Submitted by MelonSaurus 979d ago | opinion piece

Backwards Compatibility Is A Must For Next-gen

With the next generation of consoles now in our glimmering horizon, we turn to examine the future of gaming as we know it. But while future software and hardware sounds enticing, support of the past will be of equal importance. Backwards compatibility will be essential for the next line of game hardware, and here’s why. (PS3, Xbox 360)

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Knight_Crawler  +   979d ago
TBH this just a bunch of bolony...how many of you still play your Xbox 1 games or PS2 games?

This is just gamers nip picking and moaning about something.
Dark_Overlord  +   979d ago
I do, hell I even get the Atari out on occasion. I paid for a BC PS3 when they launched, when it YLOD (Then eventually died) Sony wouldn't replace it with another BC one, despite wanting £130.

Myself, I'd love BC to be included :) If its not, oh well I'll still get one.
Conzul  +   979d ago
I wish there was a Playstation that BC'd all the way back. I'd get it if it were $1000 even.

So worth it to a zealot like me <3
MikeMyers  +   979d ago
As long as the content I buy through my online accounts are accessible on the new hardware without having to pay a premium, I'm fine with that. It would be nice to play my old disc games too but it's not a must have imo.
Muerte2494  +   979d ago
I think...
backwards compatibility is needed in the early stages until the platform's library can stand on it's own feet. Once people have more, good, next-gen genres to play then I don't think "most" people would really think mind if it fazed out. For early adopters, I say to find someone who does re-balling and get that done to your launch system. People complained about the original model's price but it paid off in this case. They keep BC because emotion engine was built in. They don't have to buy "select" ps2 remasters and they are getting that money back in the long term.
#1.1.3 (Edited 979d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report
vulcanproject  +   979d ago
I'll say it time and again, if it really is that big a deal for you, you should keep the original machine you played them on- because it is the best machine for the job....What if it breaks later you might say? It'll be easy to get another even in 10 years. How easy is it to buy a SNES or Megadrive over 15 years since they died? Very, and they didn't even sell nearly as well as PS3/X360.

It just isn't a critical feature of a new console.

Fact is, the vast majority of PS3s sold ARE NOT BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE WITH PS2 games.

Thats right, 80+ percent of you who bought a PS3 knew full well it couldn't play your original boxed PS2 games. Did that fact hurt the machine's sales crushingly?

No it didn't. So if backwards compatibility costs so much to execute that it takes something away from the new consoles or increases their cost significantly, it shouldn't happen.

In Sony's case, it is likely to push up the cost of their new machine significantly. They chose to go with an unconventional CPU, which cannot be emulated in software well. Which means it would have to be included as hardware and add complexity and expense.

If you can find a way to add BC without increasing the cost of the machine, then go nuts. But if it pushes up the cost for everyone, then you should just remember that your PS3 probably doesn't play boxed PS2 games either.
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trenso1  +   979d ago
@conzul you know backwards compatible playstations play all playstation games ps2 and ps1 I was able to play dragon all gt final bout on the ps3 which is a ps1 game and KH2 which is a ps2 game
nukeitall  +   979d ago
There are a few games I love to play from the previous generation.

For instance, I still fire up Ninja Gaiden Black every now and then for some Itagaki classic!

I also love the BC on the Wii, so for me BC is important. that is the one thing I'm envyous of PC gamers.
guitarded77  +   979d ago

Backward compatibility is more important now than EVER...

This gen has taken competitive MP to the forefront of gaming, and people will still want to play these games.

Some say "Just keep your PS3/360"... and I say "NO". I have HDMI splitters already hooked up so I can have all my machines run. I can't keep plugging things into MORE power strips making it a fire hazard.

BC is most important at the beginning of a generation when new-gen titles are fewer, and people are still playing games from the huge catalog of the previous generation.

I don't know if BC would be hardware based or software based, but Sony and MS know the importance of BC.
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knowyourstuff  +   979d ago
Hey, if we're all willing to shell out more money for HD PS2 and Xbox collections, Sony will more than likely continue that business model for PS4, anything to pay off the mountain of debt they're incurring paying off the PS3 AND PS4 R&D and manufacturing costs.

BC is still a good thing though, but whiney gamers will cry that the cost will go up at launch, like they always do.

Every other console that plays PC games that's going to come out, like Razor, and the one Valve is behind, they're going to be $1000 and $1100, and not a single PC gamer whined about it. Grow up you little kids.
cemelc  +   979d ago
Id like to play my uncharted/infamous/killzone games again without having to pay again for a game i own.

It is a big deal for me.
#1.2 (Edited 979d ago ) | Agree(18) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Jackobinen  +   979d ago
Then play them on the Playstation 3 that you already own FFS...! You don't have to sell your previous console just because you buy the successor.
Pillsbury1  +   979d ago
What Jacko said. I still have my ps2 and ps1, I still have my psp along my ps vita. I have a retro duo for when I want to play snes/ NES games. You already have backwards compatibility capabilities, it's called your current system.
the worst  +   979d ago
Knight_Crawler i agree 70% with you
i dont care Backwards Compatibility retail games
but i would like to play some of my psn games on my ps4
solid_warlord  +   979d ago
If u spent £200 last 12months or more on games, you'd want to be able to play them againe.

BC is an advantage as it will give you back catalogue of many great games this gen. Sure, in 3 years down the road of next gen. BC will slowly become irrlevant. However, theres always great games you wanna be able to play from previous gen. This Gen we had some great games. Hell, i still play Timesplitters 2 on my 60gb PS3. That game is awesome, better than most multiplayer shooters this gen by a long shot.

One thing i do not want is have a last gen console sitting along side next gen console. Dont have the room & space to fill my entertainment hub. All HDMI's in my TV is being used up. Space is cramped. So it would have to get replaced. I would like it to be BC on launch.

Next gen, i rekon XBOX Next will have an advantage in this option. For 3 years the next Xbox will be BC until a price cut and a revision of hardware without BC is released.
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Tzuno  +   979d ago
Well i just throw my old games then? they are not for sale because there are really good games that's worth having. And i don't need 100 consoles to play the same games that were released on the same brand.
Derekvinyard13  +   979d ago
are you serious dude? what is wrong with people? backwards compatibility was pretty much mandatory on all systems prior to the new ps3 slim but what happened??? they found a way to make money off it and exploited it. u can thank this gen for destroying something that use to be standard. its only gonna get worse...... i only own a ps3 so i don't know what Xbox 360 has in terms of bc but im pretty sure some Xbox games can be played on it.
ShaunCameron  +   979d ago
Backwards compatibility became too expensive for Sony to keep around. That's why they got rid of it upon making the Slim models and dropping the price.
NastyLeftHook0  +   979d ago
I know what is going on, the ps3 classics are on psn because of backwards compatibility. I expect ps3 games to be on the ps4 psn. Its a smart thing sony is doing making revenue.

But at the same time, people don't buy chevy corvettes to go 60mph max. There intentions are going faster, the same theology applies to consoles.
dorron  +   979d ago
If noone cared for Backward Compatibility why would Sony release HD Collections?

Obviously people still want to play PS2 games...and Sony is trying to take advantage of it.

BC should be in PS4, but most probably won't.
LinLeigh  +   979d ago
The fact that PSN sells PS1 and PS2 games kinda disproves your argument. Because it clearly shows there is a market for it.
MelonSaurus  +   979d ago
As i iterated in the article, the market is not wholesome enough to be a suitable substitute for BC support. It lacks so many games from the PS2 and PS1.
ALLWRONG  +   979d ago
I still play Xbox games because I can and the 360 supports it. Also there are a few games you can't play anywhere else. Nintendo and MS have a pretty good track record for supporting BC. Sony doesn't, they like to drop BC so they can re-sell you games you already own, with little or no improvements.
Tdmd  +   979d ago
If you take a look at how popular the hd remastered trend is, you will find out that a lot of people still care for the old gen games.

And considering that this gen games won't be needing an hd makeover for the next gen, backwards compatibility will be more important than ever. Not a deal breaker for sure, but it wouldn't be just a gimmick either.
user3915800  +   979d ago
I revisit some good old gaming, nothing wrong with it. Backwards comparability with pS4? I doubt it, unless they can come up with a chip that can emulate the cell for the new 8 core cpu it wont happened, as a matter of fact cell structure its too diferent to the CPU they are getting from AMD. Too much money will be for compatability with PS4, money Sony dont have, integreted with PR and distribution its something they cant do at the moment. I think Sony realised what a mess the cell was from a developers point and want to satisfy them with the change on CPU. 720 its on a better position to have compatibility a breeze cause all their procesing has been on par with PC technology, the reason why has always been better to develop for them. I hope Sony could do backwards, but it wont happened, MS I believe they will support BC right out of the gates, if not for those 2 chips scalables that they are planning to integrate, it wont matter with me, I will have both, but MS its in a better position.
I_am_Batman  +   979d ago
"I hope Sony could do backwards, but it wont happen"

I'm confident that it will happen. Probably not with integrated hardware though. Sony bought Gaikai so that would be an option for BC.
aquamala  +   979d ago
It's true I barely play ps2 games anymore, it's hard to go back to play games with long load times and sd graphics. But the jump next gen won't be so big, a lot of people would still want to play current gen games
I_am_Batman  +   979d ago
I'm glad I don't have a problem with retro graphics. I just started playing System Shock (1994) again and it's still amazing.
animegamingnerd  +   979d ago
i still play PS2 games and in my opinion about half the library of the PS2 is better then most games this gen
3-4-5  +   979d ago
I still play xbox games.

Nintendo has been backwards compatible for a while now on both console and hand held.

This gen was BC not sure why next wouldn't be.

* People are going to want to play GTA 5 on their xbox 720 because it's going to be 3-4 years before we get another one.

Other games as well.
I_am_Batman  +   979d ago
A lot of people (me included) still play older games. I even still play Sega Genesis, SNES and Dos games.
joab777  +   979d ago
Its even less necessary than ever before. Why? Because i am not selling either. They dont simply play games anymore. They are enetertainment boxes like apple tv. I will put 1 in my bedroom or my kids room so i dont have to move them to the tv i wanna use.they also stream pc content to my tv. Use the time and money on something else.
KnightRobby  +   979d ago
I actually had to go out and purchase a used Xbox to play some very memorable games. There will be games that you will still be attached to, even though next-gen graphics will shine. A lot of games, even on the Xbox and PS2, are works of art.

It's all about living nostalgia - especially with friends or family.
Oh_Yeah  +   979d ago
I have my ps3, don't really plan on getting rid of it. For what, like 50$ at gamestop in trade in? No thanks. Ps3 doubles as a bluray player and media streamer so I see no point in getting rid of it when I can place it somewhere else to be used when I get the ps4. So backwards compatibility isn't really a problem. If it's incorporated.. fine, but if it raises the cost 100+ then offer a model without it.
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NYC_Gamer  +   979d ago
I'm not worried about the new consoles being able to play 360&PS3 software
LOGICWINS  +   979d ago
It's more of a money thing in my case. If I can sell my 500 GB BC PS3 towards a PS4, then I'm saving a lot of money out of pocket AND I can still play PS3 games.

I think PS4 will be backwards compatible though. Sony received way too many complaints about it this gen to ignore it for PS4. I see them charging $50 more for a BC version.
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Belking  +   979d ago
I'm not worried. If they do they do. if they don't I still have the older ones to play on.
BrianG  +   979d ago
Exactly. I still got a NES, PS1, PS2, Dreamcast, N64 all put away for when I want to go back and play a game.

To me a new generation of consoles means it's time to move on. Sure it's great to play your older games, but I'm sure you didn't buy the latest hardware to stay stuck in the past.
kickerz  +   979d ago
My dreamcast keeps resetting itself dang it. Got so many mad games on it too :(
IQUITN4G  +   979d ago
It would be suicide if either Sony or MS if they don't allow at least this gen of software downloadable and disc, available for use on the next hardware. They really don't have a choice anyway and hardware will remain 100% compatible. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see different models available. It wasn't a given at the beginning of this gen but with so much arcade now available on 360 at least, it's a no brainer for MS certainly. I do expect multiple models though and even a non disc based system for people that are happy not to play any 360. One model being with a drive that plays both 360 and new disc offerings is a possibility for example

People should stop worrying however about not being able to run their library of games because the whole thing is tied into the gamertag now and would be quite ridiculous if you couldn't play this software any more. It would be very short sighted quite honestly. I personally wouldn't bother investing quite as much enthusiasm if things didn't carry over and MS especially will be very aware of this factor
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hellvaguy  +   979d ago
Suicide? Tell that to Nintendo where each system has never been BC (except for recently with the Wii). They never suffered any sales problem.

IMO, xbox shouldn't have a problem to doing disc BC, but doesn't seem likely at all the ps4 will be BC. I mean the current ps3 isn't BC, and now speculation is pointing to the ps4 not using the cell processor.

Who knows for sure? Just a fun hobby, trying to guess at this point. Either way, I'm totally all in for next gen regardless of BC or not.
Ezz2013  +   979d ago
suicide ?!
hyperball much ?!
linkenski  +   979d ago
With gaming becoming more purely business-minded i can totally imagine Sony and MS cutting the backwards compatibility because they want to resell PS3 and XBOX 360 titles for the new consoles because it simply makes more money.
PirateThom  +   979d ago
I don't care one way or the other but, if keeps the cost of the console down, get rid of it.
parkerpeters  +   979d ago
Backwards compatibility is a great feature. PS2 was the greatest console of all time, and though I have a PS2 myself that gets more of a workout than my PS3 ever does, I hope that everyone else gets the luxury of all the great games from Playstation's vast library available at their fingertips, without the expense and data storage of a virtual library.
Donnywho  +   979d ago
Can we just focus on console quality demands? Backwards compatibility isn't doing me any good when it bricks too soon. Standing in line with a busted console wondering if I should get the warranty this time... Sick of that ish.
IQUITN4G  +   979d ago
Thing is backward compatibility next gen is quite different. It got to the point this gen that people accepted PS2 wasn't part of PS3 any more for example but that's because we were only talking about games at that point. We now have identities which carry over and much like Ipad, people absolutely will expect things to work. We're just a minority audience of sites like this with MS and Sony for example not playing to us

And with all that said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we're charged for the pleasure of playing this stuff again. Probably a licence that allows for older arcade play and another for disc with a slightly reduced licence for both. People pay for this stuff so it's probably a given
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noniefu92   979d ago | Spam
Rageanitus  +   979d ago
I could careless about b/w compatibility

If I'm buying a next gen console I'm gonna play next gen games... Just look at the ps2 they just stopped production. If I really wanted the play old games I can still buy the old system
EffectO  +   979d ago
BC=your old games playable on new machine,no extra fee,no streaming shenanigans.Digital/Retail game and you click/insert...it works

This gen is quite different from the previous one,lots of us have large digital collections,making them not transfer= unacceptable

Imagine if some new PC comes out and it makes your large Steam library unplayable.
Would you buy that PC?
Me certainly not.

I would still get new consoles at some point but I would drastically reduce digital purchases($5-$10 max).
Theo1130  +   979d ago
No it's not.
d3nworth1  +   979d ago
Why not just keep your old console. That what I did I still have my ps1 and ps2.
abzdine  +   979d ago
definitely not a must for me! If i can buy the PS4 for 150€ less than what it was supposed to cost with backward compatibility i'll sign in from now!

