EA Expects New Consoles Aren't Backwards Compatible

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EA Expects New Consoles Aren't Backwards Compatible

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A lack of backwards compatibility could mean that this console generation is far from over.

Backwards compatibility has been common for modern consoles ever since optical discs became the gaming delivery system of choice. For gamers, this is a good thing, as it provides customers with access to an extended library of launch titles while ensuring that classic system owners can play their games years later. In that context, launching a console with backwards comparability seems like a no-brainer. EA's chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen, on the other hand, is of the opinion that we probably shouldn't expect it for this upcoming generation. If that's the case, Jorgensen predicts that current generation sales will remain strong well into 2014.

"The reality is, is that fiscal year 2014 will still be a fairly large [current generation] if there's a console business that comes in at the tail end of the year," Jorgensen says. "An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible ... and if you [play] multiplayer on a game, you'll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation."

Jorgensen is likely referring to rumors that backwards compatibility would not be included in the PS4, which is a valid concern. Given how prominent online components are to modern games, full backwards compatibility would require console publishers to account for cross-play between systems, which is more complicated than simply giving away select Vita versions. For this reason, Jorgensen expects most EA players won't feel the need to upgrade their systems for another full year after the new consoles launch.

Jorgensen uses sports games, one of EA's biggest markets, to make his case. "A lot of our titles are built around sports calendars," Jorgensen explains, "And so a FIFA, a Madden, an NCAA, an NHL title, all come out aligned with the sports calendar. And if a next-gen console doesn't come out until next Christmas, most people won't wait ... If they all hold on and continue to play on third-generation, you'll probably not see that box purchase until after the soccer season's over."

In the long run, Jorgensen believes this is beneficial, because it will allow EA to generate profits simultaneously across two console generations. Perhaps he's right, but it could just as easily stall the growth of a new console generation as it faces competition from the Steam Box, Ouya, and ever-dying PC platform. We'll hopefully find out a little more on the prospects of backwards compatibility when Sony makes its might-be-a-console-announcement on February 20th.

Source: Gamasutra, via Eurogamer

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He has a point, if the rumors about no backwards compatibility turn out to be true. I'm certainly not going to rush out to buy the new Xbox console if all my Xbox 360 games can't be played on it. I don't have room in my room for many consoles, so I'd be getting rid of my 360 to get the new console. But I won't give up all my games and start my library over from scratch.

I had a good laugh at the "Ever-dieing PC platform" statment, thanks for that!

God I hope Sony and Microsoft don't do this. It seems like a very simple way to fuck themselves over, cause I'm sure as hell not buying whatever-the-hell-the-next-Xbox-is-called if I can't play all my old games on it.

Oh goody. One last reason for me to hate the heavy online focus of this generation. We'll get to look forward to Sony and Microsoft reselling previous-gen games on PSN and XBL, or maybe we can even look forward to them trying to justify the Uncharted Trilogy or Gears of War Trilogy discs in a couple years.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play Mario Galaxy on my WiiU and Dawn of War on my laptop. Because I can.

I hate to say it, but if the rumors are true, I will certainly not purchase a next-gen console. We've been trying to figure out how to monetize the internet for 22 years, and sadly, we've been going down this avenue for the past ten or so. The only way to really be heard is to speak with your dollars...

Engineering the backwards compatibility out of the ps3 with the blunt question of "do you really want backwards compatibility?" as "justification" made me not get the no brainer purchase the ps3 otherwise would have been.
Perhaps kicking loyal customers with your feet is "financially beneficial" in the short run but I do not see the benefit long-term.

well the ps3 to ps2 backwards compatibility was a limitation of the hardware but am i wrong in assuming that current technology should have far outpaced current gen consoles by now? if they have the ability to do software emulation and they don't include it it would seriously annoying.

loa:
Engineering the backwards compatibility out of the ps3 with the blunt question of "do you really want backwards compatibility?" as "justification" made me not get the no brainer purchase the ps3 otherwise would have been.
Perhaps kicking loyal customers with your feet is "financially beneficial" in the short run but I do not see the benefit long-term.

