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Opinion Clickbait Game Dev Hellpoint Dev Explains Why PS5 Is Not Backwards Compatible All The Way Back To PS1

postaboy

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I haven’t bought a console since the fat PS3.

If Sony wants my money they’ll make backwords comparability a priority, if not, no problem. I’ve got plenty of other options.

Sony should make BC a priority? Good thing Sony knows this that you’re just a minority who cares about BC. Because Sony Rep years ago released data regarding their first gen PS3 units reporting only 5 percent of their users went back and played their PS2 and PS1 games. With that being said, I feel sorry for you though. You’re missing some of the best Sony first party and exclusive game titles that you won’t get to experience just because you refuse to own a Sony console for not having BC. If you don’t want to support Sony then get a used PS4/PS5 instead.
 
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sn0man

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Here are the problems Jutra spells out:

1. Legal stuff, especially older games in stores - do the work to get permissions/legal clearance, and sell the games you can. This is what MS does.
2. Hardware DRM - all you technically need to do is read what the game is, then download a ROM from the internet and run that - again, this is what MS does.

The PS4 *can* emulate a PS2, they just sell a small number of games instead of letting you play ones you own. Same is true of PS3, after they took out PS2 BC. But the PS3 had a full-fledged PS1 emulator, with the discs.
Sony could get around this by putting the PS1/PS2 silicon on a modern 7nm chip. It would cost them $10 as the die would be tiny at that process. Heck they could do it cheaply at 12nm as a chiplet



PS3 got it right out of the gate (until Sony yanked the PS2 chips). License the games you can to sell digitally, let everything else be played from a disc.
They didn't stop you from trying even games that emulation bugs make completely unplayable.

that is the interesting part isn’t it? I wonder if Sony has some legal stuff in there that forced developers to allow them to emulate it later on... if they could do it for PS1 then you’d assume they could do it for newer systems. ... though licensing dollars may have cost them

Why is there a licensing issue, if Sony "just" added the PS/PS2 chips in the console? Would they have to get new licensing for all those games? I thought if Sony could just start making those chips then they would not have to go to each company to get those games to play from the disc. I really don't know a lot about it. I enjoy BC on Xbox a lot, but I really have a lot of wonderful PS/PS2 games I would love to play. I'm ready to move my PS3 out of my entertainment center.
I agree with you. The chip is Sony’s IP and would be an incremental cost add to

They already tried. You could buy PS1 games and download to your PS3.
You could buy PS2 games and download to your PS4.

They have the data. BC games did not sell. There is no market for it and this is why they won't spend time on it.

Do you know anyone that bought PS1 games for their PS3 or PS2 games for their PS4? No?
That is the answer to why they don't prioritize BC.


sadly, I think you might be right. I would pay extra for this type of functionality but I suppose Sony did the math and thinks it isn’t worth it.
 

diffusionx

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Sony could get around this by putting the PS1/PS2 silicon on a modern 7nm chip. It would cost them $10 as the die would be tiny at that process. Heck they could do it cheaply at 12nm as a chiplet

My point was that the issues Jutra pointed out are not really issues. The hardware in the PS5 is fully capable of emulating both the PS1 and PS2 to a very high standard. You don't need extra hardware.

Would a company get mad because you can play your Colin McRae Rally 2.0 disc on the PS5? Why would they? They didn't on PS3, etc. But even if Sony didn't want to go that route they could still bring excellent BC to the table.

It's not a technological problem, but one of priorities. If Sony valued BC the way MS did (who has a company has placed great value in BC going back to the 80s), they would do it. If they don't do it, it's because they don't want to.
 
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Dane

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Suddenly BC ain't worth shit because Microsoft didn't do full BC but rather a title by title basis?

Tell me why Sony sold a shitload of PS2 games on PS3 as emulated, they didn't even give the disc owners the choice to download them for free. And tell me why Sony did it again with way less titles on PS4.
 

Cato

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Suddenly BC ain't worth shit because Microsoft didn't do full BC but rather a title by title basis?

Tell me why Sony sold a shitload of PS2 games on PS3 as emulated, they didn't even give the disc owners the choice to download them for free. And tell me why Sony did it again with way less titles on PS4.

I would like to see numbers that back up this "sold a shitload".
I suspect that it did NOT sell a shitload on PS3 and that is why they put way less titles on PS4.
And it did NOT sell a shitload on PS4 and that is why they won't even bother at all for PS5.

