EA CFO: PlayStation 4 And Xbox 720 Most Likely Not Backwards Compatible

By Staff Reporter , Updated Feb 13, 2013 10:43 AM EST
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The next Xbox and PlayStation probably won't feature backwards compatible with current-gen games and accessories, according to Electronic Arts chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen, Gamasutra reports. 

Jorgensen told analysts at a Goldman Sachs Q&A session that EA is heavily invested in what the publisher calls "gen-four" platforms, referring to the Xbox 720 and PS4. EA CEO John Riccitiello has previously said that the publisher doesn't see Nintendo's Wii U as a next-gen device.

Discussing the future of gaming hardware and the approaching transitional period for developers,  Jorgensen stressed the importance of understanding the consequences of console-makers starting a new software library from scratch.

"An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible," Jorgensen said. "If you [play] multiplayer on a game, you'll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation."

With that in mind, Jorgensen explained that the 2013/2014 EA Sports lineup will strive to keep the current generation of consoles relevant for consumers, especially if Sony and Microsoft's new systems release at the end of the year.

"The reality is, is that fiscal year 2014 will still be a fairly large gen-three if there's a console business that comes in at the tail end of the year, mainly because a lot of our titles are built around sports calendars," Jorgenson said. "And so a FIFA, a Madden, an NCAA, an NHL title, all come out aligned with the sports calendar. And if a next-gen console doesn't come out until next Christmas, most people won't wait. They'll want to be involved in getting those titles early, because their friends are all playing those titles, and because they're being played on a current generation's consoles."

Neither Sony or Microsoft have revealed definitive information on their upcoming consoles. Sony is expected to reveal the PlayStation 4 at their February 20th press conference. Microsoft will likely announce the Xbox 360's successor at a similar event before E3 2013..

Jorgensen said that EA has seen the new console, and thinks people will be excited once people see what they've been waiting for:

"No one's really seen yet... I mean, we have internally, but no one externally has really seen what the look and feel will be like on the new consoles. So I'll reserve judgment other than to say that I think people are going to be pretty excited."

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