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post #1081 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bd2003 
Every console with BC (which is literally every console in recent history) has had to manage the same issues. 360, GBA, DS, 3DS, Wii, Wii U, PS2, PS3, Vita....they all had challenges and they all overcame them. Not a single one of them required the user to buy an addon (except for the sega genesis), and most solutions did require the manufacturer to eat some extra cost of hardware (cartridge/controller ports, CPU/GPU). It can be costly, but its worth every cent to them.

This isn't a new challenge for anyone. I'm sure there's a bean counter somewhere telling them that they can save X amount of money by cutting BC, and then someone with common sense overrules them and reminds the room how essential a feature it is, when they're managing the transition to a new generation. They've figured it out before, they'll figure it out again.
A lot of those examples you gave involved an evolution from one tech to a similar but more advanced tech (i.e. most Nintendo devices). As devices get more complex, unless they also simply evolve from one similar tech to the next, you can not assume BC will be a simple feature to add.

The PS4 rumored specs are COMPLETELY different than the PS3 (RAM, GPU, CPU). Software BC is iextremely unlikely for it as a result. As a consumer, you will either pay extra for hardware support for BC inside the PS4, or you will pay for it separately as an add-on and/or Gaikai stream (which needs extra $$$ to support a farm of PS3-like boxes in Sony's server rooms to work). Either way, you will have to pay for it.

And because they Sony is extra cost conscious now, it makes sense to have only those who want BC pay for it (through an add-on or Gaikai streaming) than forcing everyone to pay. The PS3 took out PS2 BC, and despite the grumbling no one has made a big deal about it since, so that is why I doubt it is natively included in the PS4. It would be surprising however if there were no BC option coming at all though, even for those willing to pay extra. I also want my PS4 to have BC somehow.

Also, throughout history, no BC from a generation to the next is more common. There was no BC in:

Atari's 5200 for the 2600
Atari's 7800 for the 5200 (though it had native 2600 BC)
Atari's Jaguar for the 7800

Genesis for the Sega Master System
Saturn for the Genesis
Dreamcast for the Saturn

SNES for the NES
N64 for the SNES
GameCube for the N64

There are of course examples of limited BC, such as 360's limited support for XBox games and the revised PS3 models not playing back original PS2 game discs.

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post #1082 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:00 AM
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The 5200 followed the method we are anticipating for the PS4. BC was an add-on. Crazy thing was, it cost more than a 2600. And just like then, I have a PS2 for BC and don't care about PS2 compatibility in a PS3, and I'll keep a PS3 for those games when a PS4 finds its way into our home.

There are similar problems when you look at BC between older systems and the PS family. Try playing Dance Dance Revolution for PS2 on a 60gb launch PS3.
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post #1083 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:11 AM
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If they could have made the cartridges compatible, I'm sure most of those systems would have featured BC. But that's a bygone era.

Taking out BC 2-3 years in is quite different from not launching with it though. The ultimate goal is to build the installbase out of the gate. Cutting costs and having a cheaper system is an avenue to that, but so is maintaining continuity. They need to give people more reasons to buy a PS4, and less reasons not to. And the type of gamer that is ready to shell out for a console in the first year is likely to have a sizable library of previous gen games. Its a massively important feature in the first year or so. 2-3 years in, that's no longer the case, and BC can be cut.

Nintendo might have a history of keeping some hardware similarities to make BC easy, but this isn't the first console that has to deal with a radical shift. Sony has never released a console that didnt play all its previous games perfectly on day one, and every single one of their consoles has had equally a radical shift in architecture.

Im not trivializing the task, but its essential. They'll make it happen.

