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Sony Boss Says PlayStation 5 Isn't An Inevitability, It's An "If"

We're just so used to hearing about the next console in a sequence, it's a shock to hear the word "if."

While many still assume Sony will eventually produce a PlayStation 5, the company isn't ready to talk about it. In fact, they're not even willing to say they'll make a fifth home console.

Game Informer's Lorne Lanning revealed he had a private dinner with Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida during this year's DICE event (as cited by Attack Of The Fanboy) and the following exchange took place:

"I said, ‘What does the PlayStation 5 look like?’ And he said, ‘You mean if…’ And I was like, ‘Whoa. Are you willing to say that on stage?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, it’s an if.'"

We keep hearing about the updated PS4 and Xbox One consoles (the latest report said Sony's upgraded machine will be significantly more powerful), so maybe Sony and Microsoft believe the new units will keep going for a while. And don't forget that lots of experts and analysts think this is the final generation of consoles, that the industry will ultimately want to give consumers a universal machine that plays all games (like any movie player plays all movies).

Could PS4 be the last PlayStation console? If so, what do you expect to see in the future?

Tags: playstation 5, ps4, ps4.5, ps4k

4/20/2016 9:16:32 PM Ben Dutka

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Temjin001
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 9:37:40 PM
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I have little doubt we may not see a PS5, but I do doubt either Sony or MS will be willing to give up the truck load of cash they rake in every year from PSN or Xbox Live. The existence of these services suggest to me a universal platform just ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/20/2016 9:38:03 PM

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 1:40:18 PM

Yeah, no universal platform for sure, and we already know from PlayStation Now that even with great Internet bandwidth and latency, there are limits to what can be done with 'gaming as a service'.

As long as there are games that require real time input, we'll need games to be running locally.

Imagine if you were playing a game like street fighter against someone in Japan, and both of you were running it through PlayStation Now. When you press the button on your controller, your local console handles the input and sends it to the game server that's running the game for you. So multiple Internet hops happen and then the server get's the input, handles it, and streams the resulting movements back to you. At the same time, the server sends the control input to the game server running the game for your opponent, potentially a few more hops, then that server handles the input and streams the movement to your opponent. More network hops, through their firewall and then onto their screen. Think about the huge amount of lag involved in all of that. Given how sensitive some gamers are to framerates and controller lag, I can't see gaming as an online service really succeeding for games with the need for tight controls.

We'll need some hardware and software at home to run games locally, and make the peer to peer connections needed for PvP fighting games (for example).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 10:29:43 PM
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Things may be dirtier than we imagine. We could be talking about a single Playstation that drops the numbers and just upgrades every 2 years like the PS4K, occasionally leaving behind certain pieces of software as incompatible.

I know there isn't a ton of profit for either Sony or MS in gaming but would they really just drop all their studios, stop making games, stop making hardware, kill PSN, and walk away?

If we are talking a universal console then you basically already have one, the PS4. Nintendo will never let go and MS is all but doomed in this industry.

So, why "if"? I look forward to finding out.

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Bio
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 11:49:02 PM

There's no reason why older games would end up incompatible. Most of the problems with older PC games have to do with changing operating systems, because Windows isn't designed around gaming. Even then, there are maybe 1 or 2 games in my Steam library which flat out don't work at all anymore, and maybe 2 or 3 more which require some weird workarounds. The remaining 315 or so work flawlessly, even the ones that were released back in the 90s.

Sony would have an even easier time of it, since they'd still be dealing with a closed system, of which they are in complete control.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:47:23 AM

You just agreed with me man :)

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Bio
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:56:08 AM

With the general notion that it's possible to go that route, sure, but my point was mainly that such a scenario would not necessarily require older games to be obsoleted by newer hardware.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 11:12:06 AM

You did say that some would be though. In fact I think I had a brain malfunction. What I really meant to articulate was that some games would "left behind" in that old Playstation systems simply can't play new games and so they are incompatible with those who haven't upgraded.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 4/21/2016 11:14:05 AM

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HANZ64
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 11:28:04 AM

^ No. If anything old games should run smoother and overall better on newer consoles.

Consoles are PC's now. It's no longer how it was back then, where there was a genuine hardware limitation (e.g. trying to play a Blu-ray PS3 game on a PS2 that only supports DVD discs...)

On top of that, games are digitally available now, so there is no genuine reason for older games to be locked out of newer consoles.

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wackazoa
Friday, April 22, 2016 @ 10:51:37 AM

Actually, with the PC at least, there is a site that recodes old games to work on new systems. GOG. If the consoles open up their systems, it is entirely feasible that something like that could be done with their games as well. However it would take money from the pockets of Sony and Microsoft. So probably never happen.

However console becoming more like a PC is a GOOD thing for the consumer. To say otherwise is a bit ignorant.

