Could The PS4 Spell Disaster For The PS1?

Expected later this year, Sony's upcoming powerhouse of a console - the PS4 - reinvents the traditional perspective upon console gaming through the introduction of revolutionary remote play features in which players can watch or take over a friend's Playstation 4. However, the unconfirmed PS1 backwards compatibility may introduce a whole new generation of gamers to the original Playstation's era of games if all turns out as expected. Right now Sony have the power to revive a goldmine of games on their last breaths, or add dirt to the hole in which they lie....

The Forgotten Generation
Thanks to modern gaming, retro gaming has been all but remembered by only the enthusiastic gamers. Generally ignored due to being hard to find, having poor graphics and a generally harder learning curve, the recent pursuit for better graphics in gaming has almost eradicated classic games to the casual gamer. Moreover, with younger audiences being introduced to gaming the urge to play older games is fading, especially when they have no reason to do so thanks to a superior modern counterpart.

Fortunately, the PS4 offers the PS1's catalog of games a new lease of life. If the remote play function is universal in what one can view then it will be possible to watch a friend play PS1, PS2 (if the PS4 supports digital PS2 games), PS3 (yet again digital releases) and PS4 games without any limitations. Assuming Sony code the PS4 to allow gamers to view friends use remote play when that friend is using the PS4's backwards compatibility then the PS1 may possibly see the most attention the console has seen in years. This is because not only would a gamer's friend be able to watch them play the backwards compatible game (in this case, a PS1 game), but they would have the ability to take over and experience the game for themself. In addition, popular Youtubers (the current platform for the showcasing of classic games) would be able to host live gameplay "Let's Play" video series without having to access a 3rd party website in order to do so. Following this, they would be able to upload the entire live event onto Youtube thanks to the PS4's nifty "Share" button which allows the recording of games being played. Sounds good, huh? Indeed it does! Seeing a friend playing a classic game may inspire a younger gamer to buy the game themself thanks to the Playstation Store's (sometimes) cheaply priced classic Playstation range of games.

The advantages of this would not only highlight popular classic games, but it would give niche games the attention they very much deserve. Furthermore, the elevated level of attention may persuade some publishers to reform old teams or even build new ones to revive long lost game franchises that once were believed to be dead. In success, this would spell wonders for old franchises thanks to Sony's additions brought to the table by the PS4.

Although this seems positive, there is no confirmation that the PS4 will support backwards compatibility with Playstation 1 and Playstation 2 games. Although this has been semi-confirmed with PS3 games (not disc-based backwards compatibility, instead one must access a cloud to play PS3 games digitally), the PS4 may break a Playstation trend and stop backwards compatibility completely. The outcome of this would be the complete opposite of what retro gamers want. The implications would be huge for it would crush the last general source of Playstation 1 and 2 games (the Playstation Store); thus, the PS4 could hold the ability to finally stop the PS1's legacy that has survived since the console's inception thanks to Sony's continuation of the console through the  addition of Playstation 1 backwards compatibility which has been present in every Playstation console since the PS2. As proven by monthly sales reports from the Ps Blog, the Playstation's library is still very much relevant thanks to the Playstation Store's rich offering of classics. Could the PS4 end this by removing backwards compatibility completely, or increase the popularity of PS1 games with remote play? If removed then it's very likely that the PS1's current userbase will dramatically decline due to the increasing cost and value of physical PS1 games.

In conclusion, this may spell disaster for the Playstation enthusiasts. Sony's decisions whether or not to include Playstation backwards compatibility may finally put an end to the iconic console. Alternatively, if Sony choose to include backwards compatibility with the PS4 and further decide to make Playstation 1 games compatible with the remote play function then the Playstation 1 may see a surge in who buys its games and which of its forgotten franchises are revived. The months to follow certainly are exciting times.

If you're having trouble deciding what PS1 games to buy from the Playstation Store, or just want to enjoy a good read then be sure to check out The Top 5 PS1 Classics On The Playstation Store.
Furthermore, as this article highlights, the next generation of gaming consoles are making profound, negative alterations towards the traditional gaming console.

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