Sony Won't Explain What's Up With PS1/PS2 Games On PlayStation Now

Sony Won't Explain What's Up With PS1/PS2 Games On PlayStation Now

Way back in February 2013, when Sony first announced the PlayStation 4, they talked a bit about their partnership with the streaming company Gaikai. With the power of the cloud, Sony said, we'd all be able to stream PS1, PS2 and PS3 games.

But things have changed. Today, those vague plans have coalesced into the form of PlayStation Now, a streaming service that lets you play... PS3 games. And only PS3 games.

For fans of retro games, that's kind of a bummer. Sony's got an impressive catalogue of PS1 and PS2 games — some of which are already playable on the PS3 and Vita — and while their streaming infrastructure is a great first step, the thought that they might only use this program for last-generation games is a little depressing.

So during a chat with Jack Buser, senior director for PlayStation Now, I asked what had happened those plans for PS1 and PS2 games on the service. The answers were... well, there were no answers.

Schreier: When you guys first announced PS Now, you announced that it wouldn't just be PS3 games, but it'd also be PS1 and PS2 games. Is that still something you guys are planning to add to the services?

Buser: Currently for open-beta on PlayStation 4 we're going to focus on PlayStation 3 games. This will be integrated into the PlayStation 4 in the US and Canada. In terms of devices that will support PlayStation Now, we'll then be expanding from PlayStation 4 and applying the open beta on PS3, PS TV, PS Vita. And then the ultimate vision of PlayStation Now is to support a wide variety of devices.

Schreier: Well I don't mean devices, I mean, the games that you'd be able to play.

Buser: During the open beta launch on PlayStation 4 we'll be focusing on PlayStation 3 titles. We don't have anything specific to announce at this time.

Schreier: The reason I'm asking, and kinda pressing you a little bit on this is because at first it was announced that it'd be PS1/PS2/PS3, and then I remember there was a rumour somewhere that you guys had changed plans about that. I know that a lot of my readers are big fans of retro games, and like the idea of being able to play all these old games on their fancy new PS4s, so I'm hoping for some clarification there.

Buser: One thing I wanna stress is that we're in the early days of the beta. We're gonna launch in open beta on PlayStation 4, we're gonna focus on PS3 titles. One of the things that's really exciting about that is that there are a lot of people that are gonna have PS4 that are new to the PlayStation ecosystem. We believe that the PlayStation 3 has a rich catalogue of titles, and we wanna make sure we make that catalogue available to people who are new to the PlayStation ecosystem via PlayStation 4. Again, we're in the early days, and it's all about the beta testing community to give us feedback — what kind of content do they want to see on the service, what kind of features, and on and on. I really encourage folks to give us that feedback on what they want to see in the future.

So if you're wondering what happened to those streaming plans for PS1 and PS2 games... well, so are we. PlayStation Now will enter open beta and be accessible to all PS4 owners starting tomorrow.


    An interview like this has got to be frustrating for both sides when the response is restricted to a sanitised press release statement.

      That's why occasionally a journo has to ask a closed "yes/no" question. I.e Will Playstation Now support PS1/PS2 games?

        Unfortunately, asking a yes/no question does not guarantee you will receive a yes/no answer.

          Yep, reading that is like reading an interview with a politician.

          They give you the answer to the question they wish you'd asked instead of the one you actually asked. Or they just talk round and round in circles without actually answering any question at all.

          Just ask the Liberal party, they will give the best rehearsed non-yes/no answer for all of your yes/no questions.

          That's why you keep asking it until they cave!

    he did a good job of avoiding the question without outright saying "no we have no plans to do that". keeping it positive, I respect that. And while I like the idea of having the entire ps1/2 catalogue on ps4 it's like...we've all played crash bandicoot warped and having the entire ps3 catalogue is way more impressive, so good on them.

      Theres more than a few titles I would love to play using remote Play or straight to Vita.


      How can you respect that. I'll never understand the PR responses that side step the question - what's the purpose of it. Its painfully obvious you're not answering the question. Is it so bad to answer truthfully - that i can respect.

        because if it's your job to interact with the public and give them a positive experience of your brand, the main goal is to get them to not associate you with negativity. Instead of elaborating on the company's shortcomings, he focused on the stuff that was good. It's good marketing.