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post #1084 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

If they could have made the cartridges compatible, I'm sure most of those systems would have featured BC. But that's a bygone era.
They could have made the cartridges compatible if they wanted. In fact, the Atari 7800 was able to play Atari 2600 games natively with no extra peripheral required.
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Taking out BC 2-3 years in is quite different from not launching with it though. The ultimate goal is to build the installbase out of the gate. Cutting costs and having a cheaper system is an avenue to that, but so is maintaining continuity. They need to give people more reasons to buy a PS4, and less reasons not to. And the type of gamer that is ready to shell out for a console in the first year is likely to have a sizable library of previous gen games. Its a massively important feature in the first year or so. 2-3 years in, that's no longer the case, and BC can be cut.
So you agree that BC was removed from the PS3 to cut costs. PS4 won't likely dig that hole again (losing money on universal BC hardware at lauch) since cutting costs seem to be woven into the entire design philosophy of the next console (i.e. APU design, generic CPU, no new media tech for the first time, etc.). They have to weigh the price point of the PS4 vs. not forcing BC which raises the price. You can't have both the cheapest PS4 possible and full PS3 BC for no extra charge.
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Nintendo might have a history of keeping some hardware similarities to make BC easy, but this isn't the first console that has to deal with a radical shift. Sony has never released a console that didnt play all its previous games perfectly on day one, and every single one of their consoles has had equally a radical shift in architecture.

Im not trivializing the task, but its essential. They'll make it happen.

The last machine released by Sony is the Vita. PS Vita does not play any PSP owners' vast library of PSP UMD titles. That decision kept its cost lower.

For the PS4, it is many times more complicated to emulate a PS3 than a Vita deals with when emulating digital PSP games. I agree they can make it happen with some tech wizardry, but it can't happen without us paying extra for it in some way.

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post #1085 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:35 AM
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I don't care about BC. I want to play new games. If they can get the system out for a lower price by not having it then I'm all for it.
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post #1086 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^ Also, in the worst case BC scenario we still have our PS3s to play PS3 games. Not as convenient, but it works. I'll be disappointed though if I can't at least pay extra for a BC option.

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post #1087 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Taking out BC 2-3 years in is quite different from not launching with it though. The ultimate goal is to build the installbase out of the gate. Cutting costs and having a cheaper system is an avenue to that, but so is maintaining continuity. They need to give people more reasons to buy a PS4, and less reasons not to. And the type of gamer that is ready to shell out for a console in the first year is likely to have a sizable library of previous gen games. Its a massively important feature in the first year or so. 2-3 years in, that's no longer the case, and BC can be cut.

THIS

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post #1088 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by joeblow View Post

So you agree that BC was removed from the PS3 to cut costs. PS4 won't likely dig that hole again (losing money on universal BC hardware at lauch) since cutting costs seem to be woven into the entire design philosophy of the next console (i.e. APU design, generic CPU, no new media tech for the first time, etc.). They have to weigh the price point of the PS4 vs. not forcing BC which raises the price. You can't have both the cheapest PS4 possible and full PS3 BC for no extra charge

Absolutely. The relative importance of many features decline over time. They could have built the PS3 from the start with a flip open blu ray (or gasp, DVD) drive. It could have had wired controllers, only 2 USB ports. It didnt need chrome trim either. Every console goes through the same evolution where more and more gets cut over time and it goes from a premium product to a cheap one. We're in that extreme cost cutting phase on the current gen right now, but that doesn't necessarily carry right over to the next gen.

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post #1089 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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How does a cutting costs philosophy over the last few years not carry over to this gen by whenever possible for the launch PS4? Of course they would never do it to the extreme as your examples suggests.

But every component and feature in the PS4 no doubt was put on the table during the design phase to be evaluated based on its cost/benefit ratio. BC seems like a natural cut as far as universal "free" native support is concerned (even though I definitely want it in some form).

Remember that Kaz, Sony's new head honcho has already expressed a general desire for his corporation to cut costs, and he would know much more than ex-leader Stringer about how to reduce the PS4's cost footprint. Already this launch machine's internals are designed drastically different than the ones before it, with an emphasis on save "money". Therefore, we can't expect to use the launch PS3 as a guide at all.

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post #1090 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 12:25 PM
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Cause cutting BC would be far more extreme than cutting cosmetic stuff like a slot load drive. It's penny-wise and pound-foolish. BC will build loyalty, get fence sitters to make the jump, and drive more initial adoption than without BC. Hardware sales drive software sales, which leads to more games being made, which drives more hardware, software, etc.

It's a virtuous cycle, a jump start that on balance probably pays for itself in the long term. At launch they need stimulus, not austerity.

