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Sony disses backwards compatibility, “Why would anybody play this?”

by Ron Duwell | June 6, 2017June 6, 2017 11:00 am PDT

Oh Sony. It wasn’t enough that you let Microsoft gain the upper hand on being friendly to retro gamers. Now you’re doubling down on the decision to scrap backward compatibility by outright dissing older video games as “ancient.”

Speaking with Time, Sony’s Jim Ryan recently opened up his feelings towards older video games, stating that scrapping the feature was a good decision since its something that not a lot of people would use.

When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much.

Fair point. Aside from Microsoft getting heaps of praise for its initiative to add backwards compatibility to Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, this might be true. A good many gamers are in a state of mind that older games are just not worth it anymore because they are “dated” and “ugly,” a side effect of a generation that it constantly and swiftly moving forward.

Ryan’s further comments exemplify this attitude.

That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?

Oh dear…

Once again, it all comes back to looking at games as a business or as a pastime. We’ve reached a point when gamers are well over the age of 30 and even 40, and a large portion of these gamers grew up when these “ancient” games were cutting edge. They left an impression on us, made us happy, and when they are easily available to us through the convenience of backwards compatibility, they help take us back to a simpler time in our lives.

Are we supposed to simply toss aside these happy memories since they’ve aged and don’t look as pretty as modern games? Sorry, but there isn’t a video game in existence or soon to be in existence that would even make me look at Chrono Trigger and say “Eww… how old.”

I’d scrap the entire line-up for the rest of the generation if I were forced to choose between it and Chrono Trigger.

Retro gaming is about the memories. It’s about the rush of nostalgia you feel jumping into an old favorite adventure, no matter how much the kids will criticize the lack of objectivity in such feelings. It’s about breaking away from the breakneck pace of the modern video game world. It’s about appreciating jaggy 3D models and pixelated sprites all over again because, for one simple reason, they make you happy.

That’s why someone might opt to play Gran Turismo 1 and 2 over a modern entry in the series, and it’s a shame that Sony can’t see that anymore…

Except when selling PlayStation 2 games at an inflated price on the PlayStation 4, of course.

Time

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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