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Talking Point: Are Cross-Generation Releases Affecting Your Enthusiasm for the PS4?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Upgrade incentives

With the PlayStation 4 now mere months away, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that its predecessor is not simply going to step aside. Sony has always done a stellar job of supporting its systems throughout the entirety of their ten year lifecycles, but it appears that it’s going to have a helping hand from third-parties this time around. Recent announcements have demonstrated that publishers are eager to mitigate the risk associated with the switch to new hardware by releasing their wares on existing machines too. But is the cunning strategy impacting your excitement for the impending platform?

Of the handful of titles confirmed for the PS4 thus far, many will also launch on existing systems. Bethesda’s recently revealed Wolfenstein: The New Order is the latest experience to prescribe to this trend, with the first-person shooter planned for the PlayStation 3 and next generation hardware. It’s in good company, too – Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Destiny, and The Evil Within will all follow a similar philosophy. In fact, it’s easier to list the titles that are legitimately exclusive to the upcoming console, with the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall, DriveClub, and inFAMOUS: Second Son representing the few games that are not netting a PS3 counterpart.

Even Sony itself is struggling to eschew the strategy. The manufacturer’s latest batch of indie titles – spanning Hohokum and Doki-Doki Universe – are planned for the PS3, PS4, and Vita. It seems that the lure of its current system’s enormous install base is proving too much for the company to overlook. But what impact will the ongoing relevance of existing hardware have on the next generation, and shouldn't the platform holder be setting an example to third-parties to turn their attention to the next big thing?

To be fair, cross-generation titles are not necessarily a new phenomenon. The Xbox 360, for example, launched alongside a slew of PlayStation 2 ports, including GUN, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie. It took a long time for the industry to turn its attention away from existing install bases, and early sales figures suffered as a result. But with the PS3 still pumping out graphically impressive content, could the impact be even more pronounced this time around?

Speaking as part of a video interview designed to promote the PS4 version of Ubisoft’s upcoming Watch Dogs, senior producer Dominic Guay explained that, short of a few graphical bells and whistles, the next generation version of its open world opus will essentially be the same as its PS3 counterpart. “We’re going to have more immersion,” he ambiguously explained. “We’re going to increase connectivity, and we’re going to enhance the density of things. It’s going to basically be the same game experience, but magnified on the PS4.”

Such a statement is somewhat concerning. We’ve no doubt that the next generation version of the hacking simulator will look much better than its PS3 alternative, but is the promise of a higher resolution and a sturdier framerate really going to drive punters to the platform in their droves? Naturally we’ll need to see side-by-side comparisons before we can determine for sure, but if you can obtain a comparable experience on current hardware, then where’s the incentive to upgrade? After all, even if Sony manages to avoid a $599 US dollar-esque blunder with its impending platform, it’s still going to look like an expensive investment next to existing hardware.

The manufacturer will perhaps counter that there’s more to the PS4 than upgraded horsepower. Features such as the vaunted Share button and its more efficient operating system will prove a draw over the PS3, but we’re not entirely convinced that average consumers will be swayed by such incremental upgrades. There’s a small chance that E3 could improve the software landscape for the upcoming platform, but the Las Vegas show is equally likely to bring word of yet more cross-generation releases.

And if that’s the case, we have to question how accepting the mainstream market will be of the PS4. Blockbuster exclusives such as Killzone: Shadow Fall will demonstrate a significant improvement over existing hardware, but with many of the system’s third-party releases available on cheaper platforms, how many gamers outside of the hardcore community will be willing to upgrade?

Are you planning to play cross-generation titles such as Call of Duty: Ghosts and Watch Dogs on the PS4? If so, what’s convinced you to upgrade? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.

