PlayStation 4 owners won't be able to play PS3 games at launch, but it won't be a long wait. Sony plans to release a digital library of PlayStation 3 titles powered by its Gaikai streaming technology in North America starting next year.
That's according to Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida, who revealed the news during a roundtable discussion at the Tokyo Game Show. And since all the heavy lifting and processing will take place in the cloud, you'll also be able to play those PS3 classics on a PS Vita and the newly unveiled PS Vita TV. Yoshida says gamers can expect a "decent number" of titles to be available when the feature launches, with selection growing over time — much in the way Sony releases PSone and PlayStation 2 classics now.
Sony's PlayStation 4 console doesn't offer traditional backwards compatibility with the PS3 game library. But when the company announced its acquisition of Gaikai last year, gamers immediately began hoping the technology would eventually let them play Uncharted, Heavy Rain, Ratchet and Clank, and other PlayStation hits on the next-gen hardware. To their delight, Sony has now made those plans official.