeks has been packed with more titles than previous years, as publishers scramble to deploy the remainder of their current generation content in preparation for the impending PS4. But has the absence of backward compatibility encouraged you to reconsider shelling out for titles like Tomb Raider and DmC: Devil May Cry, or have you been purchasing titles as normal without a care for the imminent hardware transition?

And if the lack of future-proofing hasn’t had an impact on your physical purchases, then what of digital transactions, too? Boxed games can easily be resold or given away at a later date, but this isn’t possible on the PlayStation Network. Have you found yourself less willing to invest in downloadable games, knowing that the content will be inaccessible unless you opt to keep your PS3 hooked up in perpetuity?

It’s a discussion that’s probably going to depend on the manner in which you consume games. If you’re the sort of player that rarely returns to titles, then you may not be affected by the absence of backward compatibility on the PS4. But if you prefer to revisit games multiple times over prolonged periods – whether it’s to replay a campaign that you enjoyed, collect Trophies, or invest in multiplayer – then you could find yourself put out by the next generation platform’s lack of legacy support.

Of course, the conversation also hinges on whether you intend to upgrade in the first place. With the PS3 still showing signs of a promising future, and the PS4 almost certain to occupy a premium price tag, you may have decided to stay put for the time being. But for those of you that have already committed to the transition into the next generation, how has the absence of backward compatibly affected you?

Have you found yourself reconsidering PS3 purchases in light of the PS4’s limited legacy support? What do you intend to do with your current generation catalogue once the next generation arrives? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.

Has the PS4's lack of backward compatibility affected your PS3 purchasing habits? (36 votes)

Yes, I'm now buying less PS3 games in general


I'm still buying retail releases, but have cut down on PSN purchases


I'm not bothered because I'm not buying a PS4


No, I'm buying exactly the same number of PS3 games


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (34)



GRIFFEN14 said:

I will be getting PS4 day one but it wont affect my purchases on PS3 in the remaining months. I wouldn't want to miss out on games like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V just because of a new console release. Backwards compatibility would be nice but I most likely wont be coming back to this gen much come this holiday season.



jaydb1982 said:

Ive pre-ordered my PS4 but im keeping my PS3 so my game purchases are unaffected. Ive owned every Sony console and always traded it in for the next gen model until now. There's still so much life in the PS3 and my collection of hard copy/downloads is to much to part with. Plus with having so many AAA titles still to come out it will more than ease the PS4 wait and post release initial lull in game releases.



hamispink said:

I'll be keeping my PS3. It's my main gaming machine and it has become my source for most all of my Playstation 1 + 2 games. It's a console that I won't ever give up. The PS4 will be for PS4 games, and my PS3 will be for everything else.

edit: it's also hard to leave behind my digital library which has more than filled my 320 GB hard drive. When I upgraded my space a few years ago, I never imagined that I'd fill it up, but will PS plus and more games being offered digitally all the time, it didn't take long.



Splat said:

I don't plan on getting a PS4 anytime soon so doesn't effect me. Even when I finally get one I doubt I will get rid of my PS3.



Splat said:

@get2sammyb - I have only had my PS3 for a little over a year. I was late to the party. It still feels new to me. I'm still getting alot of enjoyment out of it.

I would rather spend that money getting caught up on PS3 games I've missed out on.



Ps4all said:

Yep, trading the ps3 in as soon as ps4 launches at Gamestop in the u.s., so I'm not wasting money on any more ps3 games. I'll wait for the inevitable ps4 lady of us collection



Ps4all said:

In my opinion this whole backwards compatibility thing is overrated. Every time i get a new system i typically focus on the new games as opposed to playing old last gen stuff.



JayArr said:

The lack of backwards compatibility is going to keep me from buying a PS4 instead of holding back on PS3 games.

There will be no reason to buy a new system right away if I am going to burn through the handful of games I want to play at release only to watch it collect dust for the next year.



Epic said:

Well I kinda decided to skip the PS4 its just that the cloud gaming and current exclusives still doesn't convince me.
Maybe in few more years when the next Ratchet and Clank and Sly get released or they kinda explain the whole cloud gaming service.



rjejr said:

Ild be happier if it were BC with my PS2 game collection, my PS3 still works. I wonder if it will continue the tradition of playing PS1 games?



Lionhart said:

The lack of backwards compatibility is exactly turning me off from buying a PS4. I already decided not to buy a PS4 until at least two or three years after it has been out.



Kor-Meteor said:

Not getting one until 2 or 3 years in. Just got PS3 a year ago, and enjoying it still.



IAmNotWill said:

It's definitely a gripe I have. This console generation has been notorious for short-lived consoles.



JavierYHL said:

will be buying ps4 and keeping ps3,actually i still have ps2 and ps1 for collection...



ShogunRok said:

I'm not too bothered about backwards compatibility. I used to be against the notion of not including it but when I stopped and thought about it, I won't be wanting to play many PS3 games if PS4 ends up with a good library. Besides, always got my PS3 at the ready if I did feel the need.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I don't like to get rid of my consoles so I'm not worried about backwards compatibility, to me its just not worth it. Theres more than enough to keep me busy for a long while and I'm planning to wait a year or two to see how things go and what sorta games the new consoles get.



