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EA: Next-gen consoles ‘unlikely’ to be backwards compatible

Wednesday, 13th February 2013 09:43 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox 720 and PS4 probably won’t support backwards compatibility, according to a EA’s chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, panel session, Jorgensen said of next-gen, “I think people are going to be pretty excited. An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible.

“And if you [play] multiplayer on a game, you’ll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation.”

Jorgensen hinted at a potential launch window for next-gen consoles while talking about FIFA, “If you’re a FIFA player and, and the soccer season’s starting in August, and all your friends are playing FIFA, you’re going to want to be on the same box that they’re on.

“So if they all go out and buy a gen-four box if it comes out at Christmas, then you’ll most likely do it. If they all hold on and continue to play on third-generation, you’ll probably not see that box purchase until after the soccer season’s over.”

On the nature of Xbox 720 and PS4, he added, “I do think once again without describing the new consoles, you’ve got to assume they’re going to be highly integrated into the living room and the house, and there will be a lot of capability for interaction.”

He also underlined the “connectivity potential” of next-gen consoles.

What do you make of the above?

Thanks to Gamasutra for the transcript, and CVG for the tip.

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37 Comments

  1. noamlol2

    so much bad things about the next gen

    then why should i buy it?
    the xbox 360 supports some titles of the original xbox but it’s reign locked to NTSC only as far as i know
    on halo 2 worked for me and i had no idea if it was pal or ntsc

    any way, the early 600-700$ PS3 had the emulation part inside it
    and it did ran any ps2 game

    but i guess sony went cheapass and removed the emulation part to reduce cost, a shame really

    every console should at least have the last gen emulations

    cause the ps3 runs any ps1 games, which is absurd cause that was two gens before instead of the last gen

    and you can’t download from the ps store the game cause it’s not always there
    there are so many good ps1 and ps2 titles that are not in the PS store

    those cheapasses just wants you the buy another game “collection” just like they did with god of war and killzone
    although it’s much better in HD, but still kinda greedy

    #1 1 year ago
  2. RandomTiger

    Not surprising, good point about multiplayer though.
    Hopefully at least XBLA and PSN titles will be emulated or something.
    This next gen is going to need lots of killer exclusive games to get past all the rumored annoyances.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Deacon

    I personally don’t get all the hoo-haa over BC. If you’re so desperate to still play last gen games, then keep hold of your console. It’s that simple.

    If you still want to play last gen games, don’t buy into the new gen.

    And if you guy into the new gen, I don’t really see much need to play old games when you have access to a new wave of them.

    I get the feeling I’m in the minority in feeling this way though.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Max Payne

    Backwards compatibility is just unnecessary expense.
    If you buy PS4 maybe not first or second year , but by third year you are already going to have lot of game to choose from and you won’t even look ps3 library.
    And periodically when you want to play jus hook it up and its done deal.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Gadzooks!

    Backward compatibility is a very big deal to me.

    It takes a while for a decent library to accumulate on new machines and I have a Friday night crew to think about. We have our favourite multiplayer games and may not get similar games for months or years after the new machines release.

    We continued playing Soul Calibur 2, Flat Out, Halo 1 and 2 and loads of others in the first year of the 360. I also played Psychonauts, SSX3, Kotor and Monkey Ball on my 360 to name a few.

    We still play the Xbox original Burnout 3 every other week, and occasionally the original Flatout.

    I don’t want loads of boxes cluttering up my living room. I plan to have a WiiU to compliment my Xbox and 2 boxes is as much as I can fit under my TV, so new console in = old console out.

    Plus I have a huge library of downloaded games on my 360. I do not want to lose those. A large percentage of people will be in the same boat.

    BC might not have been such a massive deal on the last gen transition, but make no mistake BC is a very big deal going into the next.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. ps3fanboy

    i dont care about ps1 or ps2 games they look shit on hd tv’s. the jump from crappy crt tv’s to hd tv’s was a huge leap forward, so i can understand there is no bc for the ps2 games(ps1 is so old now that is no problem). but what i dont understand is that you can buy these ps2 games and play them on the ps3. sony should sold the emulation as digital download or had it come with the latest superslim ps3 on a disc. but then also have a warning with it that says it dont support all ps2 games, i think that would have been fair.

    anyway…

    if there is no bc on ps3 games, that will be a blow to the stomach. because this gen is just to close to the nextgen. it would have been okay to remove bc for ps3 in a ps5 but not a ps4… this gen was 720p next gen will be 1080p, the leap ain’t big enough.

    with no ps3 bc on the ps4 most people will just not jump on the ps4 right away. most people will wait 3 years before they get a ps4. when you try to compete with your lastgen product with your nextgen product. most people will go for the cheaper one, the games are still great and games will still come out for the ps3. if sony have bc for ps3 in ps4, there is no usage for the ps3 anymore, and people will move over faster to the ps4. this is a fact… and have been seen happen before.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. DrDamn

    @3
    It’s more about the hassle really. Once the new generation gets some steam up then there are very few games I’ll go back to. However some never seem to get adequate replacements. My group of friends still play Burnout 3 on 360 via B/C as 360 Burnouts weren’t as good or lost split screen play. We are also still playing Wii Sports and Boom Blox via B/C on the WiiU.

