Backwards Compatibility and PS Now
At the very start of this generation, neither the Xbox One or PS4 were backwards compatible with physical copies of 360 and PS3 games respectively. While Sony offered players the ability to stream their favorite PS3 titles with the Gaikai streaming service, PlayStation Now, it has not exactly taken the world by storm. In fact, the subscription service has fallen to the wayside as Microsoft found a way to bring the more traditional form of backwards compatibility to the Xbox One. The announcement at E3 2015 was a hit for Microsoft and backwards compatibility remains as a missed opportunity for Sony.
Having seen the overwhelmingly positive response to Microsoft’s announcement, Sony had the perfect chance to really put some momentum behind its PlayStation Now service. Instead, it stayed quiet, leaving the PS4’s backward compatibility streaming service to quietly struggle in the corner. Even now with the upcoming discontinuation of the service on specific formats, there seems to be no sign of Sony fixing the subscription model pricing, or trying to push it to players who so desperately want to replay their favorite PS3 titles.
Gaikai streaming was a huge investment for Sony, and one that’s failed to truly take off on the PS4 thanks to input lag making for a less-than-optimal experience, and a lack of marketing and buzz around it. Despite the company’s great successes this generation, backwards compatibility is something that’ll certainly need to be addressed going forward.