This morning, an interview with Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan commented on PlayStation's belief in "generations." Now, Xbox GM Aaron Greenberg is responding, saying Xbox also believes in generations, but with a different meaning.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Ryan commented on whether PlayStation 5 games would be playable on the previous system, in a manner similar to Xbox Series X games being playable on Xbox One. It's an idea that Ryan says PlayStation isn't interested in doing.
"We have always said that we believe in generations," Ryan told GIbiz. "We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features."
He elaborates that elements like the DualSense controller, 3D audio, and the much-touted SSD inside the PS5 give the PlayStation community something that can "really only be enjoyed on PS5." A post from Greenberg today seems like a direct reply to Sony's take on "generations," however.
"Xbox believes in generations," Greenberg tweeted. "Generations of games that play on latest HW [sic] taking advantage of next-gen innovation offering more choice, value & variety than any console launch ever. All our Studios titles launch into Game Pass & you get those next-gen game upgrades for free."
Ryan also discussed Sony's work toward appeasing PlayStation 4 owners who don't make the next-gen jump right away, too. In a BBC interview, Ryan acknowledges that if there are 100 million PS4 owners now, "the majority of those will not buy a PS5 for a couple of years."
"It's our responsibility and it's an opportunity to keep serving them great gaming content and keep them happy," said Ryan.
While PlayStation is working on its own method for backward compatibility, this is a notable deviation in strategies between the console manufacturers. Xbox has been touting its Smart Delivery and Game Pass benefits, forming a unified ecosystem, whereas Sony seems to indicate it will be delivering console-exclusive experiences meant to take advantage of the hardware.
We'll soon know what those exclusives are for both consoles. Microsoft is gearing up for a first-party reveal in July, while PlayStation's first big games showcase will take place next week on June 4.