EA thinks next-gen consoles won't be backwards compatible

EA CFO says next-gen Xbox and PlayStation will "most likely" not allow for backwards compatibility, and that preowned games have been good for games retail.

EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen doesn't think the next generation of consoles are likely to be backwards compatible.

Speaking in San Francisco during a Q&A session for the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Jorgensen said, "An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible." He added that anyone looking to play multiplayer will "most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation."

"So if you're a FIFA player, 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 is over."

Jorgensen said that he thinks some customers will hold off on upgrading to next gen right away, but that EA is in a decent position regardless. "I think that works for us positively in both ways. It helps us continue to sell gen-three products, and it will help us sell gen-four product as that cycle finally gets into place."

Elsewhere in the call, Jorgensen turned to the current talking point of preowned software--one rumour for the next-gen Xbox says it will require a constant Internet connection and block used software--and calls the used-game market a "double-edged sword" before admitting it creates a beneficial "liquid market" for EA.

"Would we like to sell everything at full price and not have a used game market? Sure," said Jorgensen. "But I think the used game market's a little like any other kind of market where it creates liquidity. The fact is, that liquidity benefits us in some fashion. So if someone goes in and trades in a game, there's a good chance they're going to buy another one of our games. And so if there's a liquid market, I think that that's not a bad thing at all.

"I can't really comment on where the next generation boxes are going to be relative to used games. I will say that the trend in the business is to have that always-on connectivity and connect with a customer, and to the extent that the software identifies a certain customer is going to create some issues going down the road in the used game market. But I do believe that the consumer likes it, and it's been good for the retail channel."

Sony is holding an event on February 20, where it is expected to announce the PlayStation 4.

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Discussion

176 comments
edulink
edulink

Gen-3, Gen-4? Wake up EA! This is Gen 7, next is 8 (Eight, not Four)! Unless you want to ignore history or you're going exclusive on Playstation, then it's Four. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_console)

Though it would be nice if you got your mind back to "Gen-4", when you put out great games like the best motorbike game ever: Road Rash!

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

What about the digital software products we bought on Gold, we won't be able to use them? What will my account serve for, if it becomes blank at the change of a generation? if theproducts I bought become unusable and impossible to redownload after a few years into the next gen? Then won't buy more digital games, I rather have the physical format.

1234ritchie
1234ritchie

Some faith in EA: restored. I think that they make a good point, if they have the best games on the market people will trade in and will hopefully purchase one of their games new. This puts pressure on them to be the best too, so win-win for gamers. 


Hopefully.

Romangelo
Romangelo

since the new gen consoles will be more like a PC in a box, it makes no freaking sense to not be able to do backward compatibility. atleast it supposed to be able to emulate them on the new powerful hardware like that.

so fuck you EA.

lifemeister
lifemeister

Why should they be.  It's an inconvenience.  If people want to play old games, then they should keep their old systems.  Case solved, nothing else to add, let's move on.

AlexFili
AlexFili

I can't really have imagined purchasing Mass Effect 3 or Assassin's Creed III if I hadn't previously played ME2 and AC:Brotherhood when they were cheap. I think there's something important about used games that you don't get with other forms of media.

100proofsoco
100proofsoco

Instead of me posting an angry f.u/ i wont buy/ blah blah blah, I'll try something totally diff.


***

Microsoft please make sure that we can play out older xbox games on the newest console as well as used games. I mean seriously I'm a loyal customer, I have all the games I have ever purchased for the original Xbox as well as the 360... don't I get something for that? I mean besides an ass raping.


Damn I almost had it....

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Well, that's weird enough. Apple on the other hand released a new iOs update that cuts off all the internet connection on my iPhone 4S just to convince me to buy their s***y iPhone 5. At least that's what I presume, otherwise I don't see the main reason. So why wouldn't Sony or MS do the same thing for previous consoles and stop internet or something. Why would they hinder me into selling my old console to a bloke that wants it and I will have the money to buy the next-gen thingy? I still have games I barely touched and don't really have 400 bucks (for the retarded version) to buy a new one. Are they making them for rich collectors or something?

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

There's going to be a lot of multiplatform games releasing on next-gen and current-gen at the same time. The technological difference between these gens isn't going to be anything groundbreaking, just gimmicks. PC will still be king.

turnerdoc
turnerdoc

no big deal i will just keep my 360 and get the new xbox next year so many games will keep me busy foe well over a year the big ones for me tomb raider gta 5 and state of decay and a few others but i did buy a hardrive so i could play star wars oold republic for xbox on my xbox 360 bought a ps2 for my gta  vice and s.a new console new games

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

I would be very upset if all the things I had bought on the xbox marketplace did not follow me to the new console. I assume my account would follow me.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

Good thing I and many others dont give a shit what EA thinks. 

