Forums - Sony Discussion - Why the PS5 should be backwards compatible with all Playstation consoles

WolfpackN64 said:

The only reason the PS4 might be an issue is that the PS5 will probably use a newer version of FreeBSD (and thus newer, incompatible software libraries). But there are multiple software container platforms that can package the older PS4 libraries for the games to interface with.

Why not just virtualize the Playstation 4's software environment and execute PS4 code natively?
You don't need to worry about compatibility in the Playstation 5's software environment then... It's what Microsoft did.



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KLXVER said:
Otter said:

because it was two gamecubes stuck together ;)

Fair enough, but the WiiU was fully BC with the Wii for 300 bucks. It can be done. Its just not good business.

Wii U was just 3 Wii CPUs overclocked which in itself was an overclocked Gamecube CPU. Nintendo used basically the same CPU for 3 consoles. Just modifyed.

Sony consoles used to be native BC with PS1 games.  I miss that...until July when the Polymega comes in.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Not sure why OP frames this thread as being about "should" when the top post seems 100% about "could" (seemingly assuming the case for "should").
Personally, I don't think "emulation" should qualify as "backwards compatible" it just isn't the same. Maybe alot of people don't care about the difference.
I really don't see the importance of this, who is it for? People who refused to buy older gen Playstations but now suddenly want to play all old catalog?
Most of it can be emulated to reasonable degree on PC, so if you want to play emulated that is available. I don't see how this is fundamentally important.



mutantsushi said:
Not sure why OP frames this thread as being about "should" when the top post seems 100% about "could" (seemingly assuming the case for "should").
Personally, I don't think "emulation" should qualify as "backwards compatible" it just isn't the same. Maybe alot of people don't care about the difference.
I really don't see the importance of this, who is it for? People who refused to buy older gen Playstations but now suddenly want to play all old catalog?
Most of it can be emulated to reasonable degree on PC, so if you want to play emulated that is available. I don't see how this is fundamentally important.

It's along the lines of: "They could, so they should". If emulation allows you to plop a PS1 game in a PS5 and it runs without issues, what's the difference between BC and emulation at that point?



OneTime said:
It's not just the power and capabilities, you also need to license IP (for example, IBM owns the Cell processor from the PS3). In any case, from Sony's point of view it's all about selling new hardware and new games, and you have to see backward compatibility in that light.

So, if you want to play PS2, you are a Retro gamer, and you'll be one Ebay. Or you'll be buying your games one at a time through some equivalent of the Virtual Console App Store. Retro collecting is a pretty cool hobby anyway...

Emulating instruction sets and architectures can be an IP pitfall, but in case of the PS1&2 that's not a problem (since they are Sony designs and the MIPS instructions are quite old) and cleanroom reverse engineered emulation of instructions is a legal grey zone, but probably safe. Also, Cell is a dead architecture, so I don't think IBM would throw a fuss at it being emulated.



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WolfpackN64 said:

From a technical standpoint, the PS5 is more then powerful enough to properly emulate PS1, PS2, PS3 (going by RPCS3) and is architecturally extremely compatible with the PS4. The only reason the PS4 might be an issue is that the PS5 will probably use a newer version of FreeBSD (and thus newer, incompatible software libraries). But there are multiple software container platforms that can package the older PS4 libraries for the games to interface with.

Will Sony do this? I somewhat doubt this, and not because they really want you to buy these games again. Veryfying the massive library from the PS1 -> PS4 might simply be impossible and there is always the possability some strange edge case game won't run or will do so poorly. Sony probably doesn't want people to experience a bad case of emulation.

A solution might be something like Steam Play and Proton, where Windows games can run on Linux. Normally, you can only run games verified by Valve to work on Linux. But you can quite easily by searching a menu turn on Proton for ALL Windows games (of course not all games run perfectly on Proton). Sourcing emulators is always a legal minefield, but since Sony build the consoles being emulated, they could work with existing emulators to make their games run.

Thoughts?

Are you going to pay the millions and millions needed to emulate the ps3 games? Even a powerful PC has trouble emulating a ps3. Each game would have to be rebuilt basically.



Leynos said:
KLXVER said:

Fair enough, but the WiiU was fully BC with the Wii for 300 bucks. It can be done. Its just not good business.

Wii U was just 3 Wii CPUs overclocked which in itself was an overclocked Gamecube CPU. Nintendo used basically the same CPU for 3 consoles. Just modifyed.

Sony consoles used to be native BC with PS1 games.  I miss that...until July when the Polymega comes in.

There is no comparison at all, the wiiU is similar to the wii which is also similar to the gamecube architecture wise. The ps4 and ps5 are totally different from the ps3. Games would have to be changed, microsoft is doing it for the xbox one because the 360 had a similar architecture, so the work is a lot easier.

Even a powerful PC can't run ps3 games 100% bug free.

Also sony has no incentive to do it, they know ps5 will sell really well without having to work on backwards compatibility. Microsoft on the other hand, they need it to attract customers, in fact one of the biggest reasons I prefer my xbox X over my ps4 pro.



Regarding PS3, most of its games are already available on PS4, except a few gems. They could just work on those and make them available on PS4/PS5 or PS Now.

PS2 and PS1 could come back as re-released classics. They could select the most acclaimed games. Having full BC with PS2 and PS1 would benefit some players, sure, but most current gen players wouldn't give a damm. I think it'd be a waste of work. Unless we're considering plain software emulation which we know that will never happen due to many technical reasons that many don't fully understand.



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My Total Sales prediction for PS4 by the end of 2021: 110m+

When PS4 will hit 100m consoles sold: Before Christmas 2019

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victor83fernandes said:
WolfpackN64 said:

From a technical standpoint, the PS5 is more then powerful enough to properly emulate PS1, PS2, PS3 (going by RPCS3) and is architecturally extremely compatible with the PS4. The only reason the PS4 might be an issue is that the PS5 will probably use a newer version of FreeBSD (and thus newer, incompatible software libraries). But there are multiple software container platforms that can package the older PS4 libraries for the games to interface with.

Will Sony do this? I somewhat doubt this, and not because they really want you to buy these games again. Veryfying the massive library from the PS1 -> PS4 might simply be impossible and there is always the possability some strange edge case game won't run or will do so poorly. Sony probably doesn't want people to experience a bad case of emulation.

A solution might be something like Steam Play and Proton, where Windows games can run on Linux. Normally, you can only run games verified by Valve to work on Linux. But you can quite easily by searching a menu turn on Proton for ALL Windows games (of course not all games run perfectly on Proton). Sourcing emulators is always a legal minefield, but since Sony build the consoles being emulated, they could work with existing emulators to make their games run.

Thoughts?

Are you going to pay the millions and millions needed to emulate the ps3 games? Even a powerful PC has trouble emulating a ps3. Each game would have to be rebuilt basically.

The problem with PS3 games is the complexity of the CPU and thus the complexity of emulating instructions. I have no doubts the PS5 could run PS3 games judging by it's specs and what kind of PC you need to run RPCS3. The problem would be getting enough games to run perfectly. They could just as well use RPCS3, implement a compatibility list and try to get as many popular titles compatible.

Will they do it? Probably not. But it would net Sony a lot of goodwill.



Sony is not going to add PS2 or PS3 BC at all. They want to sell you the PS2 and PS3 mini classic consoles with 20 preinstalled games on it for $149.99.