Do you expect full backwards compatibility for next-gen consoles?

djoye

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I'm setting my expectations HIGH. Google Now/News keeps feeding me news that the next-gen PlayStation will have an AMD CPU and I don't see why not, it makes financial sense, and with that, I'd expect the PS5 to be fully capable of running PS4 games because that's how it has been in PC land forever. You upgrade from one x86 CPU to another, you don't lose the ability to run your old games. The only reason to not have backwards compatibility is because of bureaucracy. I will buy a launch PS5 if it's capable of running my PS4 games at a consistent 60FPS at 1080p; I don't even care about 4K.

This is the only thing I want. I don't care about streaming video or ordering from Amazon, I want my games at 60FPS. I will buy your new console and play the old games on it, just like we do in PC land.
 

scojer

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I want backwards compatibility. Will it happen? Not sure. It makes sense if they do, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

Armenius

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I expect it only because the consoles are not using exotic architectures or APIs anymore, so I would think it would actually be more work for them to force 8th gen games to not work on 9th gen. I guess the easiest way would be to add some sort of new DRM bullshit and they can use the excuse that it's for "security reasons."
 

Domingo

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I don't expect anything like enhancements for old games, but I do feel that the Xbox 4/PS5 should play the current games. FPS enhancements are tricky, so I get that that might not be feasible. Especially universally. It's a nice wish list item, but I don't expect much beyond upscaling.

The only reasons they wouldn't have BC at all are $ related. MS has seen a pretty nice uptick since they started allowing 360 games to be played on the Xbox One, so I feel they'll definitely have it. Sony can be stubborn at time, so they'd be the more likely one to eschew it.
I'm still hopeful Nintendo will get out of the hardware business. For the first time in forever, their own management team has raised a little doubt. I can't tell you how happy I'd be to play a AAA Nintendo title on bleeding edge hardware.
 

Youn

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YES! faster load times, better framerates, higher resolution screen resolution, better AF and anti-aliasing, farther draw distance and smoother pop-in, among other things....

if not, then likely it's a time/money/marketing/sad-old-person reason
 

Poordevil

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Sony understands the marketing value of BC. The launch PS3 was BC, but it was expensive. It is the first couple of years after launch that BC is most valuable. Once the PS5 hits its stride and has a satisfying library, BC becomes almost a moot point.

For me, I can take or leave BC. If the PS5 launches with BC and really enhances PS4 games, I would be an early adopter. If not, I will hang on to my PS4 until the PS5 has a game I really want to play. But I am cool either way.
 

Master_shake_

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i never played any ps1 or 2 games on my ps3 i had a ps1 and 2 for that.

i think backwards compatibility is just another bullet point on a list of features.
 

Brian_B

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I think it’s not only technically possible but entirely trivial.

That being said - it’s not a technical decision and never has been. It’s entirely a business decision.
 
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ryan_975

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There's a bit more to backwards compatibility than CPU instructions. Take for instance Windows 9x, it can't run on modern hardware because there are no drivers available for it anymore. Also. Its 16-bit programs can't run on 64-bit Windows, even though x64 CPUs still carry the original 8086 instructions from 1979.


Console software is tightly coupled to the underlying hardware configurations, performance characteristics, and features.

Something as simple as changing the cache associativity might break some time sensitive code that loaded data in a certain way to avoid cache misses during a period when the GPU was accessing shared memory.

So saying that backwards compatibility is trivial and not having it is solely bureaucratic is at the least misinformed.
 

bigdogchris

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Since they have basically moved to PC equivalent architecture, and I cannot imagine them going back, I would be surprised if it wasn't BC.
 

Brian_B

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So saying that backwards compatibility is trivial and not having it is solely bureaucratic is at the least misinformed.
There's this thing called virtualization. It's amazing. And before that even, we had emulation - not quite as amazing but still neat.

