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EA: PS4, Xbox 720 unlikely to offer backwards compatibility

13 February 2013

Blake Jorgensen, chief financial officer of Electronic Arts, has said he doesn’t expect Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles to offer backwards compatibility with current-gen games.

Jorgensen offered that next-generation platforms are likely to eschew the feature in favour of focusing more on cross-device connectivity.

Speaking during a Q&A session at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco (quoted by Gamasutra), the executive commented: “We have internally, not no one externally has really seen what the look and feel be like on the new consoles.”

While stating he would “reserve judgement” on how well PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 will be received, he added: “I think people are going to be pretty excited.”

"An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible.”

"And if you [play] multiplayer on a game, you'll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation," he continued.

"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 went on to suggest that the next batch of consoles will encourage deeper cross-connectivity, with phones, tablets and other such devices playing a part in the next-gen cycle.

"I do think once again without describing the new consoles, you've got to assume they're going to be highly integrated into the living room and the house, and there will be a lot of capability for interaction,” he said.

"I think as well you're going to see a lot more integration between tablets, phones, and the consoles over time. You're going to see people playing on glass at the same time they're playing on the console. And there's going to be some exciting innovations around that.

"And I think it's going to be an extension of moving from what's in the living room to what's outside the house. Even though it might not be playing on the console, it's connected to the console in some way."

Sony is hosting a special PlayStation Meeting on February 20, where it is expected the console maker will unveil the PlayStation 4. PSU.com understands the machine will launch in November, though this may possibly only refer to the U.S. and/or Japan.

Similarly, Microsoft is expected to lift the veil on the successor to the Xbox 360 in the coming months – possibly at E3 – with plans to launch the console worldwide later this year.

Stay tuned to PSU.com for more details.


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