PlayStation has been around since forever, and continues to outsell Xbox One in millions of quantities — but being around longer in the industry doesn’t necessarily translate to a better brand. In fact, it seems to us that PlayStation 4, or rather, Sony, is not a company of its word.
Where is all this angst coming from? Reports are pouring in that PlayStation 2 classic Dark Cloud 2 is making its way to the PlayStation 4 in two days time. That’s pretty sweet for PlayStation 4 players, ever since they announced that several PlayStation 2 titles are coming back as emulated ports on the PlayStation 4. The funny thing is, we all thought backward compatibility wasn’t going to happen to PlayStation 4. Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Computer Entertainment president, said so himself. Then, why are all of these happening?
Reported by Polygon in June 2015, right after Xbox One announced the backward compatibility feature, Yoshida says sternly how the PlayStation 4 isn’t going to go back in time like Xbox One did and bring back the dead.
“I don’t think we will change our approach. The PlayStation 4 doesn’t have backward compatibility. Backward compatibility is hard. I won’t say we’ll never do it, but it’s not an easy thing to do. If it was easy we would have done that.”
According to him, the thrust of PlayStation 4 is to move forward, not back, focusing on “bringing PlayStation games to multiple devices including non-PlayStation devices, like Sony and Samsung televisions.” But alas, PlayStation 4 had to turn back time, too.
While the news of the arrival of PlayStation 2 titles on the PlayStation 4 isn’t exactly the same as the Xbox 360 running on Xbox One (there is a skip in generation, obviously, for PlayStation), what they’re doing right now is essentially what one would call “backward compatibility.” Yoshida had to go through all the trouble of denying PlayStation 4’s backward compatible future when, only months after he dropped his no-backward-compatibility-for-PlayStation-4 promise, PlayStation 2 titles started pouring on the PlayStation 4. It even looks like Sony is fast-tracking the feature, already announcing one of the most favorite PlayStation 2 titles, Dark Cloud 2, coming to the PlayStation 4.
But if you really look into what’s happening with PlayStation 4 right now, you’ll understand how so much more evil PlayStation 4 is than the Xbox One. Well, for one, PlayStation 2 titles that will run on the PlayStation 4 require additional purchases, while Xbox 360 titles already purchased by the user before don’t need more purchases to run on the Xbox One.
Yoshida, last December, defends the rationale behind paying for PlayStation 2 games to run on PlayStation 4.
“We were also able to add Trophies; some people really care about Trophies. So we can provide that. And it takes some time for our staff and QA [quality assurance] and licensing and everything to bring back these games. So it takes us time and cost. So we felt that we should charge. We should release these as a new title almost.”
He also adds that the PlayStation 2 emulation on the PlayStation 4 “brings it to 1080p with 60 frames-per-second.” While this is certainly a good reason, we should remember that Xbox 360 also runs differently from the Xbox One. In fact, Xbox 360 titles that will be played on the Xbox One via a physical disc requires a patch to be downloaded to be able to run on the new generation console — but Microsoft is doing all of this for free. How come PlayStation is making us pay for something we possibly own already?
While the PlayStation 2 emulated titles for PlayStation come pretty cheap, at around $9.99 – $14.90 on the store, it still is a few extra bucks from Xbox One’s free backward compatibility feature.
Dark Cloud 2 is coming to PlayStation on January 19, and there are already a couple of titles emulated on the PlayStation 4 from the PlayStation 2. Do you think PlayStation 4 is threatened by Xbox One so as to force itself to do something it didn’t want to do?
[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]