It is very simple.
IF it is profitable then sony will do it. If not they won't.
 

thelastword

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BC is a nice bonus, the issues with licensing is something, that's why remastering/remakes may be the better alternative for many games when you get a huge graphical update, better cameras and better framerate with it....Look at the RE games, Crash games, Spyro games and FF7......Thing is BC of PS1 games may be ok, but I'd rather have a remake of Chrono Cross, Vagrant Story, Klonoa, Brave Fencer etc....Or a remake of Silent Hill 1...…..

They can kill dated graphics, dated cameras, enhance the gameplay like RE and avoid any licensing issues by making the games modern......BC is simply overstated.....Anybody who says they are buying a PS5 for BC makes little sense to me, keep your old consoles......I am buying a PS5 for PS5 games and the majority will buy it for that reason too....PS5 games will sell PS5's, not BC, not even close...
 
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Cato

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sadly, I think you might be right. I would pay extra for this type of functionality but I suppose Sony did the math and thinks it isn’t worth it.

Well, if you do want to play these games. Get a physical PS1 and PS2 console and join me and others that play on the retro consoles.
The consoles are still readily available and relatively cheap.
 

diffusionx

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I would like to see numbers that back up this "sold a shitload".
I suspect that it did NOT sell a shitload on PS3 and that is why they put way less titles on PS4.
And it did NOT sell a shitload on PS4 and that is why they won't even bother at all for PS5.

It is very simple.
IF it is profitable then sony will do it. If not they won't.

It's not so much about profitability IMO, but making your device better for its customers. Which IS important in a world where companies (including Sony!) are trying to "pivot to services."

MS makes no money when they let me play the copy of Lost Odyssey I bought 10 years ago on my Xbox One. In fact they probably lose money because they had to have a staff work on that and test it and shit. But it DOES make my Xbox One a more valuable device for me, it makes me more likely to keep it, it means they can add Lost Odyssey to GamePass at some point and make it a better service, it makes me more likely to stick with Xbox because my games will continue to be playable.

Like I can tell you right now, if PS4 had more robust PS3 BC, PS Now would be a much better service than it is because we could download the games instead of using stream shit. So that's just an immediate thing that they're not doing. I would probably subscribe to it in fact because I am kind of on a PS3 kick (playing the games on my 60GB).
 
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theclaw135

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that is the interesting part isn’t it? I wonder if Sony has some legal stuff in there that forced developers to allow them to emulate it later on... if they could do it for PS1 then you’d assume they could do it for newer systems. ... though licensing dollars may have cost them

Imagine the legal nightmare on GBA. It plays (almost) every game ever produced dating back to the original Game Boy, without any form of regional lockout what so ever.
 

SNG32

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MS has shown there is a solution to those problems.

Sony just doesn't want to do it.

Because they’ve been proven that they don’t need it to sell consoles. It didn’t stop there sales with PS3 when they took it out and they ended up being the highest selling console this generation without it as well. In the grand scheme of things it’s not important to appese what 2 or 3 percent who want to play older games on a new console. Most people like the idea of playing older titles then them actually using a PS5 to play PS1 to PS3 games.
 
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Frogman_676

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wow. that's a big blow to the PS5. Especially with the price at which PS2 consoles are selling at online now..
 
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Because up until the later models of the PS3 backwards compatibility was supported natively so licensing wasn't an issue
There is zero licensing issues with using an emulator on a system. That's why so many fan emulators are out there and never get touched. The only licensing issues is if Sony wants to sell the games that are on the emulator. Nothing is stopping Sony from making an emulator but Sony.
 
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There is zero licensing issues with using an emulator on a system. That's why so many fan emulators are out there and never get touched. The only licensing issues is if Sony wants to sell the games that are on the emulator. Nothing is stopping Sony from making an emulator but Sony.

It's a lot more nuanced than that.

Do you seriously believe they can get away scot-free developing a software emulator and making money on a system the games weren't designed to play on?
 
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Journey

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No, it's a combined set of chips on the same physical die. Same as later PS2 slims had. By your logic, PS2 slims were emulating themselves in the early 2000s. Nonsense.

Check the picture and the magical 2003 date, used in the SCPH-70000 PS2 Slim model.



That's attributed to the benefit of Sony manufacturing and controlling their own chips. MS on the other hand had to resort to emulating, yet not only did they accomplish backward compatibility with Xbox One despite it being X86 hardware emulating a PowerPC architecture, a feat considered impossible at the time, but games like Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360) or Panzer Dragoon Orta (OG Xbox) saw a significant upgrade in visuals, not just resolution, without the need to change the code, now THAT is some impressive BC treatment.




