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Why do Sony struggle with backwards compatibility?

ManaByte

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There has to be a time when Sony either shut down PS3 games on PS Now or write an emulator for PS5. Wonder which one they’ll pick. I’m going for a total shutdown of PSN on PS3 in 2023 with them saying there are things they can’t do for PS5 whilst PS3 is still running.

They’re going to have to make an emulator sooner rather than later because IBM won’t be producing the Cell forever and when that server hardware would need to be replaced they’d need a backup option.
 
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welsay01

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I thought the hypervisor is what gives Microsoft the BC advantage. The old consoles essentially run as virtual machines.
 
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kyoji

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PlayStation owners are more interested in the future of gaming, not the past. That said, PS5 has BC so there won’t be issues bringing our PS4 libraries over with us.
^
 

93xfan

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Sony is just lazy. And their fanboys don't care so why wouldn't they be lazy?

Exactly. People think they’re helping the brand by defending lousy BC efforts. In reality, they’re telling Sony not to do better in an area many care about.

When you look at emulators on the PC, just imagine what Sony could do with at least PS1 and 2 games if they tried.
 

thismeinteil

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Exactly. People think they’re helping the brand by defending lousy BC efforts. In reality, they’re telling Sony not to do better in an area many care about.

When you look at emulators on the PC, just imagine what Sony could do with at least PS1 and 2 games if they tried.

I'd rather defend lousy B/C efforts, something that barely sells a console, than be on the side that constantly defends lousy 1st party support. "Just wait til ___, that's when they'll reveal their big guns." If only I had a nickel every time I heard that.
 
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93xfan

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I'd rather defend lousy B/C efforts, something that barely sells a console, than be on the side that constantly defends lousy 1st party support. "Just wait til ___, that's when they'll reveal their big guns." If only I had a nickel every time I heard that.

what about being on neither side? More Xbox first party support is coming because people complained about It.

whether it’ll be good enough to satisfy fans, who knows, but at least people voiced their concerns and were heard.

imagine if Sony had great BC along with their 1st party games. That’d be a very strong sell.
 
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They have emulators of PS1 and PS2 running on the PS4. Too much trouble for them to make a PS3 emulator (but some people say they are working at one). PS5 has hardware BC with the PS4.

Why do MS has more BC games?
1. They can run 7th gen games via X360 emulation.
2. Sony doesn’t bother enough to go through the process of ressurrecting some old games from the dead. Licensing is a PITA.

For Microsoft is nice to have it, but seriously, I’ve only seem people care about BC with past 8th gen in forums like GAF e Era. FFS, I’d rather have a good experience with a remaster or remake than a bad one with an old game driven by nostalgia.
 
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Jun 28, 2013
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I feel Sony has always treated PlayStation as a unwanted child. They never wanted to be a game company. I feel like it has changed this generation. I think they will go hard on the PS5. I expect backward compat.
 

Jason28

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PS4 BC is enough for Sony to destroy Xbox next gen. For PS3-2-1 BC, Sony really doesn't care, and that's why i bought a PS3 and PS Classic.
 
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Trimesh

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I am still not sure why Sony cant do the same with BC as MS can.

There are two basic approaches to backwards compatibility - the easier (but more expensive) approach is to built it into the hardware. This is what Sony did with the PS2 and the early PS3 and Nintendo did with the Wii (for GC) and WiiU (for Wii) along with many of their handhelds. The other is a pure software approach - this is ultimately cheaper, but requires a lot of development effort.

Microsoft have a huge advantage as far as the second approach is concerned - firstly, the obvious one is that they are a software company and more willing to get involved in huge development projects. They also have a huge amount of experience with virtualization - and backwards compatibility of one system on another with heterogeneous architectures is basically all about creating a virtual machine that creates an execution environment that is effectively identical to the real one. Which is also at the most basic level the aim of emulation.
 
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Martinski43

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They did up until PS3 slim where it was removed. Or was it removed in the 80 gb model of the fat one? Anyway Ps2 and PS3 had bc. Some models of PS3 fat had a built in Ps2 chip even, guess that’s why it was so big.

PS5 probably has enough juice in it to emulate PS3 games but it’s too much work for little gain I guess, just diminishing returns. If a slow ass Xone S can emulate X360 games it more likely could even if ‘muh cell”
 
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Three

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RDR2 blows any PS game out the window, yet plays on every single set up.
Thats my point. Its obviously more than possible to do it, so why isnt it happening?
What is holding Sony back with needing a certain amount of Cu's, and having their GPU downclock to the same speed as the PS4 or PS4 Pro when playing those games, yet any PC game plays at any clock speed, with any amount of Cu's, on an AMD or Nvidia card, on a Intel or AMD CPU etc.