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post #1091 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 12:53 PM
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Is someone going to buy a new console to only be able to play the very few games that would be out at launch? What if they're not your type of games? Then you have a shiny new console with nothing to play on it except for (presumably) whatever you have or could download from the ps store until a game you like comes out. BC's been there at the launch of each new console so I can't see them not having some way of playing old games. If that's not the case then there'd be no reason to buy one until a game you like comes out. I waited until the price dropped on the 60g before I bought mostly due to price, but if it didn't have BC I'd have waited on games I liked to come out before plunking down $500.
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post #1092 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

Is someone going to buy a new console to only be able to play the very few games that would be out at launch? What if they're not your type of games? Then you have a shiny new console with nothing to play on it except for (presumably) whatever you have or could download from the ps store until a game you like comes out. BC's been there at the launch of each new console so I can't see them not having some way of playing old games. If that's not the case then there'd be no reason to buy one until a game you like comes out. I waited until the price dropped on the 60g before I bought mostly due to price, but if it didn't have BC I'd have waited on games I liked to come out before plunking down $500.


Answer : Yes

That's why its so important that consoles start with a decent starting line up. Look at it this way..is anyone going to buy a new PS4 console to play old PS3 games if none of the current PS4 games appeal to them. Games sell consoles..always has been this way always will be.

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post #1093 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 01:31 PM
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Here's a little more to substantiate the view on "cloud" as I was talking about.

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/02/07/gabe-newells-dice-keynote-steam-box-price-point-much-much-lo/
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The Steam Box will hinge on in-home streaming rather than cloud gaming, and Newell explained that he was a long-standing skeptic of cloud gaming. As he saw it, the cloud incurred a huge network cost that could collapse the system upon its own success, and it put latency compensation in the wrong place, at the center of the network rather than the edge.

Pretty much where 8-4 said Nintendo had their head at.
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post #1094 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 01:39 PM
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I for one don't have an issue with a $600 starting price if it's a significant upgrade and there are titles I want, and I just bought my PS3 last year! If it could run my PC MMO's I'd easily shell out a grand.

I'm rebuilding my theater and my PC just recently went up so instead of spending $2k on a new PC I intend to use my PS3 for a while and perhaps get a PS4 to hold me over. I'd much rather use my wireless keyboard, mouse and my N52TE game controller on a 10' screen than buy a PC but I don't see that happening. I had hopes since the architecture of the next consoles will be so closely related to the existing PC architecture.

I’ll be waiting on the xbox announcement as well in case it is offered Win 8 compatibility of some kind. I just can’t justify a $2k investment for a game machine and something to do my taxes on every 4-5 years right now.

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post #1095 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^ I guess I can't wrap my head around that concept yet. How do you stream to yourself? I know I'm missing something.
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Cause cutting BC would be far more extreme than cutting cosmetic stuff like a slot load drive. It's penny-wise and pound-foolish. BC will build loyalty, get fence sitters to make the jump, and drive more initial adoption than without BC. Hardware sales drive software sales, which leads to more games being made, which drives more hardware, software, etc.

It's a virtuous cycle, a jump start that on balance probably pays for itself in the long term. At launch they need stimulus, not austerity.

A lot of that is true to an extent. The tail end of that extent is the effect native BC has on the launch price. If the effect is too high, then you have angry consumers fussing anyway.

It comes down to the choice: upset people for the absence (or separately sold) BC, or anger them for a higher price point. You can't have it both ways. If you feel BC is a more over-riding concern than the launch price, that's fine. I think it is vice-versa because the lack of BC doesn't bug as many people as a higer price point would IMHO.

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post #1096 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 01:59 PM
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By streaming from one device to another. PS4 to vita should be effortless with a hardware encoder. PS3s could be used as PS4 extenders in other rooms. The same low latency tech that powers gaikai could be a part of this.

I know gabe envisions a world where you buy a super powerful central game server and it spits out to multiple client devices. It's a neat idea but I don't really see the relevance in the console space, at least in the short term. He's got big ideas for sure though.

