: Sony: That Isn't Backwards Compatibility

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Sony: That Isn't Backwards Compatibility

Let me be clear about one thing:

I do like the idea of PS2 classics coming to PS4, even if they have to be in digital form. Getting Trophies, along with full support for features like Remote Play, Share Play, Activity Feeds, etc., is definitely a good thing as far as many gamers are concerned.

And let's face it, not everyone on the planet already owns all the games Sony will ultimately bring to their new machine. Sure, the first 8 are pretty common, I'm sure, but I'm willing to be there will be plenty of PS2 titles that you either don't still own or never played, and will be available on PS4 with all the bells and whistles.

There's nothing wrong with that. However, that ain't "backward compatibility," at least as far as I - and many others - are concerned. To me, backwards compatibility means a machine can play physical copies of old games we've already got. That's pretty much the point of this feature, isn't it? So we can play games we have in our library without buying them again or hooking up old consoles? It kind of defeats the entire purpose if we're only talking digital emulation. But the bad news doesn't end there, as we see clarified in this article: It doesn't even matter if you purchased a PS2 classic to play on your PS3; even that won't work on your PS4, so theoretically, you'd have to buy the game a second time. ...a hard pill to swallow if that disc is sitting in your collection, which would actually mean you bought the same game three times.

Perhaps Sony never used the term "backward compatible" when announcing this feature for PS4. Maybe only gamers and journalists have. If that's the case, we're the ones at fault. Either way, though, this is not backwards compatibility. Just wanted to make that abundantly clear.

12/4/2015 Ben Dutka

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Comments (49 posts)

Cesar_ser_4
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 10:58:44 PM
Reply

Hehehe, I thought so... I don't know how anyone could have gotten the idea from a PS2 game that had to be DOWNLOADED to play and not a matter of inserting the disc. In any case, I knew Sony would charge for that.

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 7:51:24 AM

Well, good for you.
Now you can go back to putting on your imaginary Mensa pointy-cone cap, all the while strutting once again in front of your corner mirrors!

"It must be really spike up your serotonin level to a grand 1/2 percent to be such a legend in your own mind"

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Cesar_ser_4
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 1:49:00 PM

Would you like some fries with that salt?

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BikerSaint
Monday, December 07, 2015 @ 6:17:31 PM

Yes please!

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bigrailer19
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:06:24 PM
Reply

I think it's the media's fault. Never heard or read Sony say it particularly.

However I disagree. It's still backwards compatibility. Doesn't matter how it's flipped, it's playing games from a previous generation. But that really doesn't even matter. Call it whatever, it doesn't change the fact.

I think this is more about having to buy games a second time possibly more, to play it again. I get that but at some point consumers need to make a decision. I'm not sure at what point I'd buy a game a third time just to play it on a new console. This is surely more for those who want to have access to those games because they currently do not.

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bigrailer19
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:20:09 PM

I gotta add though that the prices are a little extreme. I'm not sure any of them should be over $10. But that's just me.

I also want to mention PS Now, although I havnt seen these older games, it's quite enticing. The reason I bring it up is because Sony is going to great lengths to give gamers, all gamers access to an incredible library through these two processes. If anything Sony should be commended for this attempt rather than try and downplay what they are doing because it doesn't fit a description of backwards compatibility to some.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 12/4/2015 11:23:05 PM

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Cesar_ser_4
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:26:39 PM

Not exactly bigrailer, it seems as though Sony is doing what Microsoft did with the 360 games, recompiling them, and to some extent did a little more than just that, so technically it isn't backwards compatibility.

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bigrailer19
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:44:35 PM

Like I said you can call it what you want. Doesn't change the fact that you can play games from another generation.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:50:21 PM

By that definition all PS3s were 100% backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games.

It isn't compatible with old games, old games are being made compatible with it. Different imo.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 12/4/2015 11:52:45 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:55:31 PM

Sorry bigrailer but by your definition, the term "backwards compatibility" has no meaning. The idea behind it has always been, from the PS2 days, that you could put games you already own into a new system and play them. That's what it means.

Basically what World said.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:18:58 AM

And what difference does it make? I never gave it a definition, Im.just stating the obvious here: it plays older games.

Because the industry called it something back then, doesn't mean the function isn't the same. All that's changed is the process by which new consoles play those games.

Like I said you can call it whatever you want, the outcome is the same.