i think the justification was actually that to have the ps3 run ps2 games it had to have some ps2 hardware, and it was causing them to overheat constantly

Fanghawk:
[b][a href='/news/view/122114-EA-Expects-New-Consoles-Arent-Backwards-Compatible']

In the long run, Jorgensen believes this is beneficial, because it will allow EA to generate profits simultaneously across two console generations. Perhaps he's right, but it could just as easily stall the growth of a new console generation as it faces competition from the Steam Box, Ouya, and ever-dying PC platform. We'll hopefully find out a little more on the

Yep........ totally "ever dying"

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-09-23-nvidia-pc-revenue-will-surpass-console-in-2014

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/113262-PC-Games-Will-Outsell-Consoles-by-2014

Why is this still a myth that is being perpetuated?

Nvidia is even coming out with a console that runs off of a PC

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/121967-Nvidia-Demos-Borderlands-2-on-Project-SHIELD

heroicbob:

loa:
Engineering the backwards compatibility out of the ps3 with the blunt question of "do you really want backwards compatibility?" as "justification" made me not get the no brainer purchase the ps3 otherwise would have been.
Perhaps kicking loyal customers with your feet is "financially beneficial" in the short run but I do not see the benefit long-term.

i think the justification was actually that to have the ps3 run ps2 games it had to have some ps2 hardware, and it was causing them to overheat constantly

What I remember are reasons that don't even try to make that kind of sense.
So early fully backwards compatible ps3s overheated constantly? I thought that was a 360 thing.
Wasn't there a ps3 generation that had software based backwards compatibility?
I vaguely remember something like that.

If they expect consoles to not be backwards compatible, then don't expect my wallet (or purse for the ladies) to be forwards compatible. The reason I still play games from yesteryear is because I enjoy them and their replay value is higher than the lighting and texture resolution for the demo version of Aliens: Colonial Marines.

I play these games because I like to remind myself of a time when games had heart and soul put into them. Hell, the only reason I got a PS3 was for the games from the PS1 era. Games like Wild ARMs, Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Mana, Final Fantasy 4: The Complete Edition (yes I know this requires a PSP to play, hence why uncles are awesome!), Final Fantasy Tactics, Chrono Trigger, Grandia and the like. I own no physical copy of a game for the PS3. At all.

And if this is the direction that gaming companies want to take, then I can't wait for the whole gaming industry to crash again. Mainly because it seems, at this point, that's the only way we're going to make some headway in getting great games. Games that have a sense of innovation, creativity and awe. Not games that have a respectable demo and then the consumers get sold a pile of shit; not games where the lead writer says they're not going to end their series with a certain gimmick only to do so anyways; and, most certainly not games where a franchise gets an unneeded reboot, fans don't buy said reboot because they aren't interested in it and then the developers and publishers of said franchise blame their consumer base for not buying their unneeded reboot. And don't get me started on Kid Icarus - whenever anyone comes out and says, in all sincerity, "You're playing the game wrong" or anything else that blames anyone other than themselves, then you might as well kiss whatever good that was in that publisher/developer/whatever goodbye.

If an industry wide crash is necessary to destroy this kind of bullshit, I wholeheartedly await the coming of the destruction.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHsiufgndfanwefiorehnb;luinf;iowegs;iufbnvJKEfn...

[/rant]

I'm going to have a Captain Morgan Long Island Ice Tea now.

So, an EA exec has had the real scoop on the next gen consoles for at least six months to a year.

He's under NDA, so he can't tell you 'forget back compat, it's not in there.'

But he knows. So if he says 'most likely' he means 'hey stupid, listen up, it's definitely not in there'.

Since PS4 and X720 are using different CPUs than the current generation (if you believe the consistent rumors) then it's just too time consuming and expensive for either Sony or MS to bother with it, and neither of them really see games as the primary point of the console any more.

loa:
Wasn't there a ps3 generation that had software based backwards compatibility?

Here's the story - gather 'round, younguns, I was there.

1) Original PS3, sitting in my living room, had hardware PS2 compatibility by including... a PS2 chip. Since they felt at the time that back compat was important to move consoles. And yes, prone to overheating. I turn it off with the off switch so it isn't hot in the morning.

2) PS3 didn't initially sell as well as hoped, because it lacked great exclusives for years, so they were losing too much money. So they came out with the cost reduced PS3 which cut the PS2 chip (reportedly $20 or so) but had PS2 software compat.

3) The PS2 software compat had various issues, since software compat is hard.

4) Sony said, 'f@#4 it this is too much work and anyhow we need you to buy PS3 games, not play PS2 games' (true! except for the 'f@#4 it' - maybe on some internal memos, but not public). So they yanked the PS2 software compat.

5) PS4 reportedly has a sane CPU and architecture that is x86 based and not Cell based, so back compat would be insanely hard without adding a PS3 chipset into the PS4 and I don't think they're going there again.

Yeah... They may be right...
What I think they should do is up their online distribution platforms and make all previous console's games available for digital download. Everybody wins that way. We get to always be able to play our favourite games of times gone by (because much as I hate to admit it, backwards compatibility is becoming a hassle as the generations pile up) and they win because they get to sell all those games again.
But they'd need to put real effort into getting as many games as possible onto that platform, even if they're sold in bundles, like entire series, or everything by a single company from a certain year, and they'd of course need to make prices reasonable. I'd totally buy digital copies of my favourite PS1 games on the PS4 for 5 bucks a pop. They've got all these games lying around. Once they get a good platform up and running to make getting past titles out there online, they'd make a ton of dough from the nostalgia dollar compared to what they'd be spending to get those games in the online store.
I mean, it'd be a bit of a bitch to dig up certain really obscure titles, and... yeah some games would get complicated when working out who needs to be payed what, specially if those companies no longer exist... Hm... maybe it should be on sony to provide the publishers with the online service they need to put the games up for sale themselves.
I could see like...$20 for the crash bandicoot series. You can up a price a bit if you're selling entire collections. Obviously the more recent a game is the more expensive it is. Near the beginning of the next gen of consoles they could get away with charging full price for the most recent titles of this current generation. They shouldn't... but they could get away with it...
But think about it! This is the perfect solution to classic titles vanishing into history's cold embrace because nobody's got a working N64 anymore!

this is why The Master race is better: Software compatibility!

MorganL4:

Fanghawk:
[b][a href='/news/view/122114-EA-Expects-New-Consoles-Arent-Backwards-Compatible']

In the long run, Jorgensen believes this is beneficial, because it will allow EA to generate profits simultaneously across two console generations. Perhaps he's right, but it could just as easily stall the growth of a new console generation as it faces competition from the Steam Box, Ouya, and ever-dying PC platform. We'll hopefully find out a little more on the

Yep........ totally "ever dying"

*url snip*

Why is this still a myth that is being perpetuated?

Nvidia is even coming out with a console that runs off of a PC

*url snip*

I believe the "ever-dying PC" comment was meant as sarcasm; since people have been cying PC gaming is dying since forever.

OT: Is it weird that I don't want the next generation of consoles? My PC has become my all-in-one gaming platform. Yeah I miss out on some system exclusive games, but those are few and far between; even fewer are those that interest me. I get by just fine with Steam for current releases and a collection of emulators I've used to back up my library of disc based games from previous generations.

Maybe it's just because I'm getting older, but the majority of what's being released today I just don't want to play. As a result I find myself more and more retreating to my catalog of older games, or indie games that capture some aspect of older gaming.

Here's the deal with backwards compatibility.
Currently TVs are mostly HDReady. Some FullHD, some SD. So we're talking HDMI port and 720p.
Now, it's one thing to replace a box under your TV and another to put another box there that will take another HDMI slot. It worked with PS3, because 1)first PS3s were backwards-compatible and 2)it was a move from SD 480p to 720p-1080p.
But this time? It just won't work.

They'd have to have a killer launch line-up to be able to pull this off, they know as well as we do that backwards-compatibility at launch drives sales

"Waah, Im not going to buy a new console because I can't play my old games even though I have a console capable of playing them already."