Last edited by wackazoa on 4/22/2016 10:52:00 AM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 11:26:54 PM
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I doubt it. We will see a PS5. Just a matter of when.

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newchef
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:04:54 AM
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they're gonna make another console. However im taking it as it might not be called Playstation then. Maybe they'll use the old PS VR name and start calling it Morpheus or something like that

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tes37
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:22:22 AM
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Lorne's second question should've been, 'What does the "If" look like'?

It has a nice ring to it. The playstation If. I think the playstation 5 sounds better, but I'm not a marketing expert.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:50:45 AM

That would have been an incredibly creative journalistic question right? We need video game journalists who behave like that a bit more. Our press is terrible at pushing these companies for information. They are basically in bed because without being treated decently by the main company, no gaming offshoot entity like an IGN can survive. So they have to just eat the "We don't comment on rumors and speculation" bit without further investigation.

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FAREEZ
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 1:25:46 AM
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What if Sony skip PS5 and go straight to PS8K...

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tes37
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 1:36:04 AM

I think it's reasonable to assume that they're planning to take the joy out of gaming and give us a Workstation. Sounds terrible at first but it will get worse the more you think about it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 11:14:56 AM

Just call it a PCStation and be done with it!

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TrueAssassin86x
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 7:46:39 AM
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Maybe they'll go the nintendo route Ladies and gentleman i give you the *NEW* PlayStation 4.

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HANZ64
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 10:35:32 AM
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OH MY GOD! I KNEW IT!

Ok let me calm down lol.

So basically it's official guys, consoles have transformed into PC's...

However I still think there will be a 'next' console and I'm pretty sure that they will call it PS5. I just think that from PS4 onwards, nobody will have to worry about 'backwards compatibility' anymore because they will all work (just like how old games work on a PC).

This can only be a good thing actually.

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 11:39:09 AM
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If that means that the old games collection no longer dies with the console when a new one is purchased, I'd say this is a huge step in the right direction. That always was my biggest peeve with consoles.

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Jawknee
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 11:50:08 AM
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This desire for a "universal" system is retarded. The industry needs competition. Otherwise it will go down the path of mediocrity. There's a reason Samsung and Apple make cool devices. Each offer a unique experience to the user.

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HANZ64
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:32:00 PM

We already have a 'universal system'.

It's called the PC.

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:43:31 PM

Universal hardware is an idea that's been thoroughly discredited time and again. I also would not call PCs universal hardware because it's more about Windows and x86 being universal, GPUs come and go with low level drivers sitting under Direct X. It's not really a universal hardware platform. It's more a software environment, but even that is fractured.

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Jawknee
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 4:00:59 PM

I don't use a PC because Apple makes a better computer for my graphic design needs and I much prefer their OS to Windows.

Last edited by Jawknee on 4/21/2016 4:03:36 PM

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wackazoa
Friday, April 22, 2016 @ 11:02:30 AM

I would agree that a PC is not "universal hardware". A PC is "open hardware". You can choose your OS, your CPU, your GPU, your storage device, your case, your....... So that makes it open in the sense that it is yours to do with/make how you want. Also dont discuss Universal and PC right now, Windows is in a bit of hot water on that.

As far as competition, "open", encourages competition. Thats why you can go on newegg (or Amazon) and find millions of PC parts. Yet there are only (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) 3 consoles.

I dont mind Apple's smaller product's (I have an iPhone, iPad, iPod and maybe latter Apple TV) but unless you do production for business, their computers are overpriced and just not as good. And honestly their prices would come down if they had a bit more competition in their field.

Last edited by wackazoa on 4/22/2016 11:03:33 AM

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Cesar_ser_4
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 12:54:13 PM
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Wouldn't it be that if they make a PS5/Xboxwhatever, is because they've come up with a new architecture? I mean, where do you go from x86? And we all know that an incremental upgrade in processing power and memory isn't enough to warrant a full number change. So yeah, Sony may have hit the ceiling.

Last edited by Cesar_ser_4 on 4/21/2016 12:58:50 PM

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 1:28:58 PM

Think about this, 4K screens are truly at the limit of human vision. Even full HD 1080p screens are close on that, depending on your viewing distance.

I've seen people mention *K almost jokingly, and they should continue to keep 8K resolution in the joke region.

But what I am gettign at is that the ceiling on games is not the hardware as such, it's the resolution. Once we have systems capable of 4K at 60fps, there is really no need to go any higher. Personally, I'd question the need to go beyond 1080p60. But since we know that most people's vision and their ability to perceive detail rests somewhere between 1080p and 2160p resolutions. Beyond that it's pointless.

On the other hand, let's say that you can continue throwing better and better GPU/CPU hardware at gaming. If we are no longer pushing resolution higher, which we really won't need to do in future, I see a greater focus on physics, particle effects, image quality, filtering, aliasing, and so forth. Beyond that real time ray tracing.