When you go so far to say "backwards compatibility" means, "that you could put games you already own into a new system and play them", to me that's more manufactured than the meaning of the phrase. Back then that's what the technology awarded. Break that phrase down and it's simple: you can play older games. Backwards: previous generation games. Compatibility: new system being able to play those previous games. The caveat is that it doesnt matter how those games are played; digital, physical, it's the fact that you can play those games.

Times have changed...

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 12/5/2015 12:35:19 AM

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bigrailer19
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:58:27 AM

World - I see your point. That's a good explanation. I'm not trying to argue here. I'm just trying to find the logic in this.

I think it comes back to nostalgia and being able to physically put a disc in a new console like Ben said. There's a lot that comes with that; not having to buy the game again, having an all in one system, etc...

Regardless of how it's done though, consumers are able to play those old games. I don't understand why we, as consumers aren't more excited about that.

But to go back to my original post, I don't remember Sony ever saying the PS4 was backwards compatible which is why I say call it what you want. But in the end, those games can be played.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 2:46:40 AM

no sweat homie, just debating concepts.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 11:42:20 AM

So, just because I can play all the old Final Fantasy games on the original PlayStation, it's backwards compatible? I have Final Fantasy Origins, Final Fantasy Chronicles, and Final Fantasy Anthology and as they're old SNES games with a few minor updates, that qualifies, right? I mean, as you say, it's a "new system playing old games."

In point of fact, it's not. I can't put my SNES cartridge in the PlayStation and have it work, so it's not backwards compatible.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 12/5/2015 11:42:43 AM

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Cesar_ser_4
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 1:51:04 PM

Playing an SNES game off of a Playstation is modding, Ben.

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Bio
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 2:18:30 PM

It's called backward compatibility for a reason. The PS4 is only 'backward compatible' if the console is designed, via hardware or firmware, to read data from a legacy system. Doesn't matter if that data is physical (disc) or digital (download).

Sony is re-releasing HD versions of PS2 games in 1080p with trophy support, among other things. They are not releasing legacy content, and the PS4 is not designed to play legacy content. These are games literally and specifically designed to run on non-legacy systems. It's not really an 'open to interpretation' kind of thing. Words have meanings, and the content Sony is releasing cannot be defined as backwards compatible.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 2:43:18 PM

Who said anything about modding?

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Crabba
Monday, December 07, 2015 @ 4:22:22 PM

Exactly Bio, when you get to the fanboy point of trying to redefine the meaning of words then it's about time to lay off the KoolAid...

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gamer4lifexxx
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:24:09 PM
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i don't see the big deal.. it can play ps2 game. and for those of us that never had a ps2(like me) it's great that this is a feature.. not sure why people are complaining

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bigrailer19
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:44:57 PM

Exactly!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:49:36 PM

You are the only audience fine with it. If you got a PS2 classic on PS3 you have to buy it again. If you have the PS2 disc you have to buy it again. If you want the PS4 to render the game better than the PS2 could (as any PC can) then you are out of luck.

This is worse than nothing.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:21:39 AM

If you have the PS2 game put it in the PS2 to ply it. If you don't have a PS2 but kept the game, put it in your first gen PS3. If you don't have that but have a PS4 now is your chance to buy it to play on your new system.

Like I said this clearly isn't intended to get people to buy the same game 2 or even 3 times. This is for people who havnt had access to these games. It's a bonus for people like myself who got rid of previous generation consoles and games.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:53:56 AM

Most actually have had access and will be buying 2 or 3 times. You don't sell old games to new people often. You sell them to people who enjoyed them at one time who want to relive it.

PS2 on an HD TV is too ugly to deal with, I've tried all the upconversions. We know there's more information inside the game, it should be Sony that brings it out instead of doing exactly what they did last generation and acting like it's new.

PS2 emulation is not perfect but the second generation software PS2 emulator on PS3 supported almost all games. On PC only a handful of hackers with spare time have tried to pull off great emulation. Sony should be able to do it easily since its their own proprietary programming.

That could all be in an update to the system. You can't tell me they can't at least show us the ugly version like the PS3 did. I would just hope for more now that the architecture has advanced.

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bigrailer19
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 1:03:08 AM

That's far too complicated for me. I would think that if it was financially doable, and they could make I appealing to the consumer both in the aspect of being able to play physical copies of old games and price, they would do it. I think Sony realized early in the PS3 era the extra cost wasn't worth it.

But them being able to still give the opportunity to play old games by this means, is a huge bonus to consumers because it gives them options. They don't have to spend x amount of dollars on a system that supports it. Rather they can by choice spend a little more money on the games themselves to play them on the new system.