          Nah when someone has to ask the same question 3 times and you still don't get a direct answer its fucking stupid. Being able to spruik the latest and greatest shite your company can do without answering the original question is not good marketing - it's just dumb. As i said makes it painfully obvious that you don't wish to talk about it.

          Wouldnt it have been much better to say - "We have no plans for the PS1\2 games in the current iteration of the beta - atm we are just trying to expand our PS3 library on the service". At least you answer the fuckin question being asked.

    I'd be pissed if I had a PS4.

      I do and Im not. Wasn't ever going to be anle to stream games on my shirty net connection anyway.

      I'd be pissed if I expected this service to be viable in Australia any time soon, I own a ps4, didn't, so am not. Heck even if we got the NBN the likelihood of this being a viable service for Australia would be slim, depending on how much hosting costs changed.

        I agree...I have a PS4 and getting the NBN fairly soon and wasn't going to use PSNow...I beleive the service will not be viable in Australia unless there are servers based here in Australia and the way data costs are the moment (espcially on NBN), I can see you data usage being destroyed (IMO)

    I'd rather they just found a way to make all the digital PSX, PS2 & PSN titles I already paid for work on PS4 rather than asking me to fork out more money.

    I don't care how hard or expensive it may be, they're Sony.

      Exactly, don't give me a way of re-buying my library of games again, just give me a way to play them. They're just slapping a long term loyal fan base in the face (I call it: Going the way of Nintendo)

      Yup yup

      Especially because ps2 emulation should be possible. It's a closed system, so the fact it works on my pc with a core i5 4440 and a 7870 at 1080p upscale, means it should work on ps4.

      Ps1 works on my phone, so thats a no brainer. Again... Upscale would be more than appreciated to. It's almost required in this day and age all considered, even if it's an option.

        This. IDGAF about PSNow, I just want to be able to use my old games without having another system under the TV.

      Yeah, but Sony is on the verge of bankruptcy. They've fired 4,000 employees in the last year. They don't have a lot of money left.

        Why did you downvote me, @elwyn5150 and @outatime ? My information is correct. Sony are really hurting right now, and the Playstation brand is the only thing keeping them alive. They are losing a lot of money due to the poor sales of their Vaio laptops and other assorted gadgets.

        Why is everyone focusing on Nintendo's financial woes and no-one is paying attention to Sony's? It's a really worrying problem.

        EDIT: Grammar

        Last edited 31/07/14 2:17 pm

          Your comment is sensationalistic, they are not on the verge of bankruptcy.

          Yes, some parts of Sony are operating at a loss and have been for a while, but the PlayStation division is doing well. They have started to re-focus their strategy away from the areas that made a loss, like their laptops which they sold off, into the areas that do well: Audio, TV's, phones&tablets and PlayStation.

          If you want to speculate as to what that means for PlayStation you could say that there is a STRONG chance that it actually means that they are, probably, putting more time into PlayStation to ensure it's success than they would have previously.

          And so, you are linking two things that do not necessarily have much in common just for the sake of sensationalism, similar to the people shouting that Nintendo are DOOMED every generation. In a nutshell: I FELT that your comment was mostly speculation which is irrelevant to the post that you replied too and sensationalistic, for what ever your personal reasons are.

          I'm sorry if the down vote upset you, it's nothing personal.

          Last edited 31/07/14 2:36 pm

            Okay, then. Your response is quite reasonable. Maybe I was being a tad sensationalistic.

              As I say, no offence meant, I was only looking objectively.

              Last edited 31/07/14 3:35 pm

              Sony are huge. They own movies & studios & music labels etc. As well as inventing Walkmans, CDs & BlueRay.
              They ain't going bankrupt any time soon.

      To be fair they are the one offering cross buy. It's still far from where I'd like it to be but it shows they're willing to go there. As someone who plays XBOX One and Wii U primarily I'm frustrated that Sony appear to be the only ones to make any effort there at all.