PS3 owners who intend to buy PS4 dont need a second "PS3"
ShaunCameron  +   979d ago
No it's not. What's the point of backwards compatibility if I can hardly get previous-gen games retail anymore?
ALLWRONG  +   979d ago
The next Xbox will most likely play everything the 360 can. I think the transition between 360 to next Xbox will feel more like an upgrade.
Tyre  +   979d ago
They all will be 100% backwards compatible, maybe even take advantage of the new hardware(360 games build onto X-Engine will have upscalable engines with a little update). This is totally different from last transition, because now we have Achievements/Trophies & DLC that most definitely will carry over to the new systems and when we pop-in a 360/PS3 game in the nextgen systems, we will still be able to play it & get achievements/Trophies for it. The Achievements/Trophies indicate continuity, so they have to be 100% BC with back catalogue. I hope it will be hardware BC...otherwise a damn good software emulation. Anyways, Microsoft almost garanteed that the Next Xbox will be 100% BC at the beginning of this Gen, they said that they will give the 360 much better support & continuity than they gave the Original Xbox.
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tweet75  +   979d ago
It would be a nice 20th anniversary thank you to the fans to make ps4 backwards compatible with any game from ps1 on. Also if you own the game sony could take a hint from nintendo and allow gamers who already own the game to download a digital hd version of it with trophy support for 5 or 10 dollars
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orakle44  +   979d ago
Simple, keep your old console, theres your backwards compatability. All this is very silly thinking that sony/micorsoft should include that function with the next gen. There is no reason they should include it, keep your old systems, no reason to get rid of them.
SugarSoSweet  +   979d ago
It whud be nice of course but It's not a necessity
MoreRPG  +   979d ago
for me is a must. i want to be able to play my ps3 games but i dont want to keep my ps3 once the next console is out.
IGW_Fobia  +   979d ago
You might want that - but it isn't going to happen. Proof? Look at Sony and Microsoft's online stores. They now have the ability to put any of their old games up onto that, so why allow people to play their old games for free? There is none. Plus now both companies own media streaming services where they can stream their entire back catalog to you...for a price.

Sadly, the days of backwards compatibility is long over.
KrisButtar  +   979d ago
for me it is a must have feature, keep you old consoles if you want it hen people say, well i dont keep my old iphone, i use the stuff on my new iphone. also i got something like 400 playstation games and the all work on my 60GB ps3, hell at 1st i only bought the ps3 cause it had BC, i already had the 360, got the ps3 cause my ps2 crapped out. my friends are the same way, if you want me to upgrade my system i better be able to play my old games or i just keep my 360 and ps3
azshorty2003  +   979d ago
I want BC. I think it's a nice feature to have. I Often go back and play games like RE4 and MGS3. Sure those games have had rereleases, but that requires new purchase. Plus, there are many games that have not gotten that kind of treatment.

Some of this was solved by having PS2 games downloadable in the PSN store. But the download sizes aren't that big. If we continue to do it with the PS3 games, HD's will fill up in no time. As we can already see, and we're still on this generation.
Oldman100  +   979d ago
The thing I like about BC on newer consoles is the potential for enhancements. With the BC ps3 you can upscale ps2 and ps1 games to 1080p through HDMI with the smoothing feature. You can't do that on native hardware.

Just imagine playing ps3 games on your ps4 upscaled to 1080p/4k(with a way better scaler than what ps3 has) with features like post process AA.

This is why backwards compatibility is an awesome feature to have.
stefan771  +   979d ago
BC would be great. Can't see it happening though
lawks_land  +   979d ago
Backwards compatibility generally hurts sales revenue. With the increasing availability of downloadable platforms and online distribution, companies can make a lot more through releasing games online at a price, rather than allowing old, usually second hand versions playable.

It's a revenue thing.
gaminoz  +   979d ago
I agree there should be. In the transition period it is especially important. I sell off my old console when I upgrade to make it slightly cheaper, but still want to play my catalogue of games
urwifeminder  +   979d ago
Its a must for me no bc no buy.
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