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post #1097 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ambesolman View Post

Is someone going to buy a new console to only be able to play the very few games that would be out at launch? What if they're not your type of games? Then you have a shiny new console with nothing to play on it except for (presumably) whatever you have or could download from the ps store until a game you like comes out. BC's been there at the launch of each new console so I can't see them not having some way of playing old games. If that's not the case then there'd be no reason to buy one until a game you like comes out. I waited until the price dropped on the 60g before I bought mostly due to price, but if it didn't have BC I'd have waited on games I liked to come out before plunking down $500.

If someone's not going to buy a new console to play the new launch games, then I certainly don't seem them plunking down the money for a new console to play old games.

I think BC helps sell a console for multiple reasons. IMO one of the bigger reasons it helps, that I think hasn't been mentioned yet, is that it makes it possible for people with a lot of older gen games to sell/trade-in their old console to help subsidize the cost of the new console, while not abandoning their existing library of games. Obviously for Sony (or Microsoft) it's a cost-benefit analysis. Will they sell enough additional consoles due to the presence of BC, to cover the cost of including BC in every single console. I think the stronger the launch line-up of new games is, the less BC matters. I also think BC is most important in the first six months or so.

As to whether or not I think BC will be present in the PS4, I'd say it's 50/50 at this point. I think it really comes down to the cost-benefit analysis above. They're not going to include it just to make a few people happy, it needs to be the best business decision. Though, knowing Sony they'll also try to be thinking about more than just strictly short-term profits at launch. They'll also consider how they think it will affect sales momentum and gaining a lead, which will be important in a socially connected world (you want to be able to play with your friends, right? Ok, maybe not you (general, not ambesolman), but some other people will find it important to play with their friends...). Gaining a lead can also be important for negotiating exclusives, though it's hard to say what the future of exclusives will be for independent publishers/studios.

I do think that there will definitely not be an add-on for BC. I don't think the add-on could really be priced much lower (if it could even be priced lower at all) than the trade-in value of a PS3. That would have to be the upper price limit of an add-on for it to make sense for most people. I don't think they'd be able to hit that price, especially at the numbers that an add-on would sell at. It would have to have phenomenal volume to get the economies of scale necessary to hit that price point. The add-on will be "keep your PS3", or "buy a super-super slim PS3" once they drop in price again after the PS4 launch. That's your add-on. I also don't think I've seen any mention of an add-on in any of the reputable rumors. The only mentions of add-ons have been on the wish-lists of forum posters who really wish there would be some sort of BC. I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble, but I just don't see it happening.

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post #1098 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 06:14 PM
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Here's one of the places I've first read it. Heck, perhaps they are being tricked but interesting read nonetheless at least for entertainment purposes. It's also true that Sony could have originally planned it and scrapped the idea.
http://dualpixels.com/2012/11/29/rumor-behind-the-scenes-with-first-party-hardware-and-third-party-softwear-next-gen/
"Omni is also part of their philosophy with the new OmniCloud, the new version of Gaikai [Gaitai Spelling Error Fixed]. This service will not only cloud stream PS1, PS2 and select PS3 games to Playstation Certified devices but will also allow every digital and retail purchase to have access to a copy on the cloud. Basically, you buy one game, you can use it on any Plyastation device. Direct hardware Backwards Compatibility will be available by a $70 – $99 dongle that is plugged into the Omni that contains a PS3 on a chip with Cell to run games."

I'm not so sure it would need to be a bit over $100 to be profitable enough. Wouldn't the most expensive component be the Cell processor? and how much are they going for "currently"? Plus would it really be a lot for R&D?
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post #1099 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 06:41 PM
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The entire PS3 Super Slim costs under $200 to build at wholesale. The 20nm range reduction should happen this year which will reduce costs considerably once it happens.

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post #1100 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 06:45 PM
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The entire PS3 Super Slim costs under $200 to build at wholesale. The 20nm range reduction should happen this year which will reduce costs considerably once it happens.

Just the bare cell chip at 20nm is probably $20. It's a cost, but its not insurmountable. Early adopters are willing to pay more anyway.