I dont get why its the issue it is.
RDR2 isn't a legacy game that requires BC. unless you know something about RDR2 on next gen why are you even mentioning it?

To answer your question. Its because one needed it more. Just as Sony did full BC during the PS3 because it wanted to convert PS2 users.
what about being on neither side? More Xbox first party support is coming because people complained about It.

whether it’ll be good enough to satisfy fans, who knows, but at least people voiced their concerns and were heard.

imagine if Sony had great BC along with their 1st party games. That’d be a very strong sell.
Some have been complaining for 7+ years. If you think it's still a case of "it's coming because people complained" it's not. Xbox owners aren't complaining they are cheering about subscriptions. They bought studios because of their strategy change not because they listened to anyone's complaints for the past 7 years. Lets see if they even come.

MS have BC because they needed to convert their 360 users and stop them from switching to PS. That's the reason.
 
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Monkeygourmet

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MS has to try harder for BC because it has less new exclusive titles. Simple.

Sony doesn’t need to try hard in this area.

Another example is Nintendo, the Switch is selling so much they don’t even need to announce new titles at this stage. It is an unfortunate reality that the most desperate company for custom will appear the most ‘customer friendly’. At this stage MS are in the ‘I’ll suck your dick for a cheese burger’ phase of marketing.
 

danielJackson

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I am still not sure why Sony cant do the same with BC as MS can.
MS has shown its actually possible as they have done it.
Last gen Sony tied the PS4 Pro to using 36CUs to help with BC, allowing them to turn off half th GPU to mirror the PS4 GPU.
MS however with the XOX wen't bothered with that and added a GPU without the need to have to tie the CU count in any way, and not only that but moved from a RAM set up on the OG Xbox of using DDR3 RAM and a pool of ESRAM to a pool of 12GB of GDDR5 RAM.
No problem with BC for the XOX.

And again this next gen we see MS smashing Sony on BC.

Is this just Sony not caring about BC? Or do they not have the technical ability like MS to do it?
I realize MS are the software kings and have far more resources and knowedge than Sony in this area, but surely its not at that level to get BC going is it?

I mean, basically every PC game made is back compat. A new GPU comes out, the game plays on it. A new CPU comes out, it plays on it. Different card manufacturers, with different CU numbers and different clock speeds? Not a problem. Three different Pcs with different amount and types of RAM?
Not a problem. Game runs.

So what the fuck is going on GAF?

Why after 3 gens xbox still uses wrong stick placement, made for mutants?

Are they stupid or what?

Humans have symmetrical mirrored hands, not one with thumb on different distance to palm.

So what the fuck is going on MUTANTS?

(Even this would have more truth than your post)

Ps. Ps2 played ps1 games, ps3 played ps1+ps2 games.
 
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D

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They don't have the same experience in this that came from the priority Microsoft gave to this feature
 

pachura

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1. The total number of customers that want to play unremastered PS1-PS2 games in 2020 is insignificant and not worth spending time & budget on implementing BC & testing it.

2. PS3 is too difficult to emulate in software.

3. There will be pretty decent PS4 emulation on PS5, but as they have less abstraction layers like DirectX (im order to squeeze every last bit of performance), they need to make hardware as similar as possible.
 

Airbus Jr

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Seems like most people dont seems to care much about backwards compatibility op

 
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Wizz-Art

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If they start to respect my purchases on PS3 (physical and digital) I will start respecting their platform again. It's that simple! And they can do it but it will cost a little bit of money to add a Cell chip in the PS5. They only show me their company greed and anti-consumer policies so they won't but if they did I could at least start trusting their ecosystem again.
 
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M1chl

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Shit ain't easy, despite Xbox One OG being lauching stock about it's silicion it has some pretty interesting BC-related "circuits"....
 

Stilton Disco

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Sony have 1 more generation and vastly, vastly more games to sort licencing out with.

Combine that with PS1, 2 and 3 having been designed by a lunatic, unlike Xbox's 'PC in a small box' approach to hardware, and there's simply a fuckton more issues Sony have to deal with in getting BC working even as well as Xbox has.

And let's not pretend Xbox's approach to BC is perfect.

There's an embarrassingly large number of 360 games and even more Xbox 1 games that simply aren't playable on XO, and won't be on XSS/X.

And again, that conditional and incomplete BC functionality is with a much easier task in front of them than Sony has.

