PS4 Backward Compatibility Arrives Via Gaikai In 2014

One of the big issues heading into the eighth generation of console gaming was whether or not people would still be able to play seventh generation games on their new devices. Both the PS4 and Xbox One are not backwards compatible. A lot of people got up in arms about backwards compatibility, saying things like “Why would you want to play old games from broken down consoles on new machines?” Well, Sony knows the value of backwards compatibility, it was one of the few saving graces of the PS3 (despite being one of the components that helped drive up costs) and it helped people make a decision on whether they would stick with the brand or abandon it, early in its lifespan.

Well, today it was revealed that the PlayStation 4 will have some measure of backwards compatibility via the Cloud. Sony will bring select “critically acclaimed” PlayStation 3 games to the PlayStation 4 via Gaikai, as reported by Siliconera.

After Sony acquired Gaikai back in 2012, a lot of people wondered what they would use the Cloud streaming service for, and now we know. We had previously reported that the PS4 could use the service to stream PS3 games, but there was nothing really concrete about the details other than that Gaikai would be on the PS4.

Thankfully, we now know exactly how the backwards compatibility will function for the PS4, but it raises another very daunting question: will owners of PS3 games have to re-purchase all their PS3 library in order to play those same titles on the PS4?

In a way, having to re-purchase titles for backwards compatibility seems a bit of a burn for anyone who already has the games, sitting, willing, waiting on their shelves. Unfortunately, Sony did not roll out a specific monetary plan on how the service will work or what benefits owners of games can look forward to from using Gaikai.

One option could be that owners of PS3 titles could register their games via PSN and it carries over in the database so that you have direct and easy access to those same titles on your PlayStation 4.

There's really no telling how Sony will handle the whole backwards compatibility streaming, and details are still sketchy but based on previous Cloud-based service providers, I'm not really holding my breath for anything grand fantastic. We'll see how well both Gaikai and Sony hold up when they eventually get the service up and running throughout 2014. Also, given the criteria of “critically acclaimed” games, I'm going to go out on a limb and say wonderfully amazing titles like Lair, Quantum Theory and Fatal Inertia won't be making the cut?

So what games would you like to see arrive on the PS4 from the PS3 library? I imagine the usual suspects such as The Last of Us, LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted, Heavenly Sword and Heavy Rain will be among the few titles to arrive on the service first, but what about other “critically acclaimed” PS3 titles? Can you think of a few you would like to see on the PS4?

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.