Are cross-generation titles affecting your enthusiasm for the PS4? (39 votes)

Yes, I don’t really see the point in upgrading yet


I’m not really sure at the moment


No, I’m still excited for the enhancements that the new console will offer


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (34)



ViciousDS said:

still excited for PS4 completely, I'm leaving the PS3 behind unless something major comes out like the last of us or beyond:two souls. Because Watch Dogs is going to look amazing with all the particle effects and more dense atmosphere. I mean all the gameplay videos have been PC and PS4, I can imagine the difference running on the old hardware just due to the RAM limitations alone. But the PS4 is so much easier to develop for compared to the PS3, I mean Unreal Engine 4 was transferred over in mere weeks instead of months of re-coding. It's going to come down to the fact its actually going to take more effort to make it compatible with the PS3 compared to PS4.....which in turn also costs more development costs.



ShogunRok said:

Positively affected in my case. I'd be getting a PS4 either way, but cross gen releases like Assassin's Creed 4 and hopefully Watch_Dogs will give the PS4 a solid launch lineup. Even if the initial next gen games leave something to be desired, I'll be able to fall back on cross gen titles.



Ps4all said:

With the exception of grand Theft Auto, i probably wont buy anything that is cross gen. killzone, drive club, and infamous are the games i am most looking forward to(as well as the witcher). I remember the first year of the 360, where i kept trying to find the difference between cross gen games and was dissapointed. so i will stick to ps4 exclusives.



evildevil97 said:

Where's the option for "No. I haven't been interested in the PS4 at all, at this point."?



Stuffgamer1 said:

If upgraded versions of games prevent a total software drought on the new system, I think it's worthwhile. I'm the kind of guy who always wants the best version of a game available anyway, so it's a total no-brainer for me. I think this will be a REAL win for Sony if some of these titles (especially the indie ones) have cross-buy for all three platforms. Build your PS4 library early!



rastamadeus said:

I've been saying this since the PS4 reveal show. It is massively going to have an impact on both it and the next Xbox. Fanboys of either company will tell you it won't but it will. Why would you spend £300-God knows what on a machine that runs a game your current machine does with the only difference being it's a bit pettier? Of course there will be people who will get the new consoles but the 'casuals' won't and that is who both Sony and Microsoft need, like it or not. Both PS4/720 will struggle in their first year or two as third party developers will continue to support this gen as COD, Assassin's Creed, FIFA, Madden and GTA (and it's DLC) are all on them.



hamispink said:

It doesn't affect my purchase, I want the PS4 for the convenience compared to playing on PS3. Plus cross-game chat, sharing, and the new controller are all things to look forward to.



rastamadeus said:

@hamispink Sharing and the new controller will be nothing more than mere gimmicks on any game that is on both consoles, sadly. Just look at any game that is on PS3/360 and the Wii U.



Gamer83 said:

Not at all, I'm getting a PS4 day one and any cross-gen games will bought for that system as long as the next-gen port is competent.



JavierYHL said:

yup not at all...the new features and a few good sony exclusives like infamous and killlzone would get me onboard



3Above said:

It hasnt affected my excitement at all. Im not fool enough to believe that just because the PS3 will get the same game that the PS4 version will be the same. There will be a significant difference. The content will mostly be the same but the experience wont. Its like saying Sly Cooper TiT on vita is just as good as the PS3.



Jaz007 said:

I'm already planning to get it for the next gen games so any more games that will offer a suprior experience than already available increase my excitement. I'm not planning to get any of the cross-gen games though, but I would get them for PS4 if I was getting one if them.



InsertNameHere said:

I'm not affected by cross gen games at all. I'm buying the PS4 for Knack, Shadow Fall, Second Son, Drive Club, the controller and video sharing. Watch Dogs will have to settle for my PS3.



rjejr said:

Knack says hello, and you're giving him an inferiority complex

I wasn't planning on buying a PS4 for a few years anyway as $299 is my usual price point for such things, and I like a bunch of games for 1/2 price when I pick up my system, but yeah, all these PS3 games are making me think I won't be missing much while I wait.

Accept Knack. And maybe Last Guardian? And 2nd Son. I picked up my PS3 for R&C: Tools of Destruction, Lair and Heavenly Sword.

I wish somebody would make a new samurai game along the lines of Onimusha. That was a good trilogy - I wasn't a fan of the 4th - and I need some historic 3rd person demon warrior sword fighting action. Maybe those giants crabs in Genji 2 single-handedly destroyed the genre?

