Sony Exec Ignorantly Says PlayStation Backwards Compatibility Wasn’t Used Much
Gran Turismo 2
(Last Updated On: June 5, 2017)

Sony’s global sales chief, Jim Ryan, was one of the individuals interviewed by Time to talk about the PlayStation brand, the devices, sales data and backwards compatibility.

According to Ryan…

“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” […] “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”

Stats? Data? Numbers? Anything to back this claim up?

Only someone who doesn’t play video games would question why real gamers would want to go back and play PSX and PS2 titles.

Besides that, the only real backwards compatibility Sony tried that wasn’t re-releasing remasters for the PlayStation 4 was PlayStation Now. Remasters like The Last of Us seemed to do well on the PS4, moving 1.5 million copies according to Gamepur. And while the Nathan Drake Collection – consisting of the PS3’s trilogy of titles – got off to a rocky start when it first came onto the market, the sales soared by almost 1000% during Black Friday, according to PSU. Obviously people don’t mind paying to play older games on newer hardware.

Even Niko analyst Daniel Ahmad felt Ryan’s comments were misplaced, noting on Twitter that backwards compatibility was a good opportunity for publishers.

In fact, it’s not just a good opportunity but a strong sales drive for certain games made backwards compatible on newer systems.

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption saw a 6000% sales surge when it was made available for backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, as reported by Xbox Achievements. The announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 being made available on the Xbox One as a backwards compatible title also shot it up instantly as one of the best-selling games for a short while on Amazon, with plenty of gamers rushing out to get a physical copy of the title, as reported by

Right now Microsoft has seen a big upsurge in respect and interest in Xbox after they made the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility a thing. For Ryan to brush off the feature like that shows a great deal of ignorance, especially considering that the numbers say that there is certainly strong interest in backwards compatibility, even more-so than some newer games.

As always, the numbers don’t lie.

The PS3’s backwards compatibility with PS2 titles was also quite popular, and the same applied for being able to play PS1 games on the PS2 thanks to backwards compatibility.

One of the biggest stigmas Sony has facing the PS4 is that a lot of gamers call it the “IndieStation 4” because a large portion of its library consists of ported over indie PC games. Backwards compatibility can sometimes help offset the software drought by allowing gamers to play older titles on their newer system. For the PS4 you only have the option of remasters (and re-buying games you may already own) or paying to stream the games through expensive services like PlayStation Now.

Given that Sony is the market leader in the home console space at the moment, they can afford to show their hubris by making crass statements about some of their own products. Personally, I still like PSX and PS2 games not because of their graphics but because they’re fun. It’s a lot more than I can say for the lack of quality fun and entertainment available from the PS4’s current library of games.

Besides, Gran Turismo 2 still has one of the best intros of any racing game ever, especially thanks to The Cardigans’ “My Favorite Game”.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Hey, just thought you should know that Disqus has labeled your account as spam and shadowbanned all your comments. I unblocked you, but I just thought you should know.

    If you comment on other Disqus communities you might want to ask people/mods if your comments still show up.

    • DizzyGear

      I know. It often happens when i edit one comment then all my recent comments gets flagged as spam for some reason. Its not even shadowbanning since the comments also vanish for myself and are marked as spam on my account page.

      I heard some other people complain about it happening to them as well when they edit a comment.

  • GuyverOne

    I sold my PS4 and bought a new PS3, Buying in on the PS4 was big mistake for me.

    • Disqusted

      Yeah, I keep telling a friend, “Don’t get a PS4, just get a PS3. Way more games on it.”

  • Daniel Ream

    Fallacy of four terms.

    Jim Ryan and you all mean two entirely different things when you say “backwards compatibility”.

    • Mr.Towel

      What does he mean then? If its playing the discs… would be nice but that boat sailed long ago, I don’t think he is referring to that.

      Just having decent emulation for digital titles would be nice.


    The idea that backwards compatibility is a feature that no one uses is obvious bullshit. If anyone needs a reason as to why it’s bullshit, look at Microsoft with the Xbox One. Microsoft started kicking ass once the 360 backwards compatibility kicked in and they had started putting out titles. I hear Phil is even looking into original Xbox backwards compatibility.

  • Gozu Tennoh

    A single ps1 classic dwarfs the whole ps4 library and its what this idiots own brand is built upon.

    Only in a corporate paradigm could a dumbass like this rise through the ranks without ever picking up a controller.

    • fnd

      Let’s not overreact with current gen bashing shall we? But which psx title dwarf bloodborne or dark souls 3 (assuming multiplat counts)

      • Personally I played Smackdown 2 and Tekken 3 waaaaaaaaaay more than any game on PS4. I just had more fun with those games.

        • fnd

          Did you happen to be a child with a lot of free time?

          • My free time has always been spent playing games I thought was fun. I still regularly go back and play the old Genesis Sonic games, and I regularly play Streets of Rage Remake because it’s fun, much more so than Bloodborne or Dark Souls. But that’s just me. I also can’t wait to get more time to go dive back into Blood Dragon.

