PS4 Facts: No Always-Online Connection, No Used Games Block, Backwards Compatibility, and Disc Drives

It’s nice to finally see that the PS4 is real and no longer lurking the realm of shadows and rumors.  Even so, we didn’t get all the answers we wanted, nor even a look at the actual system itself.  After the event ended, many gamers found themselves asking a great deal of questions they hoped would have been answered.  Fortunately interviews conducted with Sony execs afterwords shed light on these issues, and if you were wondering, we’ve got them all rounded up right here:

always online

PS4 Won’t Require an Always Online Connection

Sony made it clear that they see the next generation becoming ultra social, and many of the new (and personally exciting) features of the PS4 they discussed dealt with how they see gamers interacting and playing games in a social setting.  One of the rumors that’s been floating around about the PS4 and the next Xbox has been that the systems will require a constant internet connection.

With all the features Sony talked about (such as automatic downloads/patches, background applications, and “psyhic” game downloads) gamers feared this meant those rumors might be true.  That’s not the case.  Eurogamer talked to Shuhei Yoshida about this and confirmed that you don’t always have to be connected:

“Oh yes, yes, you can go offline totally. Social is big for us, but we understand there are some people who are anti-social! So if you don’t want to connect to anyone else, you can do that.”

Many sources are still saying the Xbox 720 (or whatever it is) will be always connected, which could really hurt it in the console race.  Guess we’ll still have to wait and see about that one.

gamestop

PlayStation 4 Will NOT Block Used Games

Over the past year, both Sony and Microsoft patented technology that appeared to indicate their next-generation consoles would take steps to ban the use of used video games.  It’s been a polarizing issue for gamers and considering a large part of the industry deals with the sale of used games, it understandably had many concerned.  Thankfully, the PS4 won’t be having this issue and will support used games on it’s console. 
Eurogamer again got the word on this:

“Yes. That’s the general expectation by consumers,” said Yoshida. “They purchase physical form, they want to use it everywhere, right? So that’s my expectation.”

Personally, I’m not big on used games.  I like to purchase stuff new so that the developers get all the money (so they can make more games that I like), but at the same time I also enjoy the ability to share games with my friends in order to try new things.  Blocking used games would also put a stop to that, so it’s good that Sony has put those fears to rest.

No Backwards

PS4 Is Not Backwards Compatible; Will Stream Back Catalogue Through the Cloud

One thing that’s on every gamers’ mind when the next-generation of consoles is announced, is whether or not the new machines will be compatible with the current-gen’s library of games.  We love to play classic games, the ones we grew up with and want to continue to enjoy.  While this is starting to happen with more and more HD collections and via digital downloads, some have wondered if they’ll be able to take all their PS3 games and pop them into the PS4.  The short answer is that no…you won’t. 

While it wasn’t said explicitly during the presentation, Gaikai’s David Perry confirmed that PS3 games are not “natviely supported”, meaning you can’t put in a PS3 disc.  However he did say that the PlayStation back catalogue would be made available through their cloud services. 

There aren’t any details on which games will be available, but sadly, Engadget is reporting that your PS3 and PSN save files won’t be able to transfer over.  That’s a big bummer.  So if you want to fire up your favorite title on the PS4 be prepared to start from scratch.

Blu-ray 2176

It Does Have a Blu-Ray Disc Drive

This question arose mainly due to the fact that Sony didn’t show the system itself last night.  With all the talk about the online connectivity and social aspects, some wondered if this meant the system was going completely away from a disc drive.  That’s not the case, and the system will continue to support blu-ray discs. 

ps4-specs

Hardware Specs

These were talked about in general terms, but Sony has released some more detailed specs on the hardware.  Check out the image above for them.

Obviously there’s still more to know and see from the PS4.  Now that the system has been formally revealed and due out this holiday season, we should be hearing more about it sooner rather than later. So how are you guys feeling about the system so far?  Do these things set aside any fears?

-Jordan