As far as older physical games go, I have none left. I sold everything to buy the PS4. I'd be happy to buy older PS2 games, should I find one I really wanted to play. As of right now, I'm good. The games I wanted on PS2 I played the crap out of.

And you might be right in that consumers like you and I would be more interested in the older games than say a new customer. But I don't think Sony is targeting one over the other.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 12/5/2015 1:08:00 AM

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TomBradySucks
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 9:54:46 AM

I look forward to buying these games a 4th time on the PS5.....in 4K!!!!!!

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frylock25
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:24:26 PM
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i still have all the gta's for ps2. it would be cool to play an updated version with better graphics and trophies. $45 to get all 3 games is not a "bad" price. not looking to get these any time soon but just might get them one day. that was a good list of games to start with.

i honestly think this is a good idea though. sony needs money. there are a lot of gamers that werent even old enough to play ps2 games that are playing on ps4s. you dont have to buy anything but if you want a game for you ps4 its been givin some treatment, which i think makes it worth the money.

Sony puts all this money every generation into making all these exclusives we all think are so great why shouldnt they try to resell them later on IF they are going to polish them up a little. i would love to see every single game from sony on the psn available to download and with trophies. obviously some old games it wont happen. then they are always available and ps5 can play all of the games as well...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:51:31 PM
Reply

Perhaps decent business sense, but definitely enraging for people who hoped they could put their disc in and have it emulated. That would have been ideal, not hard, and something people would pay for. So are all the PS1 classics we already bought up next?

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Mdash0009
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:03:17 AM

That is hard. PS2 emulation has still not been perfected. Emulation is a complicated process, they would need the PS2's architecture to perfect it 'easily'. I don't care that this isn't B/C, we get it in HD with trophies, something we couldn't get through emulation. And no, they already have PS1 classics in the store, so they already have done it (without trophies or HD).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:55:03 AM

PS3 second gen software emulation only didn't run a few games. The PS4 should be able to take care of it easy and then some.

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xnonsuchx
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 4:46:20 AM

WEWM - The glitchiness of PS2 emulators for PCs shows how difficult it is to accurately emulate the PS2 hardware no matter how powerful the host system is. If it's not near perfect, people are going to complain. Also, the PS3 second gen PS2 emulation wasn't software only...it was part software (the Emotion Engine) and part hardware (an actual PS2 Graphics Synthesizer chip).

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DemonNeno
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 5:59:29 AM

Agreed. It's one thing for independent developers to try and code PS2 emulation without Sony's help, but that's not the case. They've already done this on the PS3, which can't be easier to do than the PS4. In fact, I guarantee you that coding for the current gen would yield better results.

Now, PS3 backwards compatibility would be a huge hassle.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 11:16:58 AM

That's not what I read, they said they removed the PS2 chip. PC emulators are made by amateurs in any case. Admirable ones, but amateurs.

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Mdash0009
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:16:16 PM

Can't believe you just called the amateurs World. You have to be pretty good (know systems) to be able to emulate a console. Sony has a much better chance at it because they're the ones who built the system for the PS2, so yeah they'll look like they had no trouble to get it compared to the PC emulators others make. And yeah, the PS3 had that chip removed, don't know why you said it has emulation. I don't think the PS4 has it either. PS2 classics are emulated, but there's a reason not all are in store or the discs playable - they haven't perfected the emulation.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 1:11:03 PM

I said PS3 had emulation because it did, after the chip was removed. Now maybe there was still something in there and I'm wrong but they called it "software emulation" their words not mine.

I called the emulator makers amateurs because they are not employed to make these products nor are they privy to every aspect of the systems, only what they can glean from hacking the system. If Sony were to do it I think (just my opinion) that they could do it in a software update. It's not monetarily beneficial though.

I know emulation is difficult, but it really depends on who is working on it. The Dreamcast SNES emulators still cant get to 100% but it can run Metal Gear Solid, Tekken 3, and Gran Turismo 2 from PS1 with a higher resolution and better frame rate. That tells me somethin'

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xnonsuchx
Sunday, December 06, 2015 @ 7:47:45 AM

WEWM - Unfortunately, they don't tend to use "hybrid" when referring to a combination of software emulation and hardware, and if any part is software emulation, the whole thing is sometimes considered so. Just comparing motherboard chipset differences, the original hardware PS2-compatible units had a chip that said "EE+GS" on it (combining both PS2 chips into one), the 80GB PS2-compatible model had a different chip in its place that just had a part # and no reference to its function, and any non-PS2-compatible units didn't have any such kind of chip in it. I can comfortably guarantee you that the 2nd gen PS2 compatibility used software emulation for the PS2 Emotion Engine CPU while using a physical PS2 Graphics Synthesizer GPU that the PS3 RSX chip just had to upconvert the resolution for (if selected). Another issue, though, is that supposedly some developers (esp. for later PS2 titles) bypassed the standard API and did some direct hardware access to improve graphics/performance over what standard development tools provided. "Weirdness" that happens from that is more often hard to duplicate via emulation.

