Electronic Arts: Next-Gen "Most Likely" Won't Be Backwards Compatible - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 13 February 2013 / 4,412 Views

Electronic Arts' CFO Blake Jorgensen spoke at the  Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference about the next generation, attended by Gamasutra. He said that the next generation PlayStation and Xbox will not be backwards compatible. He also talked about how Electronic Arts will transition from the current generation to the next generation.

"An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible," said Jorgensen. "And if you [play] multiplayer on a game, you'll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation. And so if you're a FIFA player and, and the soccer season's starting in August, and all your friends are playing FIFA, you're going to want to be on the same box that they're on."

"So if they all go out and buy a gen-four box if it comes out at Christmas, then you'll most likely do it. If they all hold on and continue to play on third-generation, you'll probably not see that box purchase until after the soccer season's over."

Jorgensen has said that transitions to the next generation are very rough and the main reason is that companies have too many titles which can get expensive. Electronic Arts is a lot more focused than they were in the past.

"We've got a core group of ten-to-fifteen titles," said Jorgensen. "We'll stage those in terms of the transition and manage those costs through that. Our goal is to keep the cost increase for R&D under $100 million. And some of that will be in this year, some of that in '14, and some in our fiscal year '15."

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Mandalore76 (on 13 February 2013)

Next Gen is already backwards compatible. My Wii U plays my Wii games, and my 3DS plays my DS games. Title should read "Sony and Microsoft will not be backwards compatible next gen".

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sethnintendo (on 13 February 2013)

Goodbye Dechizen. Very few people agree with you.

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Mandalore76 (on 13 February 2013)

@Dechizen92 - that must be why 3DS has 12 - 1 million+ sellers. How many does it's competition have? Oh, that's right, zero. Since they are barely as good, that also explains why it's competition is suddenly cloning Nintendo's franchises. I'll go back to playing Fire Emblem: Awakening now and pretend I didn't read this.

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Ganoncrotch (on 13 February 2013)

thanks to the magic work of 11 red thumbs now no one needs to read it :D

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RedInker (on 13 February 2013)

I lost interest in the article after the words "Electronic Arts". What bollocks are they saying now?

Ganoncrotch (on 13 February 2013)

I think the article is pretty good they seem to have trimmed out the normal lunatic rants about origin having 400 billion users and how it is the next generation?!!!!!!!1

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Shadowfest3 (on 13 February 2013)

Hmm, if this is true then this might be the deciding factor for which next-gen console I'll be buying. I really only want to buy one console for the next generation. However, I'll wait for the official annoucement before I make a decision.

Commando (on 14 February 2013)

What an imbecile

FujiokaMidori (on 14 February 2013)

PlayStation and XBOX, you've just lost me.

Ganoncrotch (on 13 February 2013)

He is clearly mostly referring to the Playstation 4 in this statement, the quote mentions a Gen 4 box... it will be the playstations 4th outing it will only be the 3rd generation of Xbox so really this is the first piece of news confirming what most people know already, the PS4 will not have any compatibility with the very powerful yet very unique architecture found inside the CELL chip.

Mr Puggsly (on 13 February 2013)

I'd be happy if they at least sold a piece of hardware that gave me backwards compatibility. For example, If Sony made some piece of hardware that allowed me to play PS2 games on my PS3 (ideally unscaled) for about $40, I'd gladly buy it. I just hate having a console clusterfuck around my TV.

BlkPaladin (on 13 February 2013)

As for the the PS4 I didn't really expect it to have BC since they would be facing the exact same problem that Microsoft faced with the Xbox-to-360 which was with the games that where optimized for the NVidia chip and NVidia having its own proprietary code it wanted royalties on, not to mention the question on how much power Cell emulation would take. But I really don't see why Microsoft wouldn't have BC in their next machine. The only thing changing is the CPU and CISC/RISC emulation isn't that CPU intensive since most of it is "open sourced" so there wouldn't be any customer code involved by Microsoft's. If the next gen Xbox doesn't have BC it just means the company wants to get people to buy their game twice. (Something similar to what ended up happening with the 360 and the more optimized games)

BlueFalcon (on 13 February 2013)

Backwards compatibility is 95% a non-starter for next generation PS4/720. The ONLY way to move forward to more advanced CPU architectures that are financially viable, power efficient, fast and easy to optimize/developer for, is to shift to an x86 CPU infrastructure. PS360 consoles are based around outdated PowerPC architectures. You either have to bite the bullet this time or with PS5/Xbox 4. It's inevitable. The main reason the Wii U is BC with Wii is because it uses an outdated CPU based on the PowerPC architecture. If Nintendo wanted to launch a console with a modern CPU, they would have also gone with x86. For PS4, hardware BC is nearly 99% assured to be absent because the graphics card also uses legacy style fixed function pipelines. While some of you may not understand the technical reasons, the BEST thing about PS4/720 long-term is their switch to x86 CPU architecture because it means every single console from that point will be able to use modern x86 CPUs and maintain BC with PS4/720 moving forward for 10, 20, 30 years. Just bite the bullet now.

BlkPaladin (on 13 February 2013)

The thing is emulation exists between the CISC based x86 and the RISC based PowerPC for decades now. And with each successive generation CISC moves closer to RISC with the introduction of SIMD commands etc. The only reason that the Xbox-to-360 ended up having problems was the move from NVidia to ATi, since the new more optimized Xbox games have machine level optimization that used NVidia's proprietary code. Microsoft tried to dance around it but couldn't get some of the games to run.

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Nem (on 13 February 2013)

It better be. I know many wont be rushing to upgrade to a new system if the big games that comes out this year are not compatible with the new systems. Incoming doom articles.

MonstaMack (on 13 February 2013)

Well yeah I don't expect FIFA 14 players to be able to play with FIFA 14 players of said future system. If all XBLA, XBGoD games aren't backwards next gen that would be a helluva stab in the back for people who spent some good money on digital titles. I can download my old Android titles onto future Kindle FIres, Steam transfers to the next computer via re-download, PSN titles from PSP work on Vita. Wii Wares transfers to Wii U... so why not 360 to 720 and PS3 to PS4? I might just throw in the towel next gen if this is the case. At the worst they should be backwards with the previous generation.