I don't buy that it's all that difficult.
 

ryan_975

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Have you ever written an emulator? I have, and it's not easy, especially when you start trying to run timing sensitive code. Why do you think it takes a Pentium level machine to emulate an 8-bit NES, or a why they had to include the actual PS2 hardware on the PS3 to get backwards compatibility to work? Even the Xbox One can only run 360 games after they've been recompiled for its hardware and the virtual 360 GPU.

Virtualization doesn't solve any architectural problems. It only presents the hardware to a guest as if it were the only thing running on it. Aside from some housekeeping functionality to keep the guest from stepping on the host and maybe a bit of IO emulation, everything runs natively.
 

deaedius

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Not sure why they would need to virtualize anything, the OS's will probably have little change especially on the MS side of things. Also the CPU/GPU will likely not change much as well other than capacity and capability.
 

Johnx64

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I honestly don't care. Every console I buy it's nice to have the "exclusive games" but I am beyond irritated with that. Fuck my ps4 and every other console I bought. Stop trying to split the gaming community. PCMR4L.
 
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ryan_975

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Not sure why they would need to virtualize anything, the OS's will probably have little change especially on the MS side of things. Also the CPU/GPU will likely not change much as well other than capacity and capability.
If they're going from Jaguar to Zen, then there are enormous architectural differences they'll have to adapt their core code for. It would be easier for them to start from scratch.
 

Brian_B

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Have you ever written an emulator? Virtualization doesn't solve any architectural problems.
You mentioned two barriers specifically with backwards compatibility: hardware level and software level.

Virtualization eliminates any software level incompatibilities. OS or API issues? Nope, just virtualization the original operating environment. It’s been done before: Wii games on Wii U did it recently if you want a console-specific example. Windows does it a lot with HyperV and there’s absolutely no reason they couldn’t do it with Xbox if they wanted. And if MS can do it, Sony certainly can too.

And just because you weren’t able to get emulation to work well doesn’t mean it can’t be done. That’s how 360 games are run on XB1 to point to a current example. And all these retro consoles use that as well. Emulation is a way around the hardware aspect — which we all suspect would be minimal anyway.

And then there’s a third method I didn’t mention before — streaming. PS Now does it now, Microsoft is investing heavily in it, and a lot of devs seem to think it has legs. If that catches on local hardware is nearly inconsequential at that point. I remain skeptical about it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a possibility too.
 

ryan_975

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I'm not saying it can't be done. In fact. I didn't even say I couldn't do it, so i'm not sure why you threw that in there.

I'm only saying it's not as easy as people think simply because the CPUs run the same instructions. There are a ton of hardware specific optimizations being coded in to get the best performance possible from the architecture. if you change the architecture. Then those optimizations at best become performance robbing inefficiencies, and at worst break functionality because something in the execution path wasn't ready.
 

exlink

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Backwards compatibility in next generation consoles for the PS4/Xbox One should be very simple and straight forward since the PS4/Xbox One both utilize the x86 architecture unlike previous generations (excluding the OG Xbox). I fully anticipate the next generation to continue using the x86 architecture making backwards compatibility fairly simple.
 

4saken

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Yes. Especially with how consoles are engineered these days. Also how the console industry has turned into more of an iterative approach on releasing new "upgraded" consoles. I see this just being the natural way of things for the next couple gens, unless architecture change miraculously happens.
 

deaedius

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If they're going from Jaguar to Zen, then there are enormous architectural differences they'll have to adapt their core code for. It would be easier for them to start from scratch.
I am not sure about that x86-64 is x86-64. I would not see any reason why things would change much.
 

Jumpem

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It had better. I don't want to have two PlayStations connected, and have to switch back and forth depending on the game. All PS4 games need to work on the PS5.
 

Majinhoju

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I'm hoping so.
I already have 2 hdmi switches to connect all my devices to my 3 input TV...
 

Averox

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Backwards compatibility would be huge to have. The switch to a more PC-like architecture I hope would make it easy.

I'm surprised Sony hasn't done anything with BC considering that Microsoft has steadily tried to put things in BC for the Xbox One. I've already bought RDR1 on XB1 because it was BC and upgraded. Then again, when you're on top...
 