PS - thanks to Batman for mentioning Knack while I've been typing this, good to see I'm not the only 1 with taste



Epic said:

It kinda makes me fall back all this cross generation releases they don't give me a reason to upgrade why buy a new console to play Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed 4 and other games if I can already play them in my PS3 and some amazing games for the PS3 are coming like The Last Of Us and Metal Gear V
For now my only reason to buy a PS4 is Knack and Infamous Second Son that isn't enough for me.



AG_Awesome said:

They need to do what the Wii U didnt and that is offer these games with some kind of incentive to own beyond the basic "upgrade". Im talking collections. The NEW Assassins Creed should at least include 3, maybe 2 and it's sequels. If they put Batman Origins they need to include the other two for free. All of this with updated textures, resolution, whatever to sweeten the pot.

The biggest reason I didnt buy a Wii U is because the games on it that I want are already available for the PS3/360 and a lot cheaper. If the Wii U had both Batman games together, or the Mass Effect Trilogy, or even both Darksiders I would have bought one in a heart beat. I hope PS4 is able to really get some good deals for these alternate versions. ESPECIALLY if they cost 10-20 dollars more!



Ginkgo said:

Not at all personally. I was seriously considering upgrading my PC to cope better with games because I wanted to play the best version avail of games, rather what was becoming scaled down versions on the PS3, but I do much prefer to play from my couch. The PS4 announcement has put that on hold, as I should now get the best of both.



hamispink said:

@rastamadeus I don't think the new controller is inherently gimmicky. I'm sure there will be pointless uses of the touch pad and light bar, but I'm more interested in it being more comfortable to use.



kingandaval said:

Strengthening my enthusiasm! I'm going to buy a PS4, that is a fact so why wait if great games are coming out this Christmas?



rastamadeus said:

@hamispink I don't either, but 99% of all uses for it will be gimmicky, like with the Wiimote or Wii U touchscreen or Kinect or Move.

@3Above I wish I had your naive optimism. Just look at every Wii U port like AG_Awesome has said - that is what is going to happen to both PS4 and 720 for the foreseeable future.

@Epic Knack is the only intriguing game on PS4 so far for me. InFamous and Killzone are just sequels which could be done on PS3 (nobody bother going on about how they couldn't, they could, it's just they're graphically better) whereas Knack is something new. Yes, that too could probably be on PS3 as well but at least it's a start.

@get2sammyb The poll is kind of unwarranted. The majority of people on here will say yes they'll get a PS4 or not sure yet but will do in the future. It's not us that need this question asked, it's the casuals and they will more than likely just laugh in your face when asked "would you rather spend £300+ on a new console to play the new COD or buy it for your current console." Not having a go mind, love a poll to see opinions, but as I said its not us that need to be asked this. We're on a Sony site because we want PllayStation games/machines.



rastamadeus said:

@kingandaval You can. And I have. It's naive to think these PS4 ports will have anything extra other than insignificant tiny bits added on (like the extra hour in AC3 on PS3 for example) and slightly better rendered clouds. As for Knack it is the only intriguing game to me personally as, for me, the Killzone and InFamous sequels have added nothing to their originals and the new versions look like merely more of the same, while Killzone just looks boring as sin. That reveal video is the most boring game video I have ever seen. Am I wrong? No. Am I right? No. Merely my view on the game and the PS4s first year or two.



kingandaval said:

@rastamadeus It's not naive. What's naive is to try and lecture on other's opinions whilst you have no idea what the difference between games like Watch Dogs, Destiny or Assassin's Creed IV between generations will be. It'd be a fair assessment to assume that the footage we've seen so far for these titles has, in fact, all been next-gen but nobody knows which 'gen' has been the main focus for each dev team. Some games could see a significant step down graphically from what we've seen so far, but that's purely speculating. As for InFamous: Second Son adding nothing to the original, you have no idea if that's the case. We're yet to see any real footage of the game and anything other than a long teaser trailer. To me it looks like a refreshed narrative and some distinct art changes as well; a brighter, more vibrant world all with a new protagonist. But, you know, it's basically the same as Infamous 2...