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post #1101 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 06:45 PM
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BC always sounds like a big deal to me but I don't think I've ever even used it. If it's going to add significantly to the cost I'd rather they drop it.
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post #1102 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 09:21 PM
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I heard the PS4 is backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games. It's only a rumor at this time, but it seems likely.
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post #1103 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 09:25 PM
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I heard the PS4 is backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games. It's only a rumor at this time, but it seems likely.
I heard speculation it may be forwards compatible with Xbox 720 games too. Finally, my dream of One Console to Rule Them All! (add maniacal laugh)
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post #1104 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 10:07 PM
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Remember the person who made a 360 emulator for the PS3 just months after launch and made a video of Gears on the PS3? I wonder if they can do the same for the PS4?

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post #1105 of 1994 Old 02-07-2013, 11:44 PM
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wow.... These guys are amazing with their creativity, lol....
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post #1106 of 1994 Old 02-08-2013, 05:15 AM
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I'd really like to see if they incorporate the Vita into the PS4 somehow, as others have mentioned. I currently don't have a Vita, but I'd be more open to buying one if I knew it would buy me something w/ the PS4.
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post #1107 of 1994 Old 02-08-2013, 05:49 AM
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post #1108 of 1994 Old 02-08-2013, 05:51 AM
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I think a pretty big point to think about with regards to BC is how much money Sony has made from the "HD" collections and re-releases of PS2 era games on the PS3. Although they were slow to get going with it, once they started releasing these "re-mastered" games we began to see more and more of them coming out. For the first party developers, I'm sure that they've had access to the Dev Kits for the PS4 for quite a while now, and I wouldn't be surprised if Sony suggested that they port over some of the code from the PS3 titles so that they could be re-released as a new product for the PS4.

I don't play videogames nearly as often as I used to when I was younger (jobs and real-life tend to get in my way), but there are some games that I love to play over and over again. Games like any of the God of War titles for which I have two of their "re-release" collections. (GoW 1, GoW 2, CoO, and GoS). I'm almost certain that Sony knows die-hard fans of any series of games would be willing to buy them once more in order to play them on the PS4 if some type of new features or presentation is added. For third party developers, things may be a bit more iffy. It took quite a while for Kojima to release the Metal Gear collection out for the PS3, and I highly doubt we'd see a re-release of MGS4 on the PS4. Still, if the $$$$$ is big enough, anything can happen.

Now for series of games like the Rock Band genre, the ability to use those games and their DLC on the PS4 involves more than just technical issues. The RIAA is absolute hell to deal with, and they likely would ask for a boat ton of money in order for their songs to be able to played on another console. With the music genre of games now a small little niche and not the widespread fad it was a few years back, I just don't see those types of games and DLC being playable on the PS4 unless full BC is put in there. In addition, I don't see the developers of those games investing all the money to re-license the songs and port over the code to the PS4 when the cost would be far greater than the money they could bring in.

Myself, I do not plan on getting a PS4 until there are some games out there which simply blow me away and I have no way to play them without a PS4. Games such as MLB The Show, or a new Metal Gear Solid game, or a new God of War game, or some new franchise that I haven't played before but really am interested in. Even then, I would likely not pick up the first iteration of a game like MLB The Show on the PS4 as I'm sure there will be "issues" with the transition.

Now if the system comes out reasonably priced and with nice features available, I may change my mind. I didn't get my PS3 until the MGS4 bundle came out and it was a very reasonable price.
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post #1109 of 1994 Old 02-08-2013, 06:32 AM
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I definitely don't think remakes and BC are mutually exclusive. It's the same audience. The same person who cares about playing their old games is the most likely to buy remakes.

I still have uncharted 1-3 on my shelf. Loved those games to death. I really want my PS4 to be able to play those games if I ever get the urge again, but I will insta-buy the HD remake collection, despite already owning them.

It's like when bluray came out - it just had to play DVDs, so not to invalidate my entire collection. Yet, I've rarely watched any of my DVDs, most of the stuff I'm interested in rewatching, I'd sell the DVDs and buy the blu-rays. But on the few occasions the blu-ray just didnt exist yet, I was glad that compatibility was there.

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post #1110 of 1994 Old 02-08-2013, 07:28 AM
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Sony told me that the decision for BC is coming from message boards.
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