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

They will just sell it back to you on Live & PSN, god consoles are getting shitter by the day, really disappointing, albeit most of the information is just rumors, guess will find out at E3 for sure.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

All I can see is dollar signs rotating in the eyes of big publishers - No backwards compatibility, gaming as a service, account bound games, no trading or second hand sales, worthless DRM, ...

I wished enough gamers would use their brains to effect change in the industry, these practices can only stop when enough gamers stop putting up with that.
Customers have so much power (all of it actually), if only the number of sane persons would be high enough to really hurt those big companies' sales figures.

tgwenz
tgwenz

its called football not soccer...

strangemk1
strangemk1

WTF, why would you not have backwards compatible, that is just stupid, the PS3 still has years of potential left and there are loads of quality games coming out this year, and to not be able to play these games would be ridiculous. Why get rid of something that works so well, I still have PS2 games that I play, I even played Metal Gear Solid 1 the other day and that is PS1, classic games like that will be dead otherwise. 


And if FIFA was to come out in September like it always does that would mean you would have to buy it for the PS3, then in 3 months when the PS4 is out they would most likely bring it out on the PS4 and you would have to buy it again, it is all money grabbing. SONY DO NOT STOP DOING BACKWARDS COMPATABILITY. 

And my rant is over :-)

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

Aren't the current consoles only "theoretically" BC anyway? As in we can only play what each company actually decides to code over? I'd hardly call this much of a step down.

tightwad34
tightwad34

This doesn't bother me one bit. I understand why people may be pissed about it, but I didn't buy my PS3 to play PS2 games and I am not going to buy the PS4 to play PS3 games.

179107199999
179107199999

of course they'll say that.Look who started the Online Pass.LOL trying to hurry consumers in to buying a worthless product. Please....

blueboxdoctor
blueboxdoctor

Well, at least they realize used games aren't the ultimate evil.  Though, I am not liking how the new Xbox may need to always be online.  It may not sound like a big deal these days, but you'd be surprised (or just go to an older relatives house and there's a chance they don't have the internet and if you're going there and want to bring your xbox if there's a holiday or something, then that's not gonna work).  Still, it's all rumors, and of course EA expects us to buy the new systems this Xmas, which I don't see the point in after all the issues with both systems last gen at launch.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I got the original Xbox at launch and it remained my favorite console of the generation. In this current generation of consoles, I again favored Microsofts' console over any other. I own a PS3 as well, but the 360 is where my heart is. 

I am stating this here and now, Microsoft... 

I will NOT get an Xbox 720 if it blocks used games in ANY fashion whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly. I'm very excited to see what the next-gen brings but I will not support a console that tries to take options away from me. 


svaubel
svaubel

Lol EA. Wii U is already backwards compatible :P

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

The price point games are at now take into account used sales.  The ones who complain about used sales make bad games.

Shawn45
Shawn45

Well, in regards to backwards compatibility, I think everyone and their mother knows it probably won't happen. Hell, the poll held on this very site in regards to next gen had something like 90~ percent of people wanting backwards compatibility, but a huge amount of them also acknowledging that it probably won't happen.

wilson2k9
wilson2k9

Only way games and come companies will survive without a used game market is game prices will have to drop for new games, to a point where any year old new game cost $40 or $20 kind of like at a used game price. Only way I see the game market staying OK, and even after new games have been out 2 or 3 years going down to a $5 price. But with no used game market it could get scary having new games keep high prices going into there 2nd or 3rd year because they don't have a used game market to compete with on black Friday and days on after. 


As for online only. That will be a mess, between some broadband providers having horrible caps, and still a good chunk of the country is either stuck using 3G for internet because fiber and cable isn't expanding to small towns and outside of the city, also some small towns still stuck with slow DSL speeds that will make playing next gen games online bad. Factor in 100s and 1000s of small towns that only offer slow DSL at best. Or only 3G or 4G internet at best, 4G still has far too small caps to allow gaming for an entire month. I personally live 4 miles from a town that has had DSL since early 2000s and I'm stuck on wireless 3G and still no 4G upgrade and even if I had 4G the caps are too small for gaming. Or they just cost too much.


In 10 years the entire country should be able to go online only for a system, but not yet. Once 4G or good wireless high speed broadband or better is a option for everyone then online only systems would be good. 


And heck being online isn't all that fun that much. In the middle of games and getting bugged to play a different game, wonder how many here have to hide while playing XBL so some annoying friend doesn't bug you.

