In an interview with Time, Ryan discussed seeing versions of Gran Turismo running side-by-side on PlayStation 4, PS3, PS2 and PSOne. “The PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?” he said at the time.
Speaking to in the latest Axios Gaming newsletter, the PlayStation boss claimed that he had not made his point well, which was to emphasise how far the racing series had come since its early days.
“The point I was trying to make — obviously not very well — was just how great the PS4 version looked and how far the series had evolved. I certainly wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to our heritage,” he told journalist Stephen Totilo.
“I guess my big learning from all of this is that when Kazunori Yamauchi unveils the next ‘Gran Turismo’ side by side with its history, that I will keep my mouth shut.”
Sony has been criticised in the recent past for not actively supporting its back catalogue of games. The PlayStation 5 only supports PS4 games natively, with select PS3 and PS2 titles only running via its streaming service PSNow.
After a backlash from fans, Sony later u-turned on the plans to close the Vita and PS3 stores, stating that it had made “the wrong decision” (the PSP Store will still close on July 2).
In the Axios interview, Jim Ryan reportedly pointed to PS5 launch game Astro’s Playroom, in which players collect classic PlayStation items, as proof it supports its past.
“What is important to recognize when considering this question about designing a new platform, is that time, engineering resource, and money are all finite, and that important trade-offs have to be made in terms of what’s included, and what’s not,” Ryan said.
Ryan is said to have added that PS5’s compatibility with PS4 games was due to fans’ “real desire” for that support, but had no comment on whether Sony planned to enable compatibility with PS1 games.
VGC analysis had suggested that around 140 PlayStation games would no longer be available for purchase in any form when Sony closed the PSP, Vita and PS3 stores as initially planned.
Now a far smaller number of titles – around 35 digital-only PSP games – will disappear following the July store closure.