Without an upgrade to our eyes, resolution beyond 4K is absolutely pointless. Image quality, and elements such as real time ray tracing may be the console industry 'battle grounds' of the future.

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 3:41:00 PM

Should be 8K not *K...

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Beamboom
Friday, April 22, 2016 @ 5:46:48 AM

Resolution is directly related to screen size and distance. it's not pointless when the screen is large enough.

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gumbi
Friday, April 22, 2016 @ 11:17:54 AM

I have a 120" screen in my home theater with a 1080p projector. You have to sit uncomfortably close to the screen for pixelation to be noticeable. So it stands to reason that you'd pretty much have to be on top of it to notice pixelation at 4K. Going beyond 4K is pointless, regardless of screen size. At a comfortable viewing distance from any size screen, whether it's 30" or 3000", anything beyond 4K will not be noticeable. Until we get cyborg eyes, the human race doesn't need anything beyond 4K.

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 1:22:09 PM
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I don't think PS4 will be the last PlayStation generation. But I do think that there is something new coming sooner or later. Instead of a sequentially numbered platform release every 5-7 years, I think that Sony could go to a more granular approach of a new hardware revision every 2 years.

I think that Sony would be well advised to continue producing PlayStation hardware, but they should de-couple the concept of the PlayStation itself from the hardware. That's not to say that just any hardware could run "The PlayStation". It should still be Sony's platform.

But, if they separate the software environment from the hardware, they can update the hardware as many times as they like without hurting the software. This would be different from the PC cycle because the hardware upgrades come entirely from Sony. We would have to rethink things slightly when comparing platforms, so Sony would have to have some benchmark applications that really stress the hardware allowing the performance of the hardware to be uniformly categorized for consumers.

That would allow Sony to set minimum performance targets for games running on "The PlayStation" using each of the hardware specs they have on the market. Similar to the way Sony is mandating certain performance targets for games on PS4 & PS4.5.

I mean, we really, really do not need to know how many cores, Compute Units, shaders, etc the thing has. Nor do we really need to know bandwidth, clock-speed, or anything else. The underlying hardware should be irrelevant, what matters is the real world performance.

What we do need to know whether the box we are buying can do 1080p, 3D, VR, 4K, or whatever other standard you want to mention. That would allow us to buy into "The PlayStation" at whatever level we want, and still run the same games.

So, think of a future where you can look at the PlayStation hardware and balance the specification you want vs the cost.

I'm thinking having either a 2 or 3 SKU structure. I lean towards a 3 SKU because developing markets such as South America, India, and Africa are far more price sensitive than mature markets like JP, NA and EU. That way Sony can have 3 standard hardware packages on the market all serving different segments, all running the same games.

This isn't a universal platform since "The PlayStation" environment is completely proprietary, and Sony keeps the hardware proprietary (based on industry standard components),so they can control the performance and ensure that "The PlayStation" runs properly on all 'consoles'.

In essence it's a virtual PlayStation engine completely owned by Sony running on closed hardware, again completely owned by Sony. Running on Closed hardware means that Sony can ensure minimum performance targets are met, and ensure compatibility is 100% across the board.

This would maintain the console ecosystem, and the walled gardens that make up the console business model. Considering how important PlayStation revenue is to Sony, They'll tread carefully regardless.

But, in terms of whether there will be a PlayStation 5? Maybe, maybe not. If they take a direction anything like what I outlined above, there will not be a PlayStation 5, but PlayStation will continue. That would make seeing a PlayStation 5 unlikely, but PlayStation itself will continue. Given Sony's turnaround and the role of the PlayStation in Sony's continued profitability, I can't imagine they would ditch the iconic platform.

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HANZ64
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 3:49:34 PM

This just sounds like it will hinder graphical progress...

Are you saying that there should only be 3 SKU's to rule them all? For how long?

We will still have to upgrade eventually, otherwise it will mean that the technology will have remained exactly the same. That's hindering both software & hardware progress.

But if your saying that there should be 3 SKU's every cycle... That's just not going to happen. Manufacturing wise it wouldn't make sense, unless they are purposely gimping the same console and selling at different prices. But that's precisely what the GPU companies do...

Now matter how you look at it Highlander, consoles are turning into PC's.

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 4:23:10 PM

I was saying 3 SKUs at any time, with a refresh every 2 years, so the lowest system falls off as the newest comes on. It should not hinder graphical progress at all because every 2 years (hypothetically) you get a refresh that can boost performance available. It's a continuous cycle, there is no more console generation.

It's important to recognize that it's a continuous cycle, but that can only happen once the PlayStation environment is separated from the hardware. A virtual PlayStation running on whatever Hardware Sony puts out there.

