Feb 21, 2013

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PSN Purchases Won’t Transfer to PS4

PSN Purchases Won’t Transfer to PS4

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. PLAYSTATION 4

Last night, Sony revealed through an E3-length presentation their next console, the PlayStation 4 (or PS4), which is set to arrive this holiday. A huge emphasis on the social aspect of gaming, as well as a promised Gaikai-fueled cloud service were big highlights of the show, though what the console (other than the new controller) will look like–or the price–were conspicuously absent.

Although during the show itself Sony admitted due to a fundamental shift in hardware (the PS4 will be more PC-like in its architecture and thus easier to program for) PS4s will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games, today, Edge and other outlets reported that PSN games will also not transfer.

While this isn’t a huge shock, both in light of hardware changes and Sony’s history (at least in the west) with forcing PSP owners to rebuy their games to play on Vita, many gamers were outraged that the money spent on PSN has been “wasted.” Still others remarked that many gamers will be hesitant to spend money on PSN for the rest of the year, knowing their games won’t transfer.

Although emulation issues were cited as a reason for this decision, Sony has alluded to the cloud as offering some access to older games.

It makes me wonder: is it really such a difficult compatibility issue (we can play PS1 and PS2 games via PSN on our PS3s now, right?), or is Sony hoping to use PSN purchases as a leverage for their cloud service?

The other issue is price. When the PS3 launched, it originally contained the PS2 chip that enabled it to be fully backwards compatible with PS1 and PS2 games. However, this jacked the price up so high the console was unaffordable for many until Sony yanked the backwards compatibility and dropped the price. Is it possible that Sony is hoping–by not offering backwards compatibility, even for digital games–that they’ll be able to release the PS4 at a more affordable price point? Or is it simply greed on the part of a company seriously in the red?

I’m honestly not sure. It’s still disappointing news, even if it’s not surprising. The sad fact of digital media is you don’t really “own” it; you simply “lease” it.

However, this revelation could possibly affect gamers’ decisions to upgrade to the new console, especially since you can’t sell your PSN games to help fund your new purchase.

[Source: Edge, via twitter]