MavericK

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It had better. I don't want to have two PlayStations connected, and have to switch back and forth depending on the game. All PS4 games need to work on the PS5.
It didn't between PS3 and PS4, so I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Would love to see BC but I'd say there's maybe a 10% chance of it happening.
 

Brian_B

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It didn't between PS3 and PS4, so I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Would love to see BC but I'd say there's maybe a 10% chance of it happening.
Yeah ... not when they can get people to buy the game again as a “remaster” or retro edition on a new console, or offer it as a subscription service. I just don’t see being able to run the games you have already purchased happening.

As nice as I think that would be, and as easy as I think it would be to accomplish. They just won’t give up an easy revenue stream unless they are losing the console battle (the only reason XB is doing it now)
 

Youn

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MS should name theirs XBOX ZERO... just to reinforce they are backwards compatible... plus, then the next console can be named "XBOX SUB ZERO"

...meh, I guess it was a cooler idea in my head...
 
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Viper87227

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I'm setting my expectations HIGH. Google Now/News keeps feeding me news that the next-gen PlayStation will have an AMD CPU and I don't see why not, it makes financial sense, and with that, I'd expect the PS5 to be fully capable of running PS4 games because that's how it has been in PC land forever. You upgrade from one x86 CPU to another, you don't lose the ability to run your old games. The only reason to not have backwards compatibility is because of bureaucracy. I will buy a launch PS5 if it's capable of running my PS4 games at a consistent 60FPS at 1080p; I don't even care about 4K.

This is the only thing I want. I don't care about streaming video or ordering from Amazon, I want my games at 60FPS. I will buy your new console and play the old games on it, just like we do in PC land.
I suspect it's not as easy as you'd like it to be. Just because were on x86 hardware and the next generation will also be x86 hardware doesn't mean everything will just work... just like the current gen games won't run on x86 PC no matter how hard you try. Consoles still employ down-to-the-metal programming techniques to get every ounce of performance possible out of a given set of hardware. I'm no hardware engineer, so maybe I'm totally wrong here, but I suspect for proper backwards compatibility you'd have to have no architecture changes. In other words, you'd have to take the existing platform and just bump up the specs a la PS4 to Pro or Xbox One S to X. I think as soon as you start making any changes to the way things operate under the hood you break the tricks that developers use to make their games playable. Keep in mind that even though it's x86 hardware, it's not like they've taking off the shelf PC components and slapped them together, there are still things happening under the hood that keep them proprietary, closed systems.

That said, it's obviously not impossible, but I still thing it's an expensive thing to incorporate into a new console, I don't think it'll just be plug and play... meaning the VALUE of backwards compatibility still has to be weighed against the cost. My prediction: you'll see it from Microsoft, not Sony. Microsoft has made huge strides in backwards compatibility, and I have a feelings it's payed off. They have even gone as far as enhancing some titles so that they look better than they did native. It was a major pro-consumer move from them, and people are going to want more. I think whenever the next Xbox is announced, BC will be a focal point. I wouldn't be surprised to see MS try to make it so their next system will play every Xbox game ever release. Sony on the other hand has expressed zero interest in BC with the PS4, despite the praise being sung to Microsoft about it. They are instead putting their focus into their cloud based Playstation Now, which is something I see as good for Sony execs, but very anti-consumer. No cost to develop emulation or hardware support and you get to force everyone to rebuy your back catalog instead of pulling old games out of a box in the basement or getting them cheap second hand. I see no indication that Sony is about to abandon their plans to push PS Now. I'm reasonable sure this will be the face of their "backwards compatibility" in PS5.
 

chenw

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No.

Consoles seems to start realising that if you offer backwards compatibility, you will not be able to sell you the game an n-th time.

Even with Nintendo I don't have my hopes up at all.