Whatever. Let me know how that goes for you.

Do people still not realize how fucking expensive BC can be for consoles?

Good god, why do people think Sony stopped making PS3s backwards compatible? It's not because it was making them money, that's for damn sure.

I can believe this, BC sounds expensive and to be honest, everyone profited from HD rereleases.

Still if the PS4 has backwards compat. I'll buy it 100% (Although maybe still a year after release). If it doesn't, but has free online I'll still buy it. If it doesn't have either, then I'll take a hard look at the 720.

Although we all know that MS aren't going to have free online, and backwards compat. isn't so useful when I don't have any 360 games to start with, so in truth, Sony are probably safe

So... PC's are dying... again? Nobody talks about PC generations because there aren't any really. There aren't any instant phases or deaths that occur. I think you could say OS generations. But that's the OS, not the PC.

Just justification for squeezing more money out of consumers. I'll be happy with my PC port/emu thanks.

I suppose there would be one good benefit if the rumours about next gens consoles are true. I will finally get off my ass and get a decent PC to play games on.

Also, have EA fired their old staff and hired ones who actually understand their target audience. At least in the PR division anyway?

Considering I'm still buying and playing ps1 and ps2 games on my ps3 I doubt I'm going to be buying a ps4 if it doesn't have backwards compatibility with physical discs (I am so glad I got the 1st release ps3 seeing how they removed BC from the later models).

Okay, where is it? I'm more a console gamer, but I still have a computer, so...

image

Still, uhhh...my PS3 is backwards-compatible and where do these overheats come from? It's like the Yellow Light problem and I don't even know anyone who had that. HERE'S THE PROBLEM: Nobody cares what companies want. Customers want what customers want, and backwards-commpatibility is something you have to face because of the ever-growing list of games picked up over the years that won't go away. One reason the Vita isn't selling is because there is NOTHING ON IT and because it won't have much access to the PSP games people have been playing. The company may not like it, but the customer has spoken.

Speaking as someone who has always played on PC, never owned a console and REALLY looking forward to buying my first ever console from Microsoft/Sony (next gen obviously)...if they aren't backwards compatible with at least PS3/360 and PS2/Xbox games (tall order, I know) then I'm simply never buying a fucking console. Ever.

As a PC gamer I've never had to suffer from backwards compatibility bullshit, there's ALWAYS a way to make even the most ancient titles run on the newest computers/operating systems. Plus you can easily emulate PS1/PS2 games, that shit is unbeatable.
However since consoles don't offer anywhere near that much flexibility, I can't simply hack/tweak my way to make an older game work on it...the console company has full control. So they better cut the bullshit and make sure older games can run on their oh-so-amazing-new hardware.

It's the equivalent of a a bicycle that is perfectly functional despite being 30 years old, but today nobody can ride for some utterly contrived reason, and whenever they ask they are told "sorry, it's too old, you simply can't ride it!". Makes no fucking sense right? Yeah, so does the lack of backwards compatibility on newer hardware.

For PC nerds, imagine if USB3 was incompatible with USB2 ports. It would've caused an absolute shitstorm, I guarantee it. Almost nobody would adopt it for general use, it would've been even less used than Firewire and Thunderbolt.

well if new consoles arnt dont have BC then im not going to rush to buy them, i will at some point well into their cycle after a few price drops but definately not at the begining oh god no

In my experience, backwards compatibility is a myth:

PS3, no chance - I was too late getting a PS3 so got the rape version with no BC.
360, HA! - Ok if you only want to play a handful of classic games, don't for one instant think that any old XBox game will work.

I don't rely on it and never will - console manufacturer's don't want us to play old disks, they want us to go ''ohh, I remember that game, in fact I still have it, given that I supported these consoles in the early days and have a handsome collection of disks. I want to play it again, so I'll go an buy it all over again, because they deserve to be paid twice for some reason known only to them... it's great because any royalty agreements will be void or expired, so all that money goes to the copyright holder, not the talent that created the games we love.''