Now, that's not to say Sony couldn't do more. We know they have working emulators for PS1 and 2, and there's no justification foe why that's not available to use with at least PS2 DVD's, even as a paid App, but let's not pretend Xbox are providing the gold standard or doing something Sony is just 'choosing' not to.
 

Wizz-Art

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And let's not pretend Xbox's approach to BC is perfect.

There's an embarrassingly large number of 360 games and even more Xbox 1 games that simply aren't playable on XO, and won't be on XSS/X.

Oh really, I'm very curious which game(s) do you own on Xbox 360 that aren't BC? It's possible I missed some gems...
 
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geordiemp

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I am still not sure why Sony cant do the same with BC as MS can.
MS has shown its actually possible as they have done it.
Last gen Sony tied the PS4 Pro to using 36CUs to help with BC, allowing them to turn off half th GPU to mirror the PS4 GPU.
MS however with the XOX wen't bothered with that and added a GPU without the need to have to tie the CU count in any way, and not only that but moved from a RAM set up on the OG Xbox of using DDR3 RAM and a pool of ESRAM to a pool of 12GB of GDDR5 RAM.
No problem with BC for the XOX.

And again this next gen we see MS smashing Sony on BC.

Is this just Sony not caring about BC? Or do they not have the technical ability like MS to do it?
I realize MS are the software kings and have far more resources and knowedge than Sony in this area, but surely its not at that level to get BC going is it?

I mean, basically every PC game made is back compat. A new GPU comes out, the game plays on it. A new CPU comes out, it plays on it. Different card manufacturers, with different CU numbers and different clock speeds? Not a problem. Three different Pcs with different amount and types of RAM?
Not a problem. Game runs.

So what the fuck is going on GAF?

Because Sony have direct and slim GNx API which are straight to the hardware with little FAT

MS use abstract layers in DX APIs, great for multipole hardware and good for Windows PCs. which means it is much easier to do BC. This is not free, there is a performance cost.

Lets take an exacmple - Horizon zero dawn had GpGPU procedural genertion of foilage and environment, the ps4 pro performance for open world game was very good.

Try to translate that to a Windows DX12 :messenger_beaming: .....but you can just vall it lazy programming or bad developer contractor if you must. But death stranding - nope that was not doing what HZD is doing....

Why do Ps5 games at 4K even this early look good with RT ? And XSX, how is that looking ?

Go figure it out for yourself, eurogamer did a article on how bad DX11 was against Ps4 for Metro, ps4 was using a few cycles, Dx11 was using hundreds to do the same thing. It got patched, but would never match ps4 efficiency.
 
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Trimesh

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They did up until PS3 slim where it was removed. Or was it removed in the 80 gb model of the fat one? Anyway Ps2 and PS3 had bc. Some models of PS3 fat had a built in Ps2 chip even, guess that’s why it was so big.

It's fairly clear that the desire to provide PlayStation BC was a significant aim of the PS2 design from the start - the choice of the R3000 (same processor architecture as the original PlayStation) for the IOP might have been a coincidence - but the fact that it contains an implementation of the PlayStation GTE as COP2 (which is entirely unused in PS2 mode) clearly isn't. The way that the media decoder is backwards compatable with MDEC and the SPU registers line up with the ones in the original PlayStation is likewise clearly deliberate. It's honestly a very nice implementation - most of the system is effectively replicated in hardware and it's only the PlayStation GPU (which has a fairly simple interface anyway) that ended up having to be software implemented by code running on the EE (which is otherwise unused in PlayStation mode). It was also highly compatible (at least initially - later models of the PS2 replaced the real R3K core with a software emulator called "Dekard" running on a Power PC that did an excellent job of running the IOP code, but broke PS compatibility in a number of cases). Of course, by the time those later slims came out people were likely much less interested in PS games anyway, so few people noticed.

According to a conversation I had with one of the Sony engineers, the original plan for the backwards compatibility on the PS3 was for a pure software emulator running on Cell - but as the development proceeded it became clear that this was going to take far longer than was originally anticipated. Because Sony had at this point already announced that the PS3 was going to be PS and PS2 backwards compatible they ended up putting what was basically the hardware of a slim PS2 inside the box to provide that. Later, (starting with the CECHC units), they removed the EE and the associated RAM and simulated that in software while retaining the GS for graphics rendering. Finally, in CECHG units and later they removed the feature completely and went to a software emulator that was only accessible using "PS classics" downloads and couldn't run games from physical media (presumably because this way they could limit the range of games to ones that actually worked).
 
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Kimahri

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Their SSD is too fast. They might run the risk of streaming too many assets at once.