PS. I consider Xbox one's "backwards compatibility" closer to "free ports" than actual BC, since a stock Xbox one cannot play any Xbox 360/OG games out of the box, unlike true backwards compatible consoles like original PS3, DS or 3DS.
 

vegeta535

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Nope. They want to push their streaming services and make you rebuy remasters.
 

ManofGod

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Nope. They want to push their streaming services and make you rebuy remasters.
Nope, the Xbox already has backwards compatibility with the 360 and OG Xbox. (Games you already may own or can purchase digitally if you do not.
 

chenw

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Nope, the Xbox already has backwards compatibility with the 360 and OG Xbox. (Games you already may own or can purchase digitally if you do not.
I'd call that "free ports" than backwards compatibility. Xbox One didn't have an iota of backwards compatibility when it was released, it was Microsoft's deliberate efforts behind the scenes to recoup the market share it had.

And, I personally wouldn't classify 25% compatible titles as "backwards compatible". 25% is closer to the number of titles I'd expect to not work (rather than actually work, as it is right now), and even then it's FAR too high.

Had Microsoft "won" this generation, there is no chance that these backwards compatible titles exist, they would likely be sold as "remasters" or just simply plain wouldn't exist, like PS4 is currently.
 

M76

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No, but I fully expect a full library of "remakes" of PS4 games that you can waste money on, if you want to play last gen games on next gen consoles.

Or you can just buy a PC and don't worry about backwards compatibility.
 

Youn

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why is that a patent, can I patent my new pair of underwear?
 

TheToE!

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This is some laughable shit. If you think these cigar chomping assholes have your best interest in my , you're fucked.
 

Viper87227

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Could you imagine if Sony drops PS5 with full PS 1, 2, 3 and 4 BC? :nailbiting: :greedy:

Not as surprising as it sounds. Nostalgia is big right now, and that's a huge library of games that can be resold digitally. There's money to be made there if they do it right.
 

Domingo

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The important question is whether said PS1-4 titles would playable via disks or whether they would make you re-buy them from the PSN store. I have no intention of re-buying old games that I have still functional disks for.
It's not like Nintendo where most of the nostalgia $ is on cartridges.
 

martinmsj

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I suspect it's not as easy as you'd like it to be. Just because were on x86 hardware and the next generation will also be x86 hardware doesn't mean everything will just work... just like the current gen games won't run on x86 PC no matter how hard you try. Consoles still employ down-to-the-metal programming techniques to get every ounce of performance possible out of a given set of hardware. I'm no hardware engineer, so maybe I'm totally wrong here, but I suspect for proper backwards compatibility you'd have to have no architecture changes....
You are correct, it is not trivial. Far from it.

I would trust this person; they seem to know what they're talking about. I read their replies and they’re legit arguments.

I'm not saying it can't be done. In fact. I didn't even say I couldn't do it, so i'm not sure why you threw that in there.

I'm only saying it's not as easy as people think simply because the CPUs run the same instructions. There are a ton of hardware specific optimizations being coded in to get the best performance possible from the architecture. if you change the architecture. Then those optimizations at best become performance robbing inefficiencies, and at worst break functionality because something in the execution path wasn't ready.
I would not trust anyone that says:

  • Backwards compatibility in next generation consoles for the PS4/Xbox One should be very simple and straight forward since the PS4/Xbox One both utilize the x86 architecture unlike previous generations ...
  • I think it’s not only technically possible but entirely trivial.
  • That being said - it’s not a technical decision and never has been. It’s entirely a business decision.
  • I expect it only because the consoles are not using exotic architectures or APIs anymore, so I would think it would actually be more work for them to force 8th gen games to not work on 9th gen. I guess the easiest way would be to add some sort of new DRM bullshit and they can use the excuse that it's for "security reasons."
The last one on the API is completely ignorant of what it's like to work with consoles, especially Sony consoles. All it takes is just a quick search. If this person took a few moments just to do a tiny bit of info gathering, they wouldn't have come across that way. Here is a link for anyone that is curious.

Sony PS4 Wikipedia
 
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