Backwards Compatibility and Used Games on PS4


When the Kotaku source informed the blog about the PlayStation 4 Orbis codename and 2013 release date, they also said something quite frightening: that the PS4 will not be backwards compatible and will have a used-game lock.

Before I react to that, let’s explain: backwards compatible is simply the ability to play older console games. Today, we can play Playstation 1 games on the PS2, and PS2 games on the PS3. It’s smart to do so, since most consoles release with just a few games out.

The second idea of a used-game lock: a system will not allow you to play a used game. Each game would have an individual account code, so when you buy it and play it the first time, it automatically syncs up to your PSN account (you can also download games from the PSN). But once this is done, you cannot take that game and play it on another account; no trading it in at GameStop, or letting a friend borrow it. It can only be accessed through the original users account.

Now, reaction: both of these ideas would be horrible for Sony to incorporate. So many gamers (I’d say about 30-60%, if not more) buy games used, or they borrow from friends. And what about gamers who use systems like GameFly, or rentals, regularly instead of spending the $60 to purchase? If this is the case, then so many gamers wouldn’t even bother to buy a new console; unless, of course, games go down to about $15-20, and even then it is risky.

On the backwards compatibility, this would also be silly. Who wants to have two consoles sitting in a room: their seven year old PlayStation 3, next to the bright and shiny PlayStation 4 Orbis? I wouldn’t, but I would also not want to give up my favorite games simply because I have something “new” that doesn’t offer my favorites.

I, for one, hope this is just a rumor, and not fact. It would be a major mistake, for both the gamers and the developers. Do you agree?


  1. I was lookn 4ward 2 ps4, I nearly sold my ps3 but after ths rumour of used-game lock I’m terribly disappointed. Wht will a person do after they’ve played & finished a game & wanna get rid of? Hope ths is not true coz Sony will lose big time 2 their competitors. I for 1 will b googlin wht Xbox is bringing

  2. I agree with Tariq. Id love to play games on ps3 when i get my hands on ps4. And game locks? Well im not a fan of buying used games or such, and it does suck u cant trade in finished games at gamestop. But i think i will perhaps only buy games with MP action, such as fps and other games where u can play it for a very long time and allso for “replay value”

  3. these ideas are really bad for sony i am a huge sony fan i started qith the little grey playstation and never looked back i now am on my second ps3 i had to have the move but i i don’t have the backward compatability on this which would have been sweet because i gave away some great ps2 games because i could no longer play them ….a small fortune wasted and now being on a fixed income i use gamefly to try a game before i buy it to make sure i like it first except skyrim plus i still play the game of the year edition of oblivion so why would i even consider going to a system where i can not enjoy these rare gems or try a game before i buy it or even just take a game like football over to my friends house to play it with them on thier system …THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA OR YOU WANT YOUR FAN BASE TO STICK WITH THIER PS3’S …your choice sony make this right

  4. I finding that if Sony comes out with this game lock and non-backward capability that I will be force to go to a different system type altogether (Xbox, Wii [Nintendo has already stated that the new Wii U will be backwards capable]). I do not believe that it would be in Sony’s best interest by incorperating these ideas. Like a previous comment stated about fixed incomes, that most people with fixed incomes are only able to get used games from like gamestop, and also trade/borrow games. It is bad enough that price of PS3’s are more than Xbox and Wii now this.

  5. So if your ps4 dies then you have repurchase all of the games you have bought because none of them will work on your new PS4? That is biggest load of horse crap I have ever heard. I know alot of people who play a game beat it then trade it in for a new one. Taking that freedom away from us is so wrong! I will not be buying the PS4 if this rumour is true.

  6. I think to should work with all games and I think you should not have to have a code and keep it on one system. I think it’s a dumb idea. Just keep it the way it is becasue if you buy a game and you don’t like it your stuck with it and that’s not right!! And if you have a game and your friends waht to try it they can’t use it on therr’s and only play it on the system it on. That not right all!! So I hope this will no t happen!!