            Personally I just think that a lot of newer games like Bloodborne are overhyped because the PS4 has no good games, and people are praising mediocre games to the heavens to compensate for its pathetic library.

          • fnd

            I dunno about PS4 since i don’t own consoles(PC is the best hardware for backwards compatibility anyway). Nowadays i rarely play old games (oldest game i played in a while was Shadow of the Colossus). Having a blast with Prey and i did liked The Surge( not as good as Souls game tough)

          • fnd

            Since you did mentioned Tekken 3, do you think it’s a better game than, say, Tekken 7?I used to play Tekken 3 a lot with my brother, but the genre doesn’t interest me anymore (i have no friends to play fighters with :^( )

          • Definitely not better than Tekken 7. Tekken 7 is beast.

            The main issue, though, is that Tekken 7 isn’t exclusive to the PS4. So you can get the best experience on PC.

            Back in the day you really needed the different consoles to get the full gaming experiences that they had to offer, a lot of which weren’t available on PC.

            Right now the only console that seems to be utilizing proprietary gaming experiences is the Nintendo Switch. I’ve had some fun playing games on it that you can’t play on PC, and therein lies my biggest disappointment with the PS4 and Xbox One, since they’re essentially smaller, less capable PCs.

            As for not having interest in fighters anymore… I can totally understand where you’re coming. I kind of stopped playing KoF games when there was no one to play with anymore, and the AI just doesn’t hold a candle to that human vs human experience. I still love games like EA Sports UFC, though. And if they made a new Fight Night I would totally get that.

          • Disqusted

            Must be nice to have good friends to play fighters with. The only fighting game players I met in real life were all huge assholes, and the only net friends around my skill level (better than average, but not good enough to be pro) are all on the other side of the world, so latency is an issue.

          • fnd

            “Definitely not better than Tekken 7. Tekken 7 is beast.”
            Well, there you have it. So much for this gen being worthless… I know there is a lot of issues in gaming today, but at least we don’t have issues from yesteryear (bad ps1 graphics for one)…

          • Disqusted

            Is Bloodborne really overhyped though? Nobody ever views my Bloodborne videos on YouTube, but my Dark Souls videos get way more hits.

            I honestly liked Bloodborne a lot. Way more than Dark Souls even. It feels much closer to the kind of combat I want. But that’s just me.

  • Bamf

    Man, that’s a load. Everyone would love to play their old discs on a new machine. I hate needing space for my PS2 & 3.

    • RichardGristle

      Imagine a PS5 that could play ALL Playstation games. Talk about an easy 100M units.

      • Keystone

        Or a PS5 that could play all PS games with no paid subscription required for PSN. 100M units and guaranteed dominance for the entire gen right there.

        • VersVlees

          and make sure it is beefy enough so it can run games on at least 60 fps.

    • Disqusted

      I put my other consoles away. Only got the PS3 and PS4 now. Still haven’t got much reason to use the PS4.

      Probably says something about the game industry that they managed to sell several iterations of the PS4 before it even has a decent lineup.

      • Probably says something about the game industry that they managed to sell several iterations of the PS4 before it even has a decent lineup.

        The sad part about it is that it’s been out for four years. I suppose the tagline “Greatness Awaits” really is true… gamers are still awaiting for greatness to arrive.

        • Disqusted

          Haha. I didn’t know that was their tagline. That is hilariously sad.

  • RichardGristle

    I still frequently play games like Resident Evil 2, Metal Gear Solid, Persona 3 and 4, etc. on my PS2. Not sure who Jim Ryan is but he sounds like a fucking retard. It’s like that brilliant “then buy a 360” statement from Microsoft.

    • Bamf

      It’s like a Microsoft exec saying, “players don’t want console exclusives.”

  • Disqusted

    Bullshit. I still play PS1 and PS2 games on my PS3 sometimes.

    That f**ker probably doesn’t even play games. “HERPDERPLOOKITDAPURDYGRAFFIX!!!” – Jim ‘liar’ Ryan.

    • Disqusted

      Oh yeah, I also use emulators. If there’s a reason why people don’t use backwards compatibility on consoles, it’s probably because third party emulators tend to be vastly superior.

      Hell, it even took a third party to re-enable backwards compatibility on the PS3 after Sony removed it, probably so they could sell us the same old games again. Don’t know if they ever officially re-enabled backwards compatibility.

  • Narmy

    Maybe it’s not used much for racing/sports games that mostly improve year after year, but it’s definitely useful for unique RPGs and such.

  • Mr.Towel

    What’s sad is that I think some PS Vitas are getting more action than the PS4 because it can at least run PS1 and PSP library. That’s a new low.

    • Disqusted

      If Sony thought nobody wanted backwards compatibility because old games are ugly, why would they re-release PS1/PS2 games like the Wild Arms series on PS4? That asshole is so full of shit.

    • VersVlees

      I have a Vita and bought the metal gear hd collection. I never had a psx but looking at the ps store I see a lot of ps games. It
      also you can play those games everywhere.