I really hope the PS5 has similar upgrades to their BC games.
 
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It's a lot more nuanced than that.

Do you seriously believe they can get away scot-free developing a software emulator and making money on a system the games weren't designed to play on?
Its their hardware, they are emulating their own hardware. Game publishers can't do shit to stop them, just like publishers can't do shit to the dozens of emulators out there that are sold for money and run their games.
 

DrScissorsMD

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Not really sure how people aren’t grasping this (who am I kidding, I’m sure they’re being wilfully obtuse); BC is an additional feature. It’s a bonus. It’s not there to sell the system, it’s not the primary selling point. It’s a neat dot point you can add to your list of features. In MS’s case it takes literally zero resources away from the development of current/next gen games and I dare say this would be the same for if Sony chose to put the effort in. So to everyone saying some variation of “it doesn’t sell systems”, “I’d rather they focus on current games” or “waste of time, hardly anyone uses it”... stfu.
 

Cato

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There is zero licensing issues with using an emulator on a system. That's why so many fan emulators are out there and never get touched. The only licensing issues is if Sony wants to sell the games that are on the emulator. Nothing is stopping Sony from making an emulator but Sony.

Exactly. And Sony does not need any license for their own first-party titles on these platforms since they already own them.
They only need a license if they want to sell non-first-party games.
 

Cato

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It's a lot more nuanced than that.

Do you seriously believe they can get away scot-free developing a software emulator and making money on a system the games weren't designed to play on?

Yes why could they not? It would ONLY be an issue if they also started selling OTHER-COMPANIES games to play on these emulators without a license.

They actually already did ship emulators. Many times even.
PS3, PS4, PSP, PSVITA can all play some/most PS1 games via an emulator that sony developed.
PS3 and PS4 can both play PS2 games via an emulator that sony developed.
PS Classic plays PS1 games via an emulator that sony developed. It can ONLY play games via emulator. There are no native games at all for PS Classic.

What is there to get away scot-free from?
 
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Faenrir

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Licensing? What does that have to do with backward compatibility ??
Nah, the truth is the hardware changes a lot every gen, different manufacturers, different architectures, which means it would basically be emulation, anyway.

Not to mention the fact that emulating the previous gen is very demanding and games might end up worse on new gen than they were...

Those are the real issues.
 

autoduelist

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I wonder if Sony could just release a supercharged PS2. Plays same discs, whatever legally makes it a ps2 [to avoid licensing/contractual issues] with modern inputs/outputs, uprez if possible, superfast OS with nice to haves [save game management, etc], new controllers.

I also think if sony can manage a decent sized ps2 digital library they should release a portable ps2, though i recognize licensing is a hellscape.
 

sol_bad

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I haven’t bought a console since the fat PS3.

If Sony wants my money they’ll make backwords comparability a priority, if not, no problem. I’ve got plenty of other options.

Have you bought any Nintendo consoles?
 

Pallas

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Not buying the legal argument given that BC has been a thing since PS1. More realistically Sony doesn't want to spend the resources to develop an emulation solution, which is a tough task due to the unique archiectures of PS2 and PS3.

Not buying it either really, I guess in Microsoft’s case they also wanted to provide most BC titles digitally as well and with that they probably needed approval from the developer/publisher.
 
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TheAssist

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Personally I still believe that BC is just a very niche market thats hardly worth the effort apart from the positive marketing. Of course I am not denying that some people do like to play their old games and enjoy having them all in one place and not having to pay up just to play them on a different system. Of course the market is there, its just not very significant.
I mean you either have young people with little income and a lot of time who dont know the older games and who usually dont have any connection to them and therefore dont want to play them (rather watch them on YT or Twitch) and on the other hand you have people who grew up with these old games and do have feelings about them but simply dont have the time. Honestly, before playing 30 hours of an old sluggish PS2 game, I'd rather buy a new one. Or buy a good remake or remaster if its available, because I do have the disposable income. Both these options are way more profitable for Sony and MS compared to offering free BC.

