Once Microsoft made the big Xbox One backwards compatibility announcement at E3, many were wondering if Sony‘s Playstation would follow suit. When MCV caught up with the European Playstation head honcho Jim Ryan, they asked that very question.
Here’s what Ryan had to say:
It was quite a complicated announcement and I’m not sure I fully understand it yet. I suspect there might be a few twists in that particular tale. But we will see. It is an entirely legitimate approach, and if you are seeking to upgrade 360 owners to Xbox One, it is a very logical approach to take.
He kind of takes a shot at whether Microsoft will be able to fully deliver on their promise of backwards compatibility. At least that is the way that “few twists” statement comes off to me.
Ryan then talked about Playstation’s direction:
We are just taking a different path. To the extent that you are investing in software technology – which is what this is, it’s delivered through software not through hardware – we are trying to commit our resources and put our emphasis on delivering on the promises we made right at the start of this whole PS4 thing, to be the forward-looking, socially-connected console. We are placing our bets on things like SharePlay, on things like Play as you Download, and things like Suspend/Resume.
The difference between the two approaches:
We are just taking two different approaches.
Unfortunately there are just not sufficient enough software engineers in the world for everyone to do everything. Each platform holder has to make their choices, we made one and they made another. Their choice is entirely legitimate, and I think our choice is legitimate, too. In some ways it is quite nice to have points of difference between the two platforms, and people will decide which approach suits them best.
The eternal battle between friends on which is the best platform rages on!
Ryan then went on to discuss Playstation’s previous experience with backwards compatibility:
We have experience of backwards compatibility. The earliest PS3 model was backwards compatible with PS2, and it is a much requested feature… but actually it’s not so greatly used.
To wrap it all up Ryan said:
On balance, we are happy with our approach and we don’t wish to be defensive about it at all. But as I say, both approaches are legitimate.
That is an interesting way to sum up Playstation’s decision to not jump on the backwards compatibility bandwagon. You can be sure that the Microsoft Xbox One announcement was not a surprise to Sony Playstation. They each basically know what the other is doing and the directions they are heading in. Either through back channels between people who work at each company that know each other, or through other more grey area means that companies often employ.