  7. Well, the games would be synced to your PS4 account. So if your PS4 dies, you -should- be able to access all the games through the PSN account… but if they’re saying only one machine per game, then we’ll have to wait and find out… But we’re hoping none of this actually comes true!

  8. I think these rumors are a way for Sony to develop their plan without people finding out. It’s like a distraction to keep the competitors from knowing their move however, companies have been dumb enough to allow greed take control of them and end up failing. Look at many companies that failed in the past because of greed.

  9. I understand that they’re trying to make money buy forcing people to buy games
    But Sony has to be smart. No one wants two consoles hooked up at the same time. Also no more trading or borrowing games would be a disaster. All Xbox has to do is not follow and they will get 50% of the PlayStation fans. Be smart Sony.

  10. I’ve heard that not only will PSIV be implementing game lockout technology but that Xbox 720 (yes the New Xbox) has already planned this in their design for the new console. If Nintendo also follows this pattern what does this say for places like Gamestop or services like Gamefly? It threatens to put them out of business. VERY bad for the console community all in the name of anti-piracy?? I’ve got to say if this tech *IS* implemented I for one won’t be buying either a PS4 or a new xbox.

  11. most sensible people wait for the consoles to drop in price,then there is the technical issues of consoles failing to work, or simply burning out?
    no matter what the fashion of new consoles might offer, the robust original xbox is above this break down problem, that has given the 360 xbox the test.
    ps4 will have its flaws, since the ps3 sufferd break down also.
    the line of being ripped off, isnt worth shelling out stupid money that is getting too exspensive for anyone on a bugdet?
    i can still remember what happend to the dreamcast, which i felt was a great console, and the graphics were superior to its rivals.
    yes it had a flaw of not playing dvd movies, yet it was a true gaming machine.
    i think them with sense will stick with what is reliable, and not going to rip them off.

  12. I mainly buy used games. For example, I got 6 games during a sale at gamestop on used games buy 2 get 1 free, for the price of 1 new game $60.
    I am already unhappy with microsoft with their greedy limited use software. My computer crashed and I bought another one, online activation failed because I had used it on the old computer, rendering the software useless.

    Backward compatability is a must! What about brand loyalty? I have all the playstations and the ps3 is the only one that can play older games; even then, it only plays ps1 games.

  13. I’m still happy and satisfied with my PS3. There is no way I would purchase a new console if it wasn’t backwards compatible. The corporation that rewards Gamestop for filling a gap left by the gaming companies will help ultimately win the new console war to come.

  14. If Sony are smart then they should look at the angry reaction Microsoft are getting with the latest revelations they have revealed about their XBOX 1 (stupid name) and resist from charging a fee for S/H or borrowed games. Microsoft are coming across as greedy corporate bully`s who are treating their loyal fan base as mugs. So it is in your hands Sony to do the right thing and if Microsoft go ahead and do this unashamed greedy betrayal then the Sony corporation can look forward to a lot of disgruntled ex-xbox fans buying the new PS4. Always listen to the people Sony and you wont go wrong.

  15. Please tell me that we’ll be able play older games on the PS4 if not I sure hell don’t want one, I’ll buy a different system than.

  16. Please let this be a rumor about the game lock and the backwards compatibility….. I have a PS2 (a newer one since my original one finally died on me) and I love PS and sony but if they do this they are going to lose fans. Most games I buy, I buy used because in this economy I really cannot afford brand-new games. If they DO use this game lock tecnhology it will ruin Gamestop and Gamefly and make things hard on gamers. DON’T DO IT!!! Listen to your fans!!!

  17. Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 will not have game lock, but it will not be completely backwards compatible. You will be able to play older PS games through the Cloud

  18. If ps4 isn’t backwards compatible and has game locks I will definitely not buy this console. Which is a shame because I would have bought this console guaranteed otherwise. I own the Xbox 360, ps3, and wii. I was going to sell them all to upgrade to ps4 but what a HUGE mistake it would be for Sony to make this decision. If Sony wants to see their console dreams become a disaster then go ahead and tell us we can’t play our ps3 games and now can’t buy used games because they are linked to someone else’s account. What idiot thought this idea up, give your head a shake!!


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