    The reasons for lack of B/C this time around are a due to technical switches. It’s very difficult for the components in the rumoured Orbis/Durango to emulate 360 and PS3 – despite being more powerful. Orbis may well do something with Gaikai though I think.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. KAP

    @1

    For some reason I don’t reckon your own opinion will phase you in the slightest into buying in the next gen consoles.. Lol

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Fin

    Back-compat only started with PS2, it’s only existed two generations, I’ve no issue in seeing it go.

    If it’s such a big deal, keep your old console around.
    First world problems.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. aseddon130

    The next Xbox better support the old stuff, no way am i leaving behind the hundreds of thousands of pounsd of games i have invested in my XBL profile, i’m hoping to carry them over so i can sell my Xbox 360 on to fund the next Xbox.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Judicas

    In the past BC hasn’t been too big of a deal, but with this gen lasting so damn long BC for the upcoming gen is an absolute MUST!

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Deacon

    @7 – sure, I get the ‘hassle-factor’. I’ve got a rabbit permanently living in my front room (don’t ask), so everything has to be tucked away and neat and tidy otherwise he’ll have it. The little fucker already destroyed one of my white Dualshocks and several ethernet cables.

    I get that space is not abundant for some people, but with a little tidying & jimmying I think we could all get by. Unless you live in a wardrobe of course.
    I’m living in a small 1-bedroom flat with my Mrs and still manage room for a few consoles in the cabinet under the TV.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. dizzygear

    @9 Wrong. The Megadrive and Gamegear had a converter to play Master System games. Gameboy’s and DS’s have been compatible with eachother and the Super Nintendo had a converter for Gameboy titles as well.

    There no reason why the new consoles cant have a add-on or a separate SKU to provide backwards compatibility.

    At least know what the hell your talking about before trying to be smug with your “first world problems”.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. DrDamn

    Both consoles seem to be going through quite a hefty redesign. Incorporating B/C into those would either cost or impact that redesign detrimentally I think. WiiU has kept B/C but at what cost? The CPU is essentially an updated and up-clocked Gamecube CPU – is that what would work for the Orbis/Durango? Certainly not PS3 – it needed to ditch the Cell.

    Best case scenario they will offer premium version of the consoles with B/C provided by including key chips from the current gen. That way those the want to can keep it, those who don’t can move on without the extra cost.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. f1r3storm

    He just mentions being unable to play with players that are playing on a console from another generation though, nothing else. Which makes sense. Wasn’t really different with the sports games at the start of this gen.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. stevenhiggster

    I never played any PS1 games on my PS2, I didn’t play PS2 games on my PS3 (Yes I had a 60gb, god bless its now lifeless carcass) and guess what, I won’t play PS3 games on my PS4.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Psychotext

    @16: So are you basically happy to leave your digital collection on your PS3 then? I have hundreds of PSN / XBLA titles that I’m yet to get around to playing (I may never if I’m honest) and I likely wont be buying a PS4 / 720 until I’ve finished with them (assuming I can’t play them on the next gen consoles).

    Might not be important to you… makes a difference to some of us. Doubt it will have any impact on Sony or Microsoft though. I can certainly see your argument, I probably felt the same last gen but my digital catalogue is important to me. I’d be just as disappointed if the same thing happened with a new iPad or phone. I flat out expect my digital purchases to move devices with me in this day and age.

    As for why I don’t care about my retail games, I imagine it’s because at least I’m able to sell those at some point.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Deacon

    @14 – yeah, that would then cater to everyone. Best case scenario for sure.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. Fin

    @13

    No reason, apart from having to replicate the entire architecture (there’s no Cell emulator for x86, and even if there was, it would be dog slow – PowerPC emu would be easier, but still difficult to get proper performance).

    If you honestly think that the inconvenience of, omg, having to keep an old console around isn’t a first world problem, you’ve got bigger issues.

    @17

    |hundreds of PSN / XBLA

    Really?

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Gadzooks!

    #14

    Or a BC dongle which would save the SKU confusion of two versions of the same machine.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Psychotext

    @19: Yup (well, something like 180 I think). XBLA, XBLIG and PSN games made this gen for me. Wouldn’t have been nearly as appealing without them.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. dizzygear

    @19 Expansion cards with CPU’s on them to run applications for another platform have been around for a long time. My Powermac 6100 from 1994 had an expansion card with a x86 CPU on it to run DOS compatible applications for example.

    Again, you should know what your talking about before trying to be smug or you just look like an idiot.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. Gadzooks!

