News: PlayStation 4 Will Be Able To Stream PS3 Games

The WSJ reports surfaced into the web about the shiny new game console, which throwing out all your old games because you’ve just not got the room to keep everything set up. What now? the compatibility comes in – letting gamers play the previous generation of games on the latest tech. But if the new machine’s different from the old one, that might not be possible enough.

When Sony announces the PlayStation 4, it’s believed to be a complete depature from the PS3’s architecture, the PS4 is believed to be unlikely to support playback of existing titles, leaving gamers unable to revist their existing titles should they so wish. In order to solve that problem, Sony has a trick up its shelves, but a little bit different.

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Delivering them over the internet in real time from remote servers, by sending compressed video frames. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal reports what they may have suspected for months: Sony will use such service to stream games to the next-generation PlayStation game console, which the company is widely expected to reveal on February 20th.

Last June, following on from Sony’s purchase of streaming company Gaikai, the WSJ believes that Sony intends to have the PS4 stream PS3 games from the company’s servers rather than actually crunch all the numbers locally. While the WSJ reports says, Sony won’t necessarily use Gaikai to deliver brand-new games. The whole thing has more than a little of the OnLive about it, and we can reserve judgement for now.

Hopefully we’ll learn more about what the PS4 has in store for use at Sony’s FEB. 20th PlayStaion event. Those will reportedly still be delivered on optical disc. Instead, the next PlayStation will allegedly bring existing PlayStation 3 games to the new system using the streaming technology.

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Actually, the previous generations of PlayStation have offered backward compatibility with games built for previous systems – able to put a PS1 disk in a PS2, for instance, the PS2 games genuinely worked in some PS3s – but the unannounced PlayStation 4 is expected to use AMD x86 chips, which won’t be compatible with the architecture used in previous systems. Whereas, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 did not fully support original Xbox games, but rather it emulated them in software. This leads to some sort of compatibility issues, and meant some gamers were not supported at all. Sony, by hosting earlier generations of games on servers and streaming them instead, could be a way to ensure some form of backwards compatibility despite the AMD chips. Sony’s streaming solution will no doubt avoid such situations, but it does mean the possibility of all manner of other issues befalling the ambitious undertaking.

PlayStation Controller

Question: Why wouldn’t Sony stream new PlayStation 4 titles as well? The PlayStation 4 needs to be a success in the wake of what has been a lackluster showing from the third generation PlayStation.

Perhaps it could, but so far streaming game services like Gaikai and OnLive have been delivered at a maximum 720p resolution, and reliably streaming even 720p content requires a fairly decent internet connection and servers that are reasonably close. The compatibility issue works both ways. We’re curious how Sony would deliver and store such games.

With a few leaks in the past days unveiling a little about the console itself, we can’t just wait to see the complete picture when Sony takes the stage off of it officially. On Feberauary 20th,  we’ll likely be able to verify the truth.