It's no secret that we here at Throwbacks love old video games. Whether you got your start at the very beginning with an Atari 2600, or if you got into the hobby with one of the many majorly successful game consoles over the years (NES, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, PlayStation, Nintendo 64 etc.), there are always going to be games that people remember fondly from their childhoods, even if they don't always age the best.
As video games have become more and more mainstream, so too has the market increased not just for new games, but for simple, convenient ways for people to access oldschool games whenever they like.
So, naturally, questions of being able to access older libraries of games come up whenever the major console manufacturers talk about the future of their platforms. Of all the major players in the industry right now, the most uncertain on this topic has been Sony.
The PlayStation 3 was originally backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games at launch, but that feature was ultimately removed to cut costs. In turn, Sony released a catalog of PS1 and PS2 games as downloadable content on their store.
However, with the arrival of the PlayStation 4, these games were completely unavailable at launch, and the few that have been drip-fed onto the PSN through the console's lifespan have had to be re-bought by anyone who already owned them on PS3.
People have had questions about Sony's strategy regarding backwards compatibility, and it looks like we finally have something of an answer. Speaking to Time about the future of the brand, Sony global sales chief Jim Ryan had some... interesting comments on the subject.
On the subject of backwards compatibility, his statement was simple, stating that;
"When we've dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much."
Fair enough, I guess? I don't personally have the usage data from their consoles that Sony likely has, so maybe there's some truth to this as far as how many people actually use the service. However, his next comment was a lot more troubling.
"That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?"
There is so much wrong with this statement. Let me explain why.