    Sony's loss. Instead of making some money from a possible subscription service from this, people will just keep downloading emulators and games for free, and then they wonder why pirating is a prolem. But I understand Sony is currently trying to address and make happy PS4 owners as that is probably there biggest revenue stream at this point.

      I don't really pirate games for my emulators... I play ones I have. And if I did pirate... Well good luck finding seeds.

      Your point is valid though. If the ps4 could play most/ a lot of ps2 games from the disk and from psn, upscaled, I would be very happy. If it misses one of those three things... Well, I'll stick to my pc and emulate.

      And I think that's the problem so far this gen. Sony and Microsoft are just not offering us the full range of features and compatibility at a level that pc offers for similar experiences and then they are charging/ charging more for it, which is where it becomes questionable. There's just little incentive for the people who don't already have a ps4 or x1 to get one because of that.

      Edit: Also, I think ps now should be focused on ps3 as that would be very hard/ impossible to emulate on ps4. The problem is... When ps now/ gaikai was announced.. No one thought good guy sony would make us pay for old games again/ rent them.

      In an ideal world, before gaming was riddled with dlc, subscriptions and micro-transactions this would be a service to allow you to play your old ps3 games and buy new ones online, it would probably have been free/ included in ps+. (That would make sense, want online streaming as backwards compatibility, get it with ps+!) The ps4 would have been backwards compatible with ps1/2 from the start (at minimum ps1), there would have been a ps4 with a larger hdd, and one with built in ps3 backwards compatibility.

      Consoles, although x86, are now more limiting/ limited than I ever remember. The consumer has no power, everything is locked away behind a service paywall behind paywall and features are just not there. We no longer buy a console and have access to all its fetures.. Not that they have many anyway. We've slowly been made accustom to not having things until now, we pay extra for everything. Next gen you'll have to subscribe to watch a bluray, if there is a next gen. Pc hardware sales are on the rise.

      Don't get me wrong. I love my consoles, but when I'm still shocked the ps4 can't even play my old ps1 games, something has to change.

      - Sorry if something doesn't make sense, I wrote this pre caffeine.

      Last edited 31/07/14 11:14 am

        I found myself having to pirate a few PS1 games I owned to play them cause apparently the PAL versions don't play nice with some emulators.

        The Final Fantasy games in particular.

        Not having PS1 emulation is pretty inexcusable at this point.

          Well... I'm not sure if I'd call it 'piracy' if you already owned the game, but that's just me. And yes. It's inexcusable not to have PS1 BC IMHO.

          Last edited 31/07/14 12:13 pm

    tbh, these days I'd much rather play a PS1 game on a PSP/Vita, but I'd like to see the whole (or as much as possible) back catalogue available on the PS Store

      And a 16:9 widescreen hack you can choose to try. I can live with the rest.

    Yes, it would be nice if they figured out how to get stuff we already own to work. Especially since we've paid for access to contact through their digital front, and now it apparently will never work on their shiny new console. Very disappointing. (How hard can it really be they've been releasing console game on steam for a while now, and this generation of console is more PC then anything before)

      I'm not sure I know what you mean by 'figure out'. They know, trust me, that just doesn't make as much money as this idea.

      I mean, think about it, this idea makes even more $$$ than if you bought the game a second time. Now whenever you play it, you have to rent it.

      As a sony guy... And a Nintendo guy... And a pc guy.. Ps now stinks if there is no disk compatibility/ way to purchase a game permanently.

    Well considering that this is till a Beta and most games that are worth playing on the PS1 or PS2 have been remade and re-released for PS3 i dont see much of an issue.

    If the service launches and still no PS1 and PS2 games, then it might be something to be annoyed with. Other than that just use it as intended, a Beta. Dont like it, dont use it.

    I think the reason why Sony is waiting and not pushing to have this system available and in place, is because it would kill sales for 'digitally remastered' games like Abe's Odyssey and The last of us

      Maybe. But the rental price is too high to do that.

    I had to stop this video at 7 minutes. I was also not going to reply at all, considering the article was clearly just clickbait. But meh, these guys are idiots, and it's embarrassing watching them. Especially the little dumpy one that swears a lot.