Being more of a hardware geek than a gaming geek, I understand some of the limitations people get irked about. It's estimated that you need a host system at least 10x the overall power of the system being emulated (unless you have similar hardware) to come close to accurately emulating it, but some proprietary custom hardware can always prove to be problematic and even some well-documented and freely available hardware information can often result in considerably less than 100% accurate emulation. That's no excuse for Sony not at least offering PS(One) emulation on the PS4 like the PS2 and PS3 had, which is pretty darn decent emulation. Just like there was also no excuse for not having a media player at launch that could play audio/video files and CDs...and they made people wait a YEAR or so for that???

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Mdash0009
Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:59:18 PM
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I don't care, seeing Rogue Galaxy just made me so excited!
If you never played it, get it. It's a great game, so much good gameplay. It missed out on the PS2 days because the PS3 was already out for a year.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 12:02:37 AM

I hope it somehow has something to do with hopes of a new Rogue Galaxy from Level 5 because otherwise isn't that an ODD choice? It wasn't a well known game everyone fawned over at the time. I sure loved it. Felt like an anime.

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Temjin001
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 1:10:30 AM
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Yea, I agree. It's not backwards compatibility. They're much more like PS2 remasters made for digital only release.

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Corvo
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 1:52:23 AM
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I ain't complaining. I get to play PS2 games in 1080p with trophy support. That's all I give a shiz about.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 2:47:47 AM

Think they will be a lot or all of them or just a handful like PS3 has?

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DemonNeno
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 6:02:27 AM
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The whole idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth and agree with everything said in this article. Sony is fully capable of doing what would make new gamers and old gamers happy.

I'm tad disappointed and far less interested in the current offering.

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BikerSaint
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 8:08:50 AM
Reply

Sorry Sony,

I don't know if you actually touted it as BC or not, but I think that this is a super-bad sucker-deal for at least 90% of the gamers who already have their PS2 games on disc, such as myself(all 491 of them).

As for myself, there's just no freaking way that I'm ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, going to re-buy even 1 single solitary game that I already own in either, my 491 PS2 disc collection, or my 572 PS1 disc collection.

So, double PPPFFFFTTTTT on that.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 4:49:09 PM

Anybody who doesn't understand your view doesn't understand A. the mindset of the collector and/or B. the value of a dollar. ;)

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TrueAssassin86x
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 8:20:46 AM
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Sorry sony but you just failed backwards compatibility yet again. I think i'll just stick to my Xbox 1 for backwards compatibility and exclusives and my Ps4 for every thing else.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 11:17:45 AM
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"We will have PS2 classics" would have saved them all this confusion.

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matt99
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 11:47:55 AM
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I get the whole point of this is to make more money but can the PS4 not read a ps2 disc at all? I don't mean play a game off of it, but just enough verify that it is in fact Jak and Daxter (or whatever game) and then require you to have that disc in your ps4 when you play, even though you'll technically be playing a new downloaded version.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 1:24:30 PM

Good question. I bet it could, even if it can't that can be patched to look for the game ID number. I used to go through a lot to get my PS2 to recognize custom homebrew discs properly but it was easily doable once you know how.

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Cesar_ser_4
Saturday, December 05, 2015 @ 2:28:02 PM

Of course it does, except Sony won't allow it because what's to stop someone from making copies of that game and selling them? Sony is "smart" like that...

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Crabba
Monday, December 07, 2015 @ 4:49:44 PM
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I was actually really excited about this for a while there when it seemed like the PS4 might actually get proper PS2 BC, which didn't seem completely unlikely considering xbox1 just added 360 BC, great or not but at least they're trying & it's FREE. Now I'm just pissed off about the whole thing, and I'm sure as heck not gonna pay PS4-game prices for some old quick-cash-grab-port PS2-games.

Let's face it, it's not like this would be this big goldmine for Sony anyway, I don't see a huge line of people spending big bucks on two gens old games, but it COULD'VE been a great "For The Gamers" move getting good press & sell NEW PS4 systems if they actually had made it as proper PS2 BC.

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