With yesterday's Xbox One reveal, we now know that Microsoft's latest console and the Sony PlayStation 4 won't be backwards compatible with their PowerPC-based predecessors. Microsoft Interactive Entertainment president Don Mattrick told the Wall Street Journal that the company is not planning on offering even a token backwards compatibility system, like it did with the Xbox 360.
"If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards," he said.
Mattrick said that only 5 percent of customers play older titles on a new system, so Microsoft doesn't find the option worthwhile. Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson believes that a lack of backwards compatibility could hurt the system in the short term, but it could help software sales as players "rebuild their entire library for a new console."
Sony is working on some form of backwards compatibility for the PlayStation 4, possibly based on the cloud-streaming Gaikai service, but no concrete plans have been announced.