    Last edited 31/07/14 11:14 am


    I'll say the same thing I do whenever the Microsoft backwards compatibility articles come up:

    Your hardware is dramatically more powerful than the previous iteration, you own the prior OS, you own the hardware code you developed, you know exactly who to talk to to licence the hardware code you didn't develop and the demand is there. Sell us a legal emulator for the things we already own and make money hand over fist.

    I'd happily pay 20 bucks for a Xbox/Xbox360 emulator for my hypothetical Xbox One and another 20 for a PS1/2/3 emulator for my actual PS4 and I can't imagine I'm alone. I'd be willing to accept the fact that they may not be 100% flawless, it's the perils of emulation, as long as it's spelled out in big letters for people who've never had experience with emulation before that it probably won't be as good as playing on a native machine, people can go in with an informed position.

    Hell, it's all about bringing back the good old days, make a fucking DEMO so they can try it. An hour of functionality without saving should be more than adequate to test if the games they have will work to a level they're happy with and then they can decide if it's something they're happy purchasing.

      I'd upvote this comment if my phone would let me.

    Am I right in assuming this is because individual games need individual servers to run?

    So for example if you’re streaming Uncharted on PS3 and I’m streaming Uncharted 2 then the streams are coming from different systems?
    More titles = more systems, which is why they’re going to remove games that aren’t popular and why you can’t buy a game outright (because that allows them to take the system down when necessary).

    So while a PS3 game like GTA V might still be getting a fair bit of play, putting a back catalogue of 200+ PS1 games will just be soaking up systems. I don’t know how many people are playing Rally Cross right now but I don’t think it’s a lot.

    Sony have the best, most comprehensive, most flexible back catalogue system of all the consoles on the PS3.
    Just find a way to f*cking emulate PS1, 2 and 3 games on the PS4!

    Their customers don’t want to pay again (on the clock!) to play games which they already own.
    Their customers don’t want (or more likely CAN’T allow) their games to chew up their internet caps.
    Their customers don’t want unavoidable lag ruining the single player games they love.
    Their customers don’t want the resolution of their games downscaled so they can play them on what is supposed to be a new system.

    I don’t know what Sony are thinking but it seems like they’ve completely lost touch with the reality of what this system can deliver and what their customers want.
    It’s almost Nintendo-esque in its mind boggling stupidity and complete lack of touch with its customers!
    Does anyone at Sony REALLY think that this is what their customers want?

    It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft manages to get in-system backwards compatibility for the Xbone working if lots of people blow up at Sony, because and always-on, STREAMING system is probably more offensive to consumers and offers far less benefits than any plan that MS ever had for the Xbone.

    Last edited 31/07/14 12:58 pm

      "Am I right in assuming this is because individual games need individual servers to run?"

      That's where the power of the "cloud" comes in. On-demand computing power akin to turning on a tap. In theory you'd have a big bunch of servers that can partition up into emulated systems on demand so you don't need physically distinct hardware, the software does all that and scales appropriately (eg when a new game comes out it can dedicate more 'space' on the server to that game).

      In theory. lol

        And I’m sure it probably works ok given the constraints of streaming content between two (or more) points.

        You know what works better, has always worked better and will probably work better for the next 10 years at least?
        Running off the brand new hardware in the $500 system people have sitting in their loungerooms!

        Honestly, if the cloud actually works better than onboard processing then why did the PS4 ship with any hardware at all?
        Why not just stream all PS4 content off a whole bunch of servers running at much lower capacity than the 5m+ PS4 consoles they put into individual homes?

        Oh, that’s right! Because it doesn’t actually work well. Because VERY few people/ nobody has the internet connections required to stream consistently 1080p with no lag.

        Sony were the first people to throw MS under the bus for their original ‘always-on’ requirement for the Xbone. That may have been fair enough, but it just makes them look more ridiculous when they now try implement an impractical streaming solution to their BC problem and expect customers to pay extra for it.

    The whole thing just sounds shit. I know that's negative, but the service sounds shit, the idea is shit, the pricing in this country will be shit, and the title range will be shit and feel like it is still waiting for a bunch of titles to be released, right up until the next gen.
    It's shit.

    This guy is in the wrong line of work. He should be a politician with evasion skills like that

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