NathanUC said:

It crosses my mind that "maybe this game will also come to PS4, maybe I should wait" but in the end, I usually still get them. Also, to be fair, I do the same when a game comes to PS3 and I think it will be on Vita soon.



BlueProxy said:

No, because I'm keeping my PS3 since they won't work on the PS4. I really only want one piece of hardware for my home gaming, but until they have a free or reasonably priced method for people to copy over their already purchased library, PS3 stays.



Valky said:

I prefer keeping a PS3, since I had so little time to play games because of my degree.
I'm also aiming to buy a better TV and that will be great for the PS4 as well.
At this point I may just buy retail versions and avoid PSN completely, but that could be hard since I missed out so many games that finding them all will be a challenge.
This is why I'm waiting for the new Xbox announcement, to see if they do support backward compatibility, either physical or digital, but I assume it will be for the latter.
As far as I can tell, there won't be any major architectural changes, so there is a good possibility.
If this is the case I might skip buying multiplatform titles such as TR, only to buy them later and get the most of both systems this way.

TLDR: Wait for Xbox announce, see if they allow this gen games to run on the new Xbox & skip multiplat titles until I can buy them there, so I don't have to buy them all over again. More pros than cons for me.

I will only get a PS3 for this gen exclusives and probably sell it later on once PS4 has a nice game library (I hope in 1-2 years)




Well, I've already traded my PS3 and got myself another Vita. The PS4 savings tin is well under way, I'll be buying a PS4 day one. And likely taking a week off of work.



FullbringIchigo said:

nope not at all because i never buy a console to play old games (apart from the WiiU because i gave my Wii to my niece) i have my old consoles for that so i will have my PS3 to play my PS3 games same as i play my PS2 games on my PS2 and my PS1 games on my PS1, so when i get the PS4 it will be to play PS4 games

anyway i always usually wait about a year till i get a new console because by then it should have a good number of games for me to play without having to rely on older generation games to use it

i hope that all made sense?



InsertNameHere said:

It doesn't bother me at all, because my PS3 isn't going anywhere. I plan on buying a PS4 on D1 so I can Shadow Fall, Second Son, Knack and possibly DriveClub as soon as they're released.

My PS3 will be used a lot as well, seeing as Beyond and GTA V will be coming out at around the same time as the PS4. I'll also be using my PS3 as my Blu-ray Player, in order to reduce stress on my PS4.



Knux said:

I'm not planning on buying a PS4 anytime soon, so it doesn't affect my purchases of PS3 games at all.



bauckster said:

It bothers me only in the sense that it will delay me getting a PS4 by at least 2 years.

There are too many good/unplayed games for me to get rid of my PS3, and I don't feel that I can afford to keep both (nor do I have space). Well, maybe if the new system is fairly compact I will eventually get rid of my PS2 to make space for a PS4. But I won't get rid of my PS3 anytime remotely soon.

Lack of BC does feel like a mistake to me though... I know it seemed basially unavoidable with the new PS4 hardware. But a part of me is going to be tempted to trade in my Wii for a WiiU since Wii DOES have backwords compatibility. On the other hand, it will also depend on PS4 and WiiU's overall comparative collection of games....



Klinny said:

This doesn't affect my PS3 purchasing decisions, but it does significantly reduce my interest in purchasing a PS4. I understand that BC isn't really a practical option for SONY to implement, but as I am still happily playing PS2 games on my PS3, there really isn't much motivation for me to upgrade my system when I'll have to switch between consoles. Which is a pain, because I have to crawl behind the TV to unhook the connections. And I don't want to lol. (And I generally lend out/give away my old systems to friends).



Zombie_Barioth said:

@Klinny Maybe you should look into getting a switch box. Comes in real handy when you have multiple consoles and helps cut down on having to play around behind the TV. Sharing cables between devices also helps too, I have a desk setup so organization and convenience is huge for me.



FullbringIchigo said:

@Klinny you need to change cables in this day and age how old is your TV? i mean my TV is about 5 years old and it has 4 HDMI ports 4 AV/Composite ports 2 Component ports and a RF port that's enough for me to have my PS1, PS2 PS3, 360, GameCube, WiiU, DVD and blu-ray player all hooked up and still have room for something else

of course i understand that your tv may not have that many but surely you can have multiple systems hooked up without having to change cables?



artemisthemp said:

I don't recall Sony saying, that they would disable all PS3/invalided all PSN purchase, So I just keep playing PS3 games on my PS3, when I get a PS4



Ginkgo said:

Don't generally buy games from PSN (too expensive) and rarely go back and re-play games (no time), so to be honest, backwards compatibility is a non issue for me.



Zodiak13 said:

No what has deterred me from buying the PS4 is 1. terrible customer service on (5) defective PS2's (3) PS3's (8?) PSP's. 2. $$ 3. Not safe for any account of mine to be on. 4. The fact I needed to replace all those systems. In fairness I have replaced my 360 more than any one Sony system. Never have had a Nintendo or Sega system go bad on me, and I played them the most.



Metal_Slugger said:

It does make me want to think any purchase through now. I may not buy anything now until I see how much the new system is. Bad choice if they dont' let us transfer over our purchased downloaded games.

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