Backwards compatibility is a perennial hot topic where next-gen games consoles are concerned. Players in possession of an enviable collection of games, and hard-earned accolades are understandably reluctant to part with their prizes while paying out $400 for the privilege (or $500 in the case of the Xbox One). Likewise, even the most expansive of home theater displays begins to suffer under the weight of 8 generations worth of collected memories.
Whether due to ease of use or crafty corporate decisions, it often makes solid business sense to lock out old tech on a new machine, but what about when players want to do just the opposite – to bring new ideas to bear on older generations of tech?
That’s the thinking behind German outfit Computer Bild‘s latest video, exploring the interplay of the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 joypad with the soon-to-be outdated PlayStation 3 console. Presented by Udett Schaffrath, aka ‘Udetto,’ the 2-minute vlog is less how-to-instructional vid and more limited play-test, putting the DS4 through its paces on “big brother’s” aging hardware. Despite attempts to sync the pad wirelessly, connection can only be established via the DS4’s wired charger, with removal of this umbilical resulting in the total loss of play.
Having managed to boot up PSN motorcross title Urban Trial Freestyle without incident, Udetto failed to repeat the feat with FIFA 13, as the DS4 stubbornly refused the invitation to a kickabout, accessing only the game’s menu screens with any success.
Unlike the prospect of PS3 to PS4 compatibility, PS4 to PS3 usage shouldn’t really harm Sony’s profit margins in any meaningful way, meaning the company may yet release a patch to sync up the DualShock 4 with such wayward titles as FIFA 13. In the past, Sony has illustrated a general acceptance of cross-generational hardware use, including DualShock 2 play on the original PlayStation and slimline PSone consoles — a fact the company advertised on DS2 retail packs. Sadly, the DS3 didn’t deign to work with either of its predecessors, despite the availability of USB ports on the PlayStation 2.
The DualShock 4 also works on Windows PC at launch, something that the Xbox One controller inexplicable will not support until 2014 despite the Xbox 360 controller’s popularity on the platform. Given the reported improvements made to the DualShock 4 by Sony, its backwards compatibility could help to improve tactile play on older titles. With a newly sloping d-pad and concave analog sticks, fighting game and first-person shooter aficionados may even be able to top a few high scores.
Is the DualShock’s limited cross-gen functionality a necessary evil, as a reflection of our ever-expanding tech, or a blatant money making scheme from Sony? Would you be happy to battle it out against a better-equipped DS4 user on a PS3 title? Have your say in the comments below, and be sure to check out all of the latest PlayStation 4 news, right here on Game Rant.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 will debut on November 15th 2013 across North America and November 29th 2013 throughout Europe.
Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo.