Backwards Compatibility Is Important, And Could Win The Next Generation

Speaking to gamers and developers alike, Heath Hindman of Game Revolution says: "Gaming is important. It's an important medium that has great impact on our lives, our culture, and our history; we see more evidence of it every day. If we discard backward compatibility, we disregard part of our history, and part of our passion. What was once only for social outcasts and tech "geeks" is now popular culture, and dare I say, rightly so. In order to continue taking these strides, the medium needs a sense of identity and self-worth, otherwise gaming will always be a scapegoat for insane behavior and incomplete homework, rather than recognized as the beautiful thing that it truly is."

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dedicatedtogamers1984d ago

No, it isnt important. Most people don't use a system to "play the classics", and if they do, a lot use a digital distribution system. People act as though backwards compatibility is what makes or breaks a console, but it isnt. Neither 360 nor PS3 have full BC. Wii has BC but thats mostly through the Virtal Console. The majority of gaming systems throughout history haven't had BC.

knifefight1984d ago

Hm, it seems your comment isn't really a reply to the article, as it's not really the type you are describing at all.

It takes a different approach and says that it's important because of gaming history and gaming as an important entertainment medium. It's not about people, as you say "buying a system to play the classics." That is also not how in the industry sense it could win the generation. Read the part about dev kits. If someone did that, especially Sony? That could change the face of the console war.

Re: "The majority of gaming systems throughout history haven't had BC."
^ I refer you to paragraphs 20 through 22.

cayleee1984d ago


I completely disagree BC is very important imo. Anyone who has bought a good number of games this gen will tell you this.

I have about 160 games on Steam, they arent going anywhere.

GalacticEmpire1984d ago (Edited 1984d ago )

Luckily Sony is preserving their gaming history with Gaikai. Eventually every single Playstation Game from Crash Bandicoot to The Last of Us will be available to play. That's nearly two decades of awesome games that have defined 3+ generations of consoles over 3 new, successful multimedia formats.

LOL_WUT1984d ago

I think it's important to some degree but, you can't deny that it'll be a deciding factor for many.

kevnb1984d ago

are you drunk? I don't even know what you are saying.

SilentNegotiator1984d ago

"I have about 160 games on Steam, they arent going anywhere"

Neither are console games.

1nsaint1984d ago

@galacticempire yeah but you will have to buy the same games a second time.

SilentNegotiator1984d ago

If it's about the importance as an entertainment medium (and ONLY about that), then there was no need for "and could win the next generation"

cayleee1984d ago (Edited 1984d ago )


First cloud gaming is still unproven, despite what Onlive, Gakai or Sony would like to have us believe.

Second its not the same as having a physical copy, not every one has reliable connection 24 /7.

Lastly you will be paying for it again, what happens to people who for instance bought God of war 1, then bought it again with the HD remake and now will again be expected to pay up for Cloud services. Where does it end?

I hope console makers can finally follow a more PC like route and actually start of offer BC from this gen onwards as in stick with X86 for a very long time, just the way we have it on PC. No worries about losing investment on software.

papashango1984d ago

There is no BC on PC per se. BUT whenever Steam has seasonal sales. Publisher packs with games dating back generations ago are ALWAYS popular.

MysticStrummer1983d ago

BC isn't important to me at all. I had it and never used it. I would have bought the two HD collections I bought regardless. Movies are a fairly important entertainment medium, but you don't get guaranteed BC with them when a new format comes out. A vocal minority cares about this issue. The masses don't.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 1983d ago
zeal0us1984d ago

Majority of gaming systems throughout history didn't have backward compatibility mainly because of the technology back then was limited. Not only that but technology back then was expensive.

BC isn't what makes or breaks a console but it can be deciding factor for some people who want that feature in the console.

I won't get my hopes up that Gaikai will support majority of the games from PS1 to PS3. The PS1 had over 2,400 games. The PS2 had over 3,800 games and the PS3 had over 700 games. Thats over 6,900 games altogether. Regardless of amount of games, Sony will still need the licenses/rights to stream the games.

Jazz41081984d ago

I gurantee with Gaiki you will pay to play these games again and thats not bc. The new xbox however is rumored to have a second engine in it identical to the 360 for complete bc if you believe ms leaked documents. I at least know they are definitly considering it and we know sony cant because of the cell. This coukd be huge for ms as a selling point since you will not have to buy your games again when you have the disc and dont want multiple gaming systems all ocer yohr house especially if you are allready buying a xbox and ps4.

