Gamers have wanted the PS4 to play PS1, PS2, and PS3 games since launch. Since E3 2015 Microsoft announced that it would be adding backwards compatibility for XBOX 360 games to the XBOX ONE. So we’re finally going to have it across all three consoles this generation it seems. We already have an emulator, by Sony, to play PS2 games but it’s still not the kind of insert-the-disc-and-play backwards compatibility we see on Xbox.
What are the chances of backwards compatibility being added by Sony?
Sony is acting like Atari was during the 80’s. Atari, as far as we remember, was one of the top-earning tech companies. They were easily making a few hundred million each fiscal year. But all of a sudden, well over several months of bad decisions like making more copies of ET and Pacman (as well as paying an advance on the royalties for the Pacman to the programmer) than there were Atari 2600 consoles at the time, they became nearly obsolete.
However, we think it’s more than that. Sony wants to show a good turn-around on investment in the part of the company that produces PlayStations, so they’re probably looking at BC as an economic inefficiency they don’t need while in their dominant position. Whereas for MS, it’s probably a lot easier/cheaper to introduce BC. And we imagine they’ve got market research that tells them it would help retain customers upgrading from 7th gen consoles).
From our experience, businesses (not just game companies), only really look at immediate gains. It seems rare that they look at the long term. If Sony moves like this and keeps in step with Microsoft, that would be the smartest thing they could do for the years to come. Apart from beating them to the punch obviously. Anyways, let us know your thoughts in the comments.