I think the best solution would be to have the emulators run on the cloud and offer old games on a streaming service. And I think Sony already does that, though I dont know to what extend and for what price. But streaming to me makes sense, because old PS1 or PS2 game dont need 4K HDR with ultra low latency. At least this way doesnt need any hardware specific customization on the consoles that just drive the prices up. And server cost can be recouped with a subscription model. Sure, that still isnt perfect for everyone, but no solution is perfect for everyone (true 100% free BC would be a big negative for Sony, MS and all the publishers who want to resell old games). So it seems like a decent middle ground.
 

martino

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only conclusion here for me is that competition is not enough for everything since mostly driven by profit.
Maybe we need some kind of game regulation for game preservation and give more right to consumers in how they can use games they own when hardware change or disappear.
 
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Yes why could they not? It would ONLY be an issue if they also started selling OTHER-COMPANIES games to play on these emulators without a license.

They actually already did ship emulators. Many times even.
PS3, PS4, PSP, PSVITA can all play some/most PS1 games via an emulator that sony developed.
PS3 and PS4 can both play PS2 games via an emulator that sony developed.
PS Classic plays PS1 games via an emulator that sony developed. It can ONLY play games via emulator. There are no native games at all for PS Classic.

What is there to get away scot-free from?

You realise they will have needed to get licenses for all those examples since you know, they're directly selling them?
 
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If PS5 had been fully BC with all prior gens they'd have insta-won this next gen, but now the fight is less clear. The argument seems to be power vs exclusives mostly, though some would argue the SSD being better on PS5 matters more than the amount of TLFOPS Series X has. And some others will say they ARE buying Series X for exclusives because they don't have a gaming PC. Either way it should be a more interesting competition than last gen.
 

Cato

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You realise they will have needed to get licenses for all those examples since you know, they're directly selling them?

What? I don't think you know what you are talking about..

They need absolutely zero licenses in order to ship an emulator. They can sell their own emulators as much as they want and they need no license at all since they emulate their own hardware and firmware.
They can ship emulators built into their consoles as much as they want, and they have done so many many times and they need absolutely no license ever. That is a completely ridiculous concept.

The only time ever they would need some license is if they want to SELL OTHER COMPANIES GAMES THAT SONY DOES NOT OWN IN THEIR eSTORE.


So lets make this clear.
They can ship emulators as fucking much as they want. Legally. For PS platforms. And they need no license. Why would they need a license for their own ip that they already own? That makes no sense.
They can sell SONY owned games as much as they want to run on those emulators as much as they fucking want, since they own the games and they need no license at all to sell games that they own.

The ONLY time they would need a license is IF and FOR those games they plan to sell in their eSHOP that are not Sony property.

Please, you have no idea on what you are talking about.


Sony could just only sell SONY owned games. God knows the width of games and popular IP sony owns is only matched by Nintendo. Even if they only sell SONY owed games, the library would be massive.
 
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What? I don't think you know what you are talking about..

They need absolutely zero licenses in order to ship an emulator. They can sell their own emulators as much as they want and they need no license at all since they emulate their own hardware and firmware.
They can ship emulators built into their consoles as much as they want, and they have done so many many times and they need absolutely no license ever. That is a completely ridiculous concept.

The only time ever they would need some license is if they want to SELL OTHER COMPANIES GAMES THAT SONY DOES NOT OWN IN THEIR eSTORE.


So lets make this clear.
They can ship emulators as fucking much as they want. Legally. For PS platforms. And they need no license.
They can sell SONY owned games as much as they want to run on those emulators as much as they fucking want, since they own the games and they need no license at all.

The ONLY time they would need a license is IF and FOR those games they plan to sell in their eSHOP that are not Sony property.

Please, you have no idea on what you are talking about.

Can you make an effort to actually read or are you just that illiterate?

I never said they can't distribute an emulator. I'm talking about nuances in the marketing of said emulator for games they don't have direct permissions for and making money on that
 
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Cato

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Can you make an effort to actually read or are you just that illiterate?

I never said they can't distribute an emulator. I'm talking about nuances in the marketing of said emulator for games they don't have direct permissions for and making money on that

This is absolutely nonsense. But I will humor you.

So, If Sony will ship an emulator that emulates Sony PS1 hardware and they say so in marketing:
"this device contain an emulator that does best effort to emulate and play software for the sony playstation one platform"

WHO exactly are they supposed to get a license from? Themselves? Everyone that ever published software for PS1?
Please, who exactly do they need to secure a license from?

They have already shipped six (6) different products that contain a PS1 emulator. Who did they get a license from in order to do so?
Their marketing material did mention that they did have this emulation for all of these products.


