Jim Ryan, President of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE), has indicated that the format holder is unlikely to change its stance on backwards compatibility.
Speaking during an interview with Time, Ryan suggested that the feature, which competitor Microsoft introduced for its Xbox One last year, is not actually utilised all that much among PlayStation gamers despite being a popular request.
"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," Ryan told Time. "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?"
The PS4 currently does not allow users to play games from previous iterations of PlayStation hardware in the traditional sense. It’s able to stream PS3 games via the PlayStation Now feature, which operates on a subscription basis, and you can download PSOne and PS2 Classics from the PlayStation Store. However, you can’t simply insert your old game discs into your PS4 and fire them up the old-fashioned way.
Sony has previously commented that it hasn’t completely ruled out offering backwards compatibility for the PS4, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point in time.
"Backward compatibility is hard," said Sony Worldwide Studios chief, Shuhei Yoshida. "I won’t say we’ll never do it, but it’s not an easy thing to do. If it was easy we would have done that."
The PS4 was released in November 2013 and has shipped 60 million units worldwide as of March 31, 2017. Sony launched a slimmer version of its flagship gaming console last September, and followed it up with a high-spec iteration in the shape of the PS4 Pro in November. The company recently confirmed that one in every five PS4 systems sold since the Pro launch have been for the 4K machine, though exact sales figures have not been revealed.