#1 Posted by Wolf3 (66 posts) -

This is RIDICULOUS. I can't have dozens of consoles and then dozens more backup consoles for those in my house. I don't have the space or money. I also don't want to lose access to my old games, because (duh) I care about the medium. I'm moved by games. I have fun with games. I don't want to lose access to them anymore than I want to lose access to a beloved film.

And here they're not even TRYING. Come on, Sony already has a PS1 emulator running on PSP, PS3, AND Vita. They can't at LEAST port THAT to PS4? If you can run it and run it well on PSP, you can sure as hell run it on PS4.

Microsoft owns all kinds of emulation and VM tech, and is actually RUNNING a VM on the Xbox now. They already have a decent emulator for the Xbox 1 running on their last system, and their new system USES THE SAME CPU ARCHITECTURE AS THEIR FIRST SYSTEM. At LEAST get us Xbox 1 games running on One! I'd think the GPU portion of it shouldn't be much different than doing it on 360, and the CPU portion is actually easier...spin the game off in a Xbox 1 VM and let most of the CPU instructions pass right through to the underlying CPUs.

Okay, granted, emulating Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 is harder. I'm honestly unsure what the CPU situation is like. The new CPUs are more powerful, more modern (and in the case of One, more of them), but still, they're clocked at half speed, and I could conceived of special situations where despite the new CPUs actually being considerably more powerful, specific ways they were used (particularly on PS3) actually makes running them on half speed CPUs hard.

But geez...at least make a commitment to keep bringing along compatibility with all your systems prior to the last one. At least give us Xbox 1 and PS1/PS2 compatibility, and give us 3/360 on the PS5/Xbox Two.

It's making me wonder if I wouldn't be smarter to just get everything for PC where possible, as while backwards compatibility is far from perfect, it's way better than this. Many (probably most) Windows 9x games run on Windows 8. Most anything for NT runs on newer versions of NT. Even older DOS games are pretty much fine thanks to the amazing DOSBox.

End rant (until I decide to rant about One's sealed hard drive and 4's idiotic sealed proprietary battery in the controller, or One's use of a significantly whimpier GPU to push the ridiculous Kinnect *sigh*)

Now, on to play Thief LOL

#2 Posted by Xolare (1284 posts) -

Wasn't Sony talking about bringing backwards compatibility to the PS4 at some point?

Also, let me save you some time and tell you that Thief is not a great game.

#3 Posted by joshwent (2301 posts) -

@wolf3: This is really simple. The cost of reliably emulating those old games > The demand to play them.

A huge hurdle in making a profit is the rigidity of console architecture. You can emulate PS1 games on a computer because they're built to perform complex, CPU intensive programs. Consoles are not. But even PC emulation of those games is difficult and often buggy because those older games were just intended to run only on that specific hardware. The emulators that folks do use on the PSP, PS3, etc. have the same problems.

If Sony didn't insure that their emulations were flawless, they just couldn't sell those products.

And of course the biggest conflict is licensing. When a publisher releases a game on a console, they do so via contracts regarding that specific arrangement and nothing else. Other than the small number of 1st party titles, Sony or MS don't have the rights to emulate other games themselves. Creating new business deals with all of those thousands of other companies just adds to the money that they'll loose if they try something like that.

Sony is at least working for backwards compatibility in a more permanent way with PlayStation Now, but the recent news of publisher's pricing structures being rental only might spell doom for at least the near future.

It does suck that we can't have easy legal access to all of those great older games, but you have to understand that there are good reasons holding it back.

#4 Posted by Rebel_Scum (743 posts) -

Sounds like you need to get used to it bud. Eventually they'll be another technology that will replace all your Blu-ray, CD's and games that will render those platforms obsolete. Not to mention that stuff doesn't last forever. Even data. For what its worth yeah it sucks but that's the way it goes.

Signed,

Some bum from the 80's who lost floppy disk data, VHS, cassettes and vinyls due to tech evolution and the elements.

#5 Posted by impartialgecko (1631 posts) -

I don't. Play games on the consoles they were designed for. Bust out your NES when you want to play NES games. Break out the OG Xbox when you want to play Halo 1.

Console generations mean progress. I appreciate the separation. I don't want to play my PS3 games on my PS4 unless they look like PS4 games. If I want to play those games I'll plug in my PS3.

If you want continuity then the PC is your platform and it's wonderful for that reason. I generally only play exclusives on consoles, so there's something special about playing those games on those systems.

Online
#6 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2364 posts) -

If you want BC get a PC.

#7 Posted by believer258 (12005 posts) -

@adam1808 said:

I don't. Play games on the consoles they were designed for. Bust out your NES when you want to play NES games. Break out the OG Xbox when you want to play Halo 1.

Console generations mean progress. I appreciate the separation. I don't want to play my PS3 games on my PS4 unless they look like PS4 games. If I want to play those games I'll plug in my PS3.

If you want continuity then the PC is your platform and it's wonderful for that reason. I generally only play exclusives on consoles, so there's something special about playing those games on those systems.

What if I want to play Halo 1 several years from now, but neither my Xbox nor my 360 are available? Broken, locked up, in a different house, etc.? Suppose I'm still gaming 30 years from now and I happen to have all of the consoles released from now until then, all functioning - but I only want to play one game? I sure as hell don't want to dig out my original Xbox just to play Halo for a little while. And I'm sure that any future Missus will find the prospect of a room dedicated to old video game hardware and games somewhat displeasing.

I do think that some form of preservation is necessary and should be made available, but it probably isn't going to happen. It would be great if everyone played video games on the PC and online DRM wasn't a thing at all, but good luck with that!

Emulators are great, but there isn't an emulator for the original Xbox, PS3, or Xbox 360, and it doesn't seem like there will be.

All of that said, the OP seems to be making a lot of assumptions about how difficult it is to emulate games. If this were a project that some dudes could get done in a week, I'm pretty sure that MS and Sony would have them do it, no questions asked, just so they could have another bullet point in their features list.

#8 Posted by Corevi (3981 posts) -

@believer258: There is an Xbox emulator, but it's pretty basic and the only retail game it can run is Halo.

#9 Posted by believer258 (12005 posts) -

@believer258: There is an Xbox emulator, but it's pretty basic and the only retail game it can run is Halo.

I think I may have heard about this, but it's not really a viable option for backwards compatibility so I didn't say anything about it.

#10 Posted by cannonballBAM (605 posts) -

@wolf3 said:

They already have a decent emulator for the Xbox 1 running on their last system, and their new system USES THE SAME CPU ARCHITECTURE AS THEIR FIRST SYSTEM.

I have no idea what you are referencing. You do understand what a CPU does, correct?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_processing_unit

Make no mistake, my intentions are pure. It just seems that you are a little confused about hardware.

#11 Posted by Counterclockwork87 (704 posts) -

@adam1808 said:

I don't. Play games on the consoles they were designed for. Bust out your NES when you want to play NES games. Break out the OG Xbox when you want to play Halo 1.

Console generations mean progress. I appreciate the separation. I don't want to play my PS3 games on my PS4 unless they look like PS4 games. If I want to play those games I'll plug in my PS3.

If you want continuity then the PC is your platform and it's wonderful for that reason. I generally only play exclusives on consoles, so there's something special about playing those games on those systems.

What if I want to play Halo 1 several years from now, but neither my Xbox nor my 360 are available? Broken, locked up, in a different house, etc.? Suppose I'm still gaming 30 years from now and I happen to have all of the consoles released from now until then, all functioning - but I only want to play one game? I sure as hell don't want to dig out my original Xbox just to play Halo for a little while. And I'm sure that any future Missus will find the prospect of a room dedicated to old video game hardware and games somewhat displeasing.

I do think that some form of preservation is necessary and should be made available, but it probably isn't going to happen. It would be great if everyone played video games on the PC and online DRM wasn't a thing at all, but good luck with that!

Emulators are great, but there isn't an emulator for the original Xbox, PS3, or Xbox 360, and it doesn't seem like there will be.