I rely on emulation and the App store for my nostalgia fix - if you have a handsome collection of games for a system, keep the system! - if it dies, replace it!. I think it's better to accept your fate as a gamer, make space for old consoles, buy a shelf unit and have them all sitting on that - tell the girlfriend/wife/partner to get over it and accept the jungle of cables in that corner - or take over the basement. It's the only way to keep your stuff these days - that or pay for it all over again, again, again, again.

It would be nice if the manufacturer's recognized hardcore gamers and collectors - and made a collectors edition of consoles, massive hard drives, backwards compatibility, maybe even some extra features like built in Action Replay, emulation, BC options like smoothing the screen or adding scanlines for authenticity. Now, that would make me sit up and take notice of these next gen consoles. Currently, I couldn't give a single solitary f... about them - I've taken to PC gaming because of the retardation of the console market... by that I mean Kinect of course.

When I was mostly a console gamer and my consoles didn't had backwards compatibility I used to sometimes store one of my newer consoles on a shelf and put out the older from a shelf and place it under the TV.
Later on when I started getting really bored of doing this,I started having 2 consoles both at the same time under the TV and I would only change their video cords whenever I needed it. Backwards compatibility wasn't really a stopper for me in getting new consoles.
But since I became a PC gamer I realized that things can be much more convenient. Because PCs have unlimited backwards compatibility. I can still play my old copy of Duke Nukem 3D from 1996 (17years ago) on my Windows 7 PC and have it installed on the drive. It's even better when the fans community of a game make on their own their own updates for games, so I can for example play Duke 3D at 1080p with high resolution texture pack.
It just makes things more convenient.

well duh. if the new games consoles are backwards compatibility they can't make even more money selling you games you already own via download services.

surg3n:
In my experience, backwards compatibility is a myth

it may be many things but it's not "a myth".

there's no reason at all consoles can't emulate prior generations. it's not particularly hard to write an emulator especially if you are as technically familiar with the hardware as the actual hardware manufacturers.

We of the Glorious PC Master Race welcome you, Console Peasants into the realm of PC gaming where backward compactability is eternal, or at least as long as Microsoft allows us to use old DirectX engines (directX 11 does not come with Directx 4 and 5 compatibility, curse you microsoft, i was unable to play a total of 1 games because of this, that is, until i installed a XP virtualbox which is free of charge.).

Frankly, i HOPE PS4 wont have backward compactability.
Why? because that means they have to emulate PS3 ram handling, or worse, have a similar system. It is one of the worst hardware design failures this century.

FalloutJack:
Okay, where is it? I'm more a console gamer, but I still have a computer, so...

image

Image has spore. this game should never be shown anywhere. your argument is invalid.

Mr. Omega:
Oh goody. One last reason for me to hate the heavy online focus of this generation. We'll get to look forward to Sony and Microsoft reselling previous-gen games on PSN and XBL, or maybe we can even look forward to them trying to justify the Uncharted Trilogy or Gears of War Trilogy discs in a couple years.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play Mario Galaxy on my WiiU and Dawn of War on my laptop. Because I can.

Well Nintendo is inevitably going to bring Gamecube titles to the virtual console, but they'll be cheap, and a lot of good gamecube titles are not cheap things to hunt down these days.

HOnestly no backwards compatibility is gonna suck, it's why I took so long to get a PS3 _ I'll also definately not be getting the next Xbox if I can't hunt down every Halo game and play them in one place. Maybe the recent signs towards PC ports are a sign I'll get that anyway.

At any rate, I'ma go play Skyward Sword on my Wii U :P

Edit: I'm not likely to sell off my PS3 when/if I get a PS4 anyway because shitty trade in prices. So it's not a huge deal to me, I'll just be waiting until I h ave a bigger TV with more plugs in the back and more space for hardware. Unless the new consoles are of similar size to the gamecube, I simply don't have the space right now.

Strazdas:
Image has spore. this game should never be shown anywhere. your argument is invalid.

I thought most people were bemoaning the inclusion of Duke Nukem Forever these days, although the image predates the release of the game.

Either way, the image has Uplink and therefore should be shown everywhere. Partly as a great acknowledgement of the indie scene, and partly because the game is awesome.

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