A huge selling point for the PlayStation 2 was it’s backwards compatibility option. It was a no-brainer that there was no reason to keep the original PlayStation knowing you could simultaneously have access to the cool classic games you owned as well as the piping hot new ones coming out. So it was extremely disappointing to find out that the PlayStation 3 would not feature a full backwards compatibility option. While the PlayStation 4 had more alternatives it wasn’t the same as it used to be. Sony seems to have rediscovered the value of backwards compatibility and is bringing back old faithful as a huge selling point for the PlayStation 5. CEO Kim Ryan commented on the importance of the feature in a Q&A reported by Twinfinite:
“Talking about backward compatibility for the upcoming next-gen console, the key point for Ryan is that in a network era backward compatibility is “something that’s extremely powerful” as the game community is “somewhat tribal in its nature” and backward compatibility gives them the opportunity to migrate from PS4 to next-gen while still being able to play their older games with their existing friends”
The general idea is you can enjoy all the new games while still playing the old ones with your friends.
With the limited success of PlayStation Now and the threat of other competitive streaming services on the rise, it’s apparent that Sony is reaching deep to prepare for the competitive and evolving wave of next-gen gaming.
It makes sense that now of all times fans are getting a feature we’ve been wanting for years. The PS3 had a very limited version of the feature in order to resell old PlayStation 1 and 2 games as “classics” on PlayStation Network. The PS4 has PS Now which lets you stream PS2, PS3, and PS4 games. It’s clear that the feature would be counterproductive if their goal was to get everyone to subscribe monthly to PS Now.
If Sony is nervous about their ability to compete with the other streaming giants then they would need to appeal to hardcore gamers in some other way. Here I thought I was playing Sony systems but apparently they came to play as well.