All of that said, the OP seems to be making a lot of assumptions about how difficult it is to emulate games. If this were a project that some dudes could get done in a week, I'm pretty sure that MS and Sony would have them do it, no questions asked, just so they could have another bullet point in their features list.

Then you do it like me and have all your consoles connected at once. I don't have to dig out my Xbox I just turn it on :). I have 8 consoles hooked up to an SDTV and 3 to an HD one...and my missus don't mind cuz she loves me and my old games.

#12 Posted by Random45 (1235 posts) -

I remember a poll a few years ago on Gamespot about what were the most requested features on the new consoles, and backwards compatibility was near the top of the list. The list also asked whether you thought it was a likely feature, and almost EVERYONE, including those who wanted the feature, stated that it was unlikely to be added.

I'm actually a little surprised that Xbox 360 and PS3 games aren't compatible at all on the new systems, wasn't the fact that the PS3 could play PS2 games marketed really strongly during the early stages of the console's lifespan before being dropped later on? Eh, whatever.

#13 Posted by Shindig (547 posts) -

Ultimately, its too expensive to implement and, from a technological standpoint, to do it reliably would require keeping the old guts in the box somewhere. That's restrictive.

However, its brilliant for the consumer as it allows you to have an instant library and makes moving to the next generation of consoles more justifiable. It would help move units - although the lid's well and truly off for remastered editions of old games.

#14 Posted by Zevvion (2106 posts) -

Guy, it took them 6 months to get basic functionality running on the PS4 and Xbox One and then it doesn't even work properly yet. It is safe to assume that however easy you think it is to do that stuff: it's not actually that easy. They have priorities and backwards compatibility isn't one of them. Understandably so.

#15 Posted by DookieRope (45 posts) -

@wolf3: Yeah, that bit about the CPU architecture is patently false.

#16 Posted by mosespippy (4286 posts) -

If someone had told you 15 years ago that there would be a console that plays NES, SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advanced games you would have told them they were full of shit. But now it's here. So in 15 years when a Sega CD, Dreancast, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox system comes out don't act surprised.

#17 Posted by Demoskinos (15019 posts) -

I think people THINK they want backwards compatibility more than they actually do.

#18 Posted by KaneRobot (1689 posts) -

If MS would have included backwards compatibility in the Xbone, I would've bought one day 1. All of this "people think they want it but they really don't" crap is nonsense. This generation transition was not like any other before it. You didn't have to worry about downloadable games or a generation that lasted 7-8 years. I'd love to give my 360 to someone else and move on fully to something else, but that's not going to happen for a long time now.

#19 Posted by FreezyFrog (83 posts) -

As much as I'd like to see backwards compatibility in the Xbox One or PS4 I think that your average consumer simply doesn't care and that we (being the gaming enthusiasts who frequent sites such as Giant Bomb and are "into" games) are the minority compared to the mass market who buy only a handful of games per generation let alone per year.

What I'd most like to see however is for as many digital games as possible to make the transition from the 360 / PS3 over to the current generation of consoles. There are many great digital only games, exclusive to those platforms, that I'd like to see carry over to the current generation.

#20 Posted by Shindig (547 posts) -

Man, a Retron system that deals with CD-based systems. I can taste that moon money.

#21 Edited by Jazz_Bcaz (271 posts) -

Last time we had backwards compatibility it was on a small selection of games and launched at a $600 price point. People tend to underestimate the inefficiency of emulating hardware with software. It tends to completely undermine and compromise the potential of the new system, which is the last thing this new generation needed.

#22 Posted by Wolf3 (66 posts) -

@xolare: Yeah, I've heard that but it still sounds like my kind of game. The opening bits are good, to me at least.

Everyone says Dishonored is similar, but better...so this works out because I actually haven't played Dishonored yet. It remains in the backlog LOL

@joshwent: Sony can already do flawless PS1 emulation, because they have on 3 systems so far, all of which are much less powerful than PS4. Bear in mind too that the console companies aren't having to reverse engineer anything-they know exactly how their older systems work.

