Sony PlayStation 4 users might not have to worry about the console not being backwards compatible with older PlayStation 3 games. It seems the company plans to allow users to stream the older console’s titles sometime next year.
Speaking during the Tokyo Games Show roundtable today on IGN LIVE, Shuhei Yoshida said that users would be able to play PlayStation 3 games using the Gaikai streaming service that Sony purchased for $380 million last year.
The service will allow users to play only a limited choice of games when it debuts in 2014, but will expand its streaming library overtime to include more of the titles that are available on the PlayStation 3 console itself.
What’s even more interesting is that Sony will allow users to stream games from the service on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and the Vita TV set-top box the company announced earlier this month. Should the service work as advertised, Sony could change the way users think about gaming, more specifically backwards compatibility. Neither the Xbox One nor the PlayStation 4 allow users to play old games, however with a working Gaikai service as detailed, PlayStation 4 users wouldn’t need it to.
This steaming could also be trans formative for casual users. Sony’s Vita TV set-top box will allow users to enjoy their digital services, PlayStation Store content and play PlayStation 3 quality games without costing a fortune. While the company hasn’t detailed any plans for launching the console in the United States, it’s coming to Asian markets on November 14th for around $95.
Interestingly enough, many of the markets that will see the Vita TV launch this year won’t be able to get their hands on the Xbox One until next year, giving Sony all the space it needs to get an early foothold in those markets.
With the PlayStation 4’s lower-pricing already putting pressure on the Xbox One’s high-end efforts, a Vita TV with Gaikai subscription could devastate sales of the Xbox 360, which still costs users $199 at least.
Sony says that it plans to launch Gaikai streaming in North America sometime next year.