It is complete nonsense, or is your theory that they previously did easily manage to get all these mysterious licenses six times, for six different platforms, but to get these exact same licenses for their seventh platform will be very difficult?
Sorry but this is just complete nonsense from someone that does not understand copyright law.


Who do they need to get a license from?
 
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V2Tommy

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The benefit of Sony manufacturing and controlling their own chips. MS on the other hand had to resort to emulating, yet not only did they accomplish backward compatibility with Xbox One despite it being X86 hardware emulating a PowerPC architecture, a feat considering impossible at the time, but games like Red Dead Redemption 360 or Panzer Dragoon Orta (OG Xbox) saw a significant upgrade in visuals (Not just resolution) without the need to change the code, now THAT is some impressive BC treatment.

I always prefer quality emulation efforts over hardware in the long run because emulation is forever and only gets easier as hardware gets more powerful. I can play my copy of Otra on official hardware and it looks better than the day I bought it, nearly 20 years later.
 

Three

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Anything is better than nothing, imo. Even if they just support the 15 or 30 most popular PS1 games and PS2, with enhancements, at least it’s something.
Most of the top 15 PS1/PS2 games have been remade for PS4 and so already a portion of the small amount of people who have the PS1/2 games about and are a fan of that game to play again have the remastered version. I don't think working on BC on 15 PS1/2 games would be all that beneficial, just a 'nice to have'.
 

darkinstinct

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Not buying it either really, I guess in Microsoft’s case they also wanted to provide most BC titles digitally as well and with that they probably needed approval from the developer/publisher.

I mean, yeah, the only reason why Sony or MS bother with BC is so they can keep selling those old games. Otherwise what's the point, they want people to spend money on games. So BC always comes with legal issues because they want to keep selling those games.
 

DGrayson

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All I care is ps4 games should be fully playable on the ps5. Anything else is a bonus and I'm fine with it on a game by game basis like OG Xbox games on Xbox 1.
 
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Weiji

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Sony should make BC a priority? Good thing Sony knows this that you’re just a minority who cares about BC. Because Sony Rep years ago released data regarding their first gen PS3 units reporting only 5 percent of their users went back and played their PS2 and PS1 games. With that being said, I feel sorry for you though. You’re missing some of the best Sony first party and exclusive game titles that you won’t get to experience just because you refuse to own a Sony console for not having BC. If you don’t want to support Sony then get a used PS4/PS5 instead.

Nah, I’ll just play on PC.

Also I didn’t say they needed to make it a priority. As you said they have all the data. They can decide for themselves and so can I.
 

sn0man

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Well, if you do want to play these games. Get a physical PS1 and PS2 console and join me and others that play on the retro consoles.
The consoles are still readily available and relatively cheap.

oh I’m with you. I’ve got everything from a NES to a PS4 Pro with a couple noteable exceptions like Jaguar, 3DO, and Saturn.

Imagine the legal nightmare on GBA. It plays (almost) every game ever produced dating back to the original Game Boy, without any form of regional lockout what so ever.

I forget but I believe Nintendo put a Z80 game boy chip in the GBA so playing those is relatively easy.
 

TwoDurans

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Digital content license issues are fine and all, but If it has an optical drive there's no excuse for not letting me play a PS1/2/3 game. I should have to house decades old tech to play an older game. I wouldn't even know how to hook up a PS1 now considering everything is USB-C or HDMI.
 
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Aion002

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So.... Why not just put a drive that can run cds, dvds and bds?


If the person has the game they can play it, otherwise, if the game cannot be sold on psn.... Well, tough luck, life goes on.


Sometimes I wish that Sony gets destroyed by MS next gen... Then maybe they will release a PS with full BC to all PlayStations...
 

SegaShack

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The real reason behind this is Sony likes rereleasing old games for their new systems at a premium price. Look at Ico/SoC, Drake Collection, GoW3, Jak and Daxter Collection, GoW collection, Last of Us Remastered, etc.

I keep my old systems and only tend to buy remasters if I haven't played the original (and I wait for a sale).
 
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Dane

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I would like to see numbers that back up this "sold a shitload".
I suspect that it did NOT sell a shitload on PS3 and that is why they put way less titles on PS4.
And it did NOT sell a shitload on PS4 and that is why they won't even bother at all for PS5.

It is very simple.
IF it is profitable then sony will do it. If not they won't.


336 PS2 games are sold at PSN for PS3