Someone mentioned that I don't understand how hard emulation is. No, I do...but both companies ALREADY have emulators and thus expertise for some of the stuff we need emulated.

Regarding licensing, that's not an issue for these companies. They can make anything they want compatible with their older systems, and the 3rd party companies have no say in it, and largely shouldn't care one way or the other. (Save perhaps that games released at the end of a generation, like South Park for example, may sell better if people can pick them up for the new consoles). Anyway no new business deals are needed, it's THEIR tech, and THEIR licensing.

There may be technical issues holding back PS3/360 emulation (or not), but there's certainly no reason we can't get the PS1 and Xbox 1 emulators ported. In both cases emulation should be much easier than on the previous systems they're already running on.

#23 Posted by Wolf3 (66 posts) -

@cannonballbam : and @dookierope I'm not sure what you're talking about? I mean Xbox 1 games don't even need the CPU emulated on Xbox One, whereas they did on 360. Besides being more powerful, One is already more compatible with 1. There's no excuse not to at LEAST give us the same level of compatibility 360 already had. And of course the situation may be similar with 360 games regarding the GPU...may not really be much emulation there needed.

@mosespippy problem is those things STILL don't emulate everything right, and on the newer consoles you run into legal issues with firmware and the like, potentially. I hope something like that can exist, but...

@demoskinos No, I want backwards compatibility, period. More than tons of features these consoles actually do include. I care about the medium.

#26 Edited by conmulligan (625 posts) -

@wolf3 said:

I'm not sure what you're talking about? I mean Xbox 1 games don't even need the CPU emulated on Xbox One, whereas they did on 360. Besides being more powerful, One is already more compatible with 1. There's no excuse not to at LEAST give us the same level of compatibility 360 already had. And of course the situation may be similar with 360 games regarding the GPU...may not really be much emulation there needed.

It's possible that Xbox 1 CPU instructions could be executed unmodified on on the Xbox One's CPU, but the Xbox 1's processor would still need to be virtualised to account for architectural differences like the clock rate (this is assuming the Xbox One's modified Jaguar still supports older 32-bit instruction set extensions like MMX and SSE). Even if this were the case, the GPU would still need to emulated, the Xbox 1's OS would need to be virtualised and the OS/DirectX APIs would need to be optimised. You seem to be implying that much of the work that went into supporting Xbox 1 games on the 360 could be reused on the Xbox One — it's certainly true that this would give them a head start if only in terms of having some institution knowledge of the emulation process, but it's still a huge amount of work with very little financial incentive to do so.

#27 Edited by cannonballBAM (605 posts) -
#28 Posted by Demoskinos (15019 posts) -

@wolf3: Well then hang on to your old systems. I mean getting upset or expecting that companies do this when its super expensive to do and hardly anyone actually cares is sort of ridiculous.

Besides its always better to play games on the original hardware.

#29 Posted by MB (12741 posts) -

Why would the platform holders spend thousands of man hours working on backwards compatibility for their new consoles, not to mention the additional hardware expense, when they can sell you ports or "HD" versions of the games you already own?

The former costs them money, the latter practically prints it.

Moderator
#30 Edited by HockeyJohnston (72 posts) -

Exactly why I'm WiiU/PC this gen: backwards compatible controllers/software (and no fees for online). Controllers should be supported through a couple of generations, at least.

#31 Posted by Eder (444 posts) -

Just for kicks I booted up Mortal Kombat 3 for PC thinking "This isn't gonna work". Guess what? IT DID. Ran perfectly. An old CD-ROM version of MK3 still works perfectly on Windows 7.

#32 Posted by PopeAnonymous (45 posts) -

What if I want to play Halo 1 several years from now, but neither my Xbox nor my 360 are available?

Master Chief Collection on Xbox One?

BC makes systems more expensive, so it was left out. Sony was losing a bunch of cash on PS3 trying to deliver it, and it's likely this is increasingly going to be rarer on console moving forward. I wouldn't be surprised if at least one more Nintendo handheld has hardware BC at the very least, though.