The thing is, I don't honestly think that we need anything beyond 4K, I'd even question 4K in most applications. But, beyond 4K is stupidly high resolution. At some point you hit the sweet spot of being good enough that there is no appreciable change in something. With resolution I think we have hit that with 4K. So in future it will be HDR, better filtering, better aliasing, better physics, better particle effects, better shadows, and so on. Ultimately I think we'll go to a real time ray tracing render process and all objects will have material properties that interact with the ray tracing and physics engines. But that's a crap ton of code and compute power that consoles can't touch yet.

Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/21/2016 4:25:44 PM

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HANZ64
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 5:17:55 PM

But how is that different from the GPU cycle?

In fact it's worse!

You want us to buy full system each time we want to upgrade?

Unless these consoles are dirt cheap, I don't see how that's a good idea...

(btw your idea reminds me of what Firefox did with their update numbering scheme. Instead of releasing a full on update every year or so & denoting the next version number, they now do this for every minor release. So up to this point we are on Firefox version 45...)

EDIT:

Yes I agree with you on 4K. I think that's as high as it should go. Maybe in 20 years or something they could bring about 8K for very large screens. But all mainstream content should aim for 4K as the next standard (just like how HD is now a common standard).

I think beyond 4K, it should be about making 'better pixels', coz more pixels at that point would be negligible.

Last edited by HANZ64 on 4/21/2016 5:24:32 PM

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TheHighlander
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 6:06:27 PM

No, that was the point of separating the PlayStation environment from the hardware. If you make a computing product of any kind based on commodity hardware, a 2 year life is about all you get before your system is beyond obsolete, we've seen this with the PS4 GPU for example, and RSX before that.

That is the hardware centric point of view. Look at it from the real world performance, you only really need an upgrade when you upgrade your display technology. Say going to 4K. But since the games will work in either resolution, the driving need to upgrade is not a generational change, it's your convenience and whether you want to take better advantage of the better display you have.

The point here is to allow Sony (or whatever platform holder) to ride the coat tails of the PC industry, refreshing their hardware every two years to stay current. At any given time all SKUs on sale would work with all games, and if the development guidelines and environment are structured correctly, games will work on older systems supporting "The PlayStation" environment as well. You have to separate the hardware from the software here.

Because everything is within Sony's control, the minimum capabilities of "The PlayStation" would remain the same across multiple hardware variants. Games developed with the minimum capabilities in mind and scale from there will run on any hardware variant as long as that minimum feature set is there.

In essence "The PlayStation" environment would be sitting atop a hardware abstraction layer. Anything running on top of the hardware abstraction layer will run quite happily as long as the HAL for each system presents system resources in the same manner as other versions. It's not quite a virtual system, but it's not direct access either. In effect you are virtualizing elements of the system to abstract slightly above the hardware to allow hardware changes without application changes.

The idea here is to ensure that the games run on systems across many years. You'd only need to buy a new console if you wanted to support higher resolutions, or some other new display innovation.

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HANZ64
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 6:46:20 PM

But Highlander, you just murdered the appeal of what console gaming was all about.

One of the biggest advantages of console gaming over PC gaming was this:

I will buy... let's say a PS3 at launch. That PS3 is guaranteed to not only work with every other PS3 game, but it is guaranteed to deliver the same 'quality' throughout it's generational cycle (no matter how many hardware refreshes/slim variants etc).

Simple!

What your promoting is planned obsolescence.

That's no different to how the phone industry works. Buy an iphone 6 this year and an iphone 7 will release next year with marginal improvements, but it is up to the user to decide if it is worth the upgrade (though the signature experience remains the same).

Besides that, you do realize that if the Playstation environment is completely separated from the hardware, then theoretically/technically, they could just bring their Playstation services/exclusive games on the PC platform and everything you just mentioned will work the same, just upgrade the GPU once in a while, Sony wouldn't even need to bother producing a proprietary platform.

Now would they do such a thing? Of course not! I'm sure Sony would rather milk out their own consoles as much as they could, so your way would probably be more 'profitable' in the long term (assuming the manufacturing of these SKU units is standardized and cheap to make in the long term).

And tbh, if this speculation is true (that there might not be a PS5), then once again, what you propose is most likely along the lines of what they plan to do (however I think they will have only one SKU & try the following cycle: PS4 > PS4.5 > PS5 > PS5.5 > PS6 etc perhaps with different naming/branding)

Either way, I'm not liking any of this...

I would much prefer a super powerful PS5 that would last me at least another 5-7 years...

Last edited by HANZ64 on 4/21/2016 6:52:39 PM

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 2:22:29 PM
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If this is the case then everything I currently own on PS4 needs to stay with me every time I upgrade a console. If after every 2nd or 3rd one they start making "PS4.3 only titles" then they really need to be backwards compatible.

glad that I wasn't a moron and basically have gone all digital this generation.

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