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According to some of the folk at Sony Computer Entertainment, they were blindsided and surprised that Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would be backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. It wasn't just sony that was surprised by the news, though. Gamers were quite taken aback by the news as well.
Eurogamer is reporting that the whole backwards compatibility announcement that Phil Spencer dropped during Microsoft's E3 conference had Sony's worldwide studios president Shuhei Yoshida doing a double take. Yoshida told Eurogamer...
It was surprising, I didn't think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort. They talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don't know.
Right now, during the preview for the backwards compatibility on the Xbox One and Windows 10, Microsoft has rolled out a mix of both small and big games, with some Xbox 360 arcade titles being tested alongside larger games like Mass Effect and Fallout 3.
Eurogamer notes that they were able to play-test games like BattleBlock Theater and Perfect Dark, along with Super Meat Boy, thus confirming that Microsoft seems to want to encapsulate as many different and varied games from the Xbox 360's library as humanly possible. That's something that definitely seems cool because there are a lot of really cool Xbox Live Arcade games that would be pretty fun to play on the Xbox One, like Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
Of course, the question of backwards compatibility ended up creeping into the conversation regarding the PS4, and Eurogamer wasn't entirely interested in an answer that involved the over-priced PlayStation Now. According to Yoshida...
PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well, It's going to be super challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans.
This is no lie. The PS3's architecture was oftentimes explained by others as being “alien”. And to be fair to the engineers... as difficult as it was making games for the PS3 it was also one of the most powerful gaming consoles ever made, full stop.
In fact, to this day the PS3 actually beats the PS4 in some of the benchmarks, as evidenced in Ubisoft's own internal benchmark. However, the difficulty and complexity of the PS3's architecture has made it inconvenient for Sony to properly implement backwards compatibility into the PS4.
Gamers are mostly understanding of the PS4 not being able to play old PS3 games. However, commenters on the Eurogamer article bring up a very good point: what about backwards compatibility for PSX and PS2 games?
Sony teased that PSX and PS2 game discs would be playable on the PS4 at some point in the future through the PlayStation Now service, but that hasn't come to fruition. Maybe now that Microsoft has double downed on supporting old Xbox 360 digital and physical games on the Xbox One, we'll see Sony getting on board and picking up the slack to compete.
You can check the full list of backwards compatible games for the Xbox One right here.