rastamadeus said:

@Kingandaval Look at the Wii U's ports. That is what will happen within the first year or two until the PS4 and 720 start selling enough to convince major third parties to go all next gen. Do you honestly believe FIFA, Madden, COD and Assassin's Creed will sell better on next gen machines this year (or AC4 will be any different at all)? Course they won't. And the same for next year. As I've said before its 2015 when next gen will really take off. First party games likely won't feature as much problems but third party games will. They won't put time, effort and most importantly money into just next gen games/features when they're also going on this gens machines. That's not a lecture, it's an opinion. As I stressed at the end. Oh, and lecturing would have made it arrogant, not naive, but I wasn't lecturing, merely stating my own opinion. If you don't like it then fine, happy to discuss it, but don't try to make out like I was being an arse because you didn't agree.

But on InFamous I am going on the difference between 1 and 2 which I have said I didn't think added anything of merit personally and also on how they progressed with the Sly series, adding more and more tat until their final game in the series was a mess compared to the masterpiece of an original. Again, my opinion.



Zombie_Barioth said:

It isn't a problem so long as theres enough exclusives to balance things out but unfortunately that isn't the case at the moment.

If I'm already buying a console and it just so happens to have a port of a game I want then I'll probably consider buying it for the new console instead, assuming its not too expensive compared to whats available elsewhere. $5-$10 more isn't too bad but theres no way I'd buy a game for full price if its already available for half as much.



3Above said:

@rastamadeus Consider a game like Star Wars The Force Unleashed. It launched on previous gen ( PS2 Wii? ) and next gen ( for the time, 2008 ) PC PS3 and 360. The content on the ps2 and wii versions were mostly the same as the other versions ( though the wii had an exclusive versus mode ) butbthe pc ps3 and 460 version had dramatically better graphics, larger environments, better physics, and the Digital Molecular Matter technology that the previous gen versions couldn't run. Right now we don't know what the exact difference is between the ps3 and PS4 versions will be. Why presume that there is no significant difference? Dont judge everything by the Wiiu, nintendo has always had trouble will 3rd party support, doesn't necessarily mean PS4 and Xbox 729 will as well.



Ginkgo said:

@rawr1234 : Personally I thoroughly enjoy reading rastamadeus' comments. I very rarely agree with them, but that's is what makes them interesting. He likes different games to me and values different aspects of gaming. Great.

It is fantastic to have different opinions and ideas here from people who like completely different things. Heaven forbid if everyone was like me! The world would stop.



Gemuarto said:

@rastamadeus You forgot one tiny thing, though. PS4 has PC inside of it, so developers don't need to do any efforts, just port game from PC with less effort than ever before =)))... They make all those games for PC, anyway.



ViciousDS said:

@rastamadeus the Wii-u's specs are barely above current gen, of course Dev's were not going to do much 3rd party wise. Nintendo's new console has a processor lower than current gen hardware, and a GFX card minorly above the PS3/360 standards. 3rd party Dev's are already supporting the PS4 and are preparing to make it the liveliest version of the two consoles. Ubisoft's Watch Dogs has already been confirmed it is going to use the PS4 fully to maximize the hardware, meaning its going to look much better and probably be in full 1080p. You forget also this gen's hardware is all pretty much natively in 720p. That resolution increase is a MAJOR change alone.



rastamadeus said:

@ViciousDS A major change in graphics isn't a major change in gameplay to further the game on and make it the definitive version so my point still stands. I hope I'm proved wrong but this happens time and time again. Besides, as I keep saying, Joe Public won't give a toss about 1080p so will be buying Black Ops 3 on PS3/360 next year.



FullbringIchigo said:

no not at all in fact the PS4 versions of Assassin's Creed IV and Watch_Dogs are one of the reasons i want to buy one (if i can afford it that is, if not i'll have to get the PS3 versions)

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