    #22

    Indeed, I had a 486 card for my Amiga and was able to run some DOS games.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Christopher Jack

    @20, Unfortunately that’s too logical, Sony especially will want to continue selling the PS3 for as long as they can as they did with the PS2. Backwards compatibility may well be a good sales point for a new console but it detracts a lot from the original.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. Erthazus

    You buy Next Generation System for Next Generation Games. End of Story.

    If someone will sell old games it would be via GAIKAI or some kind of MS’s cloud service.

    2013 is a year when all the hardware cost a lot of money, it’s not some cheap shitty 32 MB graphics card from late 98-00s’.
    If Sony will implement for example Cell in their next gen, their system would cost 1000$.
    Two processors, one is weak/exotic tech and another one is from AMD.

    Are you nuts? There will be no backwards c. stuff.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. Gadzooks!

    #25

    “You buy Next Generation System for Next Generation Games. End of Story.”

    No, YOU might do that. I have a library of games I would like to keep playing.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Erthazus

    @26, Then keep them and keep your old Xbox and play them as much as you want.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. PC_PlayBoy

    Consoles Suck.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. Fin

    @22

    Ur, yeah, exactly like I just said. You’d have to replicate the entire architecture. I can’t see them doing that.
    Software emulation is the alternative, and again, like I said, there’s no Cell emulation for x86, and PowerPC emu would be slow, so I highly doubt there will be any back-compat.

    But fuck it, just keep the old console around for fuck sake.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. Telepathic.Geometry

    The way I see it is, the biggest competition next gen is gonna be from Apple and Steam, both of which have a pretty high level of backwards compatibility. I think that most gamers want that now…

    Let’s look at your options (in my case for my PS3):

    a) No BC:

    You have to keep an extra box under the telly. There’s an extra plug socket gone, and another HDMI port gone on your telly. An extra controller too possibly, and the cables for it. Your PS3 Trophies are on that system too, do they carry over? Would the two trophy systems be compatible?

    In my case, this would mean my keeping the PS3 and not upgrading to PS4 until 2014/15, and then only after a lot of rational thought had gone into it, which means I might be logically considering the Next Box or the Steam Box or the iBox…

    b) BC:

    I can upgrade my box, sell the old one, reap the benefits of the new system/services, the extra HD space, the fancy new spangly games. Far less likely to over-think it and consider other systems…

    #30 1 year ago
  31. theevilaires

    “any way, the early 600-700$ PS3 had the emulation part inside it and it did ran any ps2 game”

    There was never a $700 PS3. Only a $500 20GB and $600 60GB version at launch.

    “No, YOU might do that. I have a library of games I would like to keep playing”

    “@26, Then keep them and keep your old Xbox and play them as much as you want”.

    ^
    Thank you for pulling that idiot out of his denial :D

    #31 1 year ago
  32. OlderGamer

    “Plus I have a huge library of downloaded games on my 360. I do not want to lose those. A large percentage of people will be in the same boat.”

    This is key for me. I can see myself sticking with xb360 for a long time. I have WiiU ofc, and PC. I haven’t seen anything, yet, that grabs me from either MS or Sony next gen offerings. It has to be more then graphics. It has to be. Same game franchises, new coat of paint is not going to get me to buy a new system.

    And before some points out Nintendo is recycling the same franchises, at least WiiU has the Gamepad and that dramiticly changes the way those games play and the experiences they offer. And besides I am not the loyalist some folks think.

    Just saying there needs to be something different, better then just upgraded graphics.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Phoenixblight

    For those that are talking about XBLA and PSN games do you really think that MS or SOny will not allow you to transfer those over? THey aren’t going to get rid of their stores and library for the sake of a new gen. They have invested too much into it to say “fuck it, everything is new”.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. daytripper

    @32 Thought you didn’t bother with 360 anymore?

    #34 1 year ago
  35. Joe_Gamer

    You know what next gen platform does have backwards compatibility? PC of course! Zing….lol, couldn’t help myself

    #35 1 year ago
  36. monkees19

    What pisses me off it that next gen already DOES have backward compatibility. The Wii U plays all Wii games. Ta-da!

    #36 1 year ago
  37. DrDamn

    @33
    I’m sure they’d love to but there are serious technical limitations stopping that. The XBLA and PSN titles are design and written for the 360/PS3. So you’d need to emulate to run them just like you would with a full boxed retail title.

    With the PS3 the big issue is the Cell processor and it’s quirkiness. Sony also let devs hit the metal a bit and directly access hardware. So emulating the PS3 even on more powerful hardware is going to be a massive headache unless you include extra hardware. Or they use Gaikai in a cunning way.

    With the 360 MS would have tightly controlled access to the hardware through standard libraries which would be great for backwards compatibility. However picking a processor which has half the clockspeed of the 360 – even if it’s actually more powerful overall – is going to be a stumbling block for emulation.

    #37 1 year ago

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