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

EA Translator says: We hope next gen consoles will not be backwards compatible so we can re-sell all our old games again.

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

@lifemeister but if the digital format is no longer available in the store, because it belong to the previous generation, then you can't play, even if you payed for it and you have the right platform.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@100proofsoco I've still got some Atari 2600 and even Atari 800 cartraiges. Should I still be able to play those?

Zloth2
Zloth2

@100proofsoco I've still got some Atari 2600 and even Atari 800 cartraiges.  Should I still be able to play those?

Rinslowe_AE
Rinslowe_AE

@AuronAXE 

I'm entitled to agree... Current gen on the subject of simply providing visuals in 720p and 1080p was the real and only certain improvement.

Other than that and art style trumps everything else. If the original Wii could display in HD then there wouldn't have been so much issue with gamers. Dolphin Emulator is case in point.

Personally I think the idea of current gen consoles (PS3 & 360) getting cheaper and staying relevant for some years to come, beyond the interests of nostalgia enthusiast's is great for the industry from a holistic viewpoint. Then cross platform releases wouldn't need to rely so heavily on financial reasons as much... 

TurboGuru
TurboGuru

@turnerdoc I think you are right! With the way the climate is at the moment it will be a key decider as to which next gen console takes the lead. For example, imagine if you are a PS3 user, PS4 is released  but is does not support backward compatibility ... Xbox 720 is released and fully supports BC, you would rather invest in that and be able to play cheap 360 games as well as 720 games....

* the above is just an example scenario, could be vice versa too.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@strangemk1 I wonder what would happen if there was a special PS4 version for, oh, $150 extra that actually had a PS3 inside it?  Would people buy that over the cheaper not-backwards-compatible version?

Xraycat87
Xraycat87

@strangemk1 The PS2 has a large amount of games and they decided against backwards compatability when making the slim ps3. Why? Because it's expensive to code an emulator for little value in return. If PS4, or the new xbox decide against gen 3 games being playable...Just have 2 consoles...it's not exactly expensive. If I trade my 360 slim in towards the new xbox...I'll get about £80.. and for £80 i'd rather keep the console for older games and entertainment in another room.

Rifqi_Hb
Rifqi_Hb

@tightwad34 Yeah, but if you have PS3 and PS4 and your PS3 is broken, you have to buy a new PS3.

toshineon
toshineon

@tightwad34 I agree. My 360 plays 360 games and my PS3 plays PS3 games. For old games, I just use the consoles the games were made for. Maybe except for the Wii, I use that for NGC games :P

Vodoo
Vodoo

@svaubel That's because the Wii U is not a next-gen console. He was talking about next-gen machines.

subzero69182
subzero69182

@TigusVidiks @lifemeister  I'm pretty sure that's in the terms of use when you purchase the game digitally. It's your own fault if you didn't read it. It says something along the lines of they reserve the right to remove the game from download/purchase at any time. So something like moving to the next generation console makes no difference. You buy a PS4 to play PS4 games. I've never once bought a console so I could play the previous generation of games on it... but then again... I keep all of my consoles so it's not a big deal to me.

svaubel
svaubel

@Vodoo @svaubel It has 4x the RAM, a much stronger GPU, actually runs games in 1080p rather than just upscaling them compared to the PS3/360. 

Panorama12
Panorama12

@residude @svaubel @Vodoo oh, thats why most wanted wii u uses highend pc assets unlike the last gen consoles. hmm. that port shows me that the other ports on the wii u are just half assed. thats pretty much confirmed now.

Shadow_Fax
Shadow_Fax

@Vodoo @svaubelYou do realize that the specs of each console is not the trait that defines its generation, right? You do know that the 8th (the current next-gen) already has 3 consoles out? PS Vita, 3DS and WiiU, right?

residude
residude

@svaubel @Vodoo Actually, If you've read through the reviews on here, there is either no difference in the graphics, or the WiiU version is slightly inferior. Also, there is a reason why quite a few developers have decided to not make games for the WiiU, and even multi-play titles aren't going to the WiiU.

svaubel
svaubel

@Vodoo @svaubel Prove how it isn't then.

Graphics on it look better than anything on the current HD twins. Will the PS4/720 surpass it? Thats the given. But it is stronger than their predecessors thus it is next gen. If raw hardware muscle is all you care about PC gaming has that.

Vodoo
Vodoo

@svaubel @Vodoo Doesn't matter. That's nowhere near being next-gen. And while it has a stronger GPU, it offsets it with a weaker CPU. Don't argue that the Wii U is next-gen. It's already widely accepted that it's not. Even the biggest publisher in the business doesn't consider it next gen.