Ah, this reminds me of the good ol days when a PC could literally be too powerful for a game. Playing a game in 2x speed sure was something.
 

Snake29

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Microsoft is a massive software/programming corp, PS3's has fucked programming.

Isn't any kind of secret. MS has those programming teams within the company and while BC is great, Sony would need to invest heavily into programmer/engineer teams and that really wouldn't be viable at that point.

That’s not completely true. Where do you think those programmers within the Xbox team come from? They don’t have cans that they just can open if they need new people. Both Sony and Microsoft need to invest in programmers. Not because Microsoft is a software house, means they automatically have the better tools for console development. PlayStation Is also a software house with tools development etc. Nothing is free for both of them, and they both need to invest in new tech, tools, people. Same as Azure that is not free to use for the Xbox department.
 
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Because Sony are about the FuTuRe oF GaMinG, haven't you heard? It's literally impossible to do backwards compat while making games that take advantage of newer better hardware. Silly Xbots!
 

kruis

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I don't even think that's the reason.
As I said previously, on PS5 the GPU will drop the clocks to match the PS4 and Pro.
When a game is developed for PC, it doesnt matter what the clock is.
What is it about games developed on PS that wont let them run if the GPU has a higher clock?
Its obviously not a big deal as all PC games can.
What is the hold up?

PC-games are device agnostic, they don't make low level calls directly to the hw but access them through standardized high level abstraction layers (Direct3D, DirectPlay, DirectStorage, DirectX, OpenGL, etc). That's the only way to run PC games on the hundreds of hundreds of millions of different PC configurations out there.

Console games can be coded down to the metal without using any hardware abstraction layers, because there's only PS1, only PS2, only PS3, only PS4. Games are specifically coded to run not on every possible hardware configuration but just ONE single config. That's why BC has to be implemented either at the HW level or through emulation.
 

geordiemp

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They don't have the same experience in this that came from the priority Microsoft gave to this feature

Nope, its the direct vs abstract apis and sony first party doing more stuff direct for better performance but its harder to transfer to different hardware.

Example - ps4pro Horozon zero dawn, procedural GPGPU generation of foilage and detail - best version by far but its complex.

Port it to a 2080ti and it runs like shit, yes it was a bad port, but the apis say hello.

So what do players want, more performance on dedicated consoles or better back compatibility, its no free lunch.

If you watch cernys road to ps5, on new geometry engine new procedural generation is mentioned. Sonys stuff will get even more dedicated, and you know it will perform like crazy.
 
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SaucyJack

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But obviously Sony do care. They have spent alot of time and effort with the PS5 to have BC, and apparently it played a role in the amount of Cu's they chose.
But just take this one point.
The PS5 GPU will down clock to the PS4 and PS4 pro GPU clock speeds when you put one of those games in. Why does it need to do that when a PC games will play on any clock speed. Not only that, but say the new AMD RDNA 2 cards come out that have clocks at 2.2ghz, those games that came out before those cards did will still play fine.
Why?

Are you that stupid or just trolling?

Notwithstanding that Consoles are not PCs, games can run with the full power of the PS5 but it will downclock to a legacy mode IF the game can’t handle the full power. This was pretty fucking clear months ago.
 
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Dibils2k

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its because backwards compatibility is a very pro consumer practise that doesnt benefit the corporation that much... so sony dont bother, they know their fans will defend it for them
 
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DarkLite

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What do you mean "struggle"? It's just not their focus. They focus their time and energy on new experiences.

IF you want to play the old games, get PSnow or get the old consoles.
 

Max_Po

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Backward compatibility is extremely over rated.

I rather take ReMakes like Gears of War Xbx1 and Shadow of the Colossus ps4.
 

geordiemp

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its because backwards compatibility is a very pro consumer practise that doesnt benefit the corporation that much... so sony dont bother, they know their fans will defend it for them

Its because most posters do not understand anything . Time stamped


HZD uses low level api and GPGPU procedural generation. Ps4 pro performs better on this game than anything else, and ps5 will be definitive version by far.

Low level api performs better but its harder to do BC. Its pretty easy to understand really.

PCs have DX, very abstract, it has to be as their are lots of PCs. XBOx does similar.
 

MH3M3D

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Sony measured how much people actually used it on the PS3 and realized its not worth the effort. Its just a vocal minority that's crying about it, the rest are too busy playing NEW games. Microsoft doesn't have the same library and IP's like Sony does, so they are trying to compete with BC.
 

T-Cake

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HZD uses low level api and GPGPU procedural generation. Ps4 pro performs better on this game than anything else, and ps5 will be definitive version by far.


How sure are we there will be a PS5 version?