“Why would anyone play this?” It’s a quote that will cling to Jim Ryan for his entire career – and now he’s actually addressed it. For those in desperate need of context, the PlayStation boss famously told Time about the occasion he attended a Gran Turismo event: “The PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient,” he said of the older racing games, compared to the more modern Gran Turismo Sport. “Like, why would anybody play this?”
Ever since, the statement has been passed around as evidence of the executive’s disdain for older games, which came to a head recently when the company announced plans to close the PS3 and PS Vita storefronts. It’s since reversed that decision, but the stigma remains.
Until now, perhaps. “The point I was trying to make – obviously not very well – was just how great the PS4 version looked and how far the series had evolved,” he told Axios Gaming, as reported by VGC. “I certainly wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to our heritage. I guess my big learning from all of this is that when Kazunori Yamauchi unveils the next Gran Turismo side-by-side with its history, that I will keep my mouth shut.”
Ryan pointed to Astro’s Playroom as an example of Sony celebrating its legacy. Of course, the references in ASOBI Team’s platformer are wonderful, but some fans want to be able to play their PS1, PS2, and PS3 games on the PS5. “What is important to recognise when considering this question about designing a new platform, is that time, engineering resource, and money are all finite, and that important trade-offs have to be made in terms of what’s included, and what’s not,” he said.
In other words, the company made a calculated decision to focus on PS4 backwards compatibility and not for its previous platforms. Obviously, while we appreciate the requests here, it’s hardly surprising really. Despite how it may feel on the Internet sometimes, there probably isn’t a huge audience of PS5 owners desperate to dig out their copies of Disruptor.