StrongMan1984d ago

My fat PS3 has Full BC, Xbox 360 only plays a hand full of Xbox 1 games.

Irishguy951984d ago (Edited 1984d ago )

My Ps3 has no BC, my Xbox 360 red ringed.

@ Galactic Empire down there. It COMPLETELY depends on the system. For sony to do BC in Ps4, it would cost them a Ps3 inside the Ps4. For MS to do it...not much...because the hardware between the 360 and nextbox will not be completely alien to one another.

Also Strongman

Hardly a handful:

wishingW3L1984d ago

my phat PS3 is dead and if I send it to Sony they will only give me a slim or something but they will not repair it. =/

I want BC.

Derekvinyard131984d ago

Don't agree with dedicated,

mav8051984d ago

3 of the 15 consoles I've ever bought had backwards compatibility and it's never even crossed my mind as a factor in whether to buy or not. If you want to play PS3/Xbox360 games, keep your PS3/Xbox360. The machine may not last forever, but it will last long enough until other options for playing those games become available.

speedninja1984d ago

I agree. I'm getting a PS4 release day and its not to play old PS3 games, I'll be playing PS4 Games. If I need Backwards compatibility I'll turn the PS3 on.

hobohunterz1983d ago

Yea people just being cry baby's for the few times they would actually use backwards compatibility, they should be busy playing next gen games and if they want to play older ones use the console that was designed to play the game.

MariaHelFutura1983d ago

The question is how many times will you actually use it?

I used my PS3 to play SOTC and GOW2. Which I bought in HD aswell.

I used my 360 for nothing, since I didn't own an original Xbox.

MikeMyers1983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )

dedicatedtogamers, it's not a deal breaker but it is an option many of us have now come to expect. As we continue to keep our existing accounts with our Trophies/Achievements, history, friends and so on a lot of us would like to carry our content with us as well. I have lots of games I bought off of the online stores that I would love to keep, that is one form of Backwards Compatability. The other of course are our physical games. It's just things we come to expect now. We had CD players and then DVD players that also played CD's and now bluray players that play DVD's and CD's as well. It is all media that would be nice to be able to transfer over without having multiple devices connected. The PS2 really brought Backwards Compatibility forward, so why go backwards?

maniacmayhem1983d ago

I think it is important especially to me since I havn't played nearly half of the gamesw i really wanted to and now the new generation is here?

"buuuuut keep your old console"

Listen, it's all about convenience, I bought the fat 60 gig ps3 because not only did my ps2 die but i still had a crap load of ps2 games to still play and finish. Same goes for my 360, I had games for my Xbox 1 I still didn't finish.

Not to mention I don't have the shelf space for that many multiple consoles. It's hard enough fitting all three consoles plus the cable box, plus the stereo surround sound center under and next to my TV.

I wouldn't say majority. I think the majority did have it dating all the way back to the Atari 5200.

TAURUS-5551983d ago

tbh i only play classics from time to time the important thing is to play the current gen games

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 1983d ago
decimalator1984d ago (Edited 1984d ago )

I think streaming is the best approach to bc. At this point most systems at least have Internet access available, at least for people who care enough to want bc.

I do agree, bc is important. But I don't think it's so important it has to be native hardware bc. It is more important early in the generation when the software library is small. I would be ok with a higher priced sku that includes hardware bc, but you would need essentially the majority of the innards of a ps3 to stuff into the ps4. so, track on the majority of the 299 price tag as well.

jimbobwahey1984d ago

I think streaming is the worst approach for backwards compatibility since you have the latency problems with controlling the game, and you also end up having to pay for the game you already own yet again.

Native backwards compatibility is superior in every regard since there's none of the technical issues associated with streaming and you can play all the games that you already own, rather than having to pay again.

WeAreLegion1984d ago

He played Knack on stage with the Vita. 1:1 ratio. I didn't think it was possible yet, but I witnessed it with the PS4. It'll work.

creatchee1983d ago

There's a huge difference in streaming something over a local network and via the internet.

ftwrthtx1984d ago

If they would make it so you could pop in the PS3 disc, then play the game via streaming, that would be a win for everyone IMO.

yess1984d ago

And i am allmost sure Sony will figure something like that out, they know..

My personal opinion, i couldn't care less, when PS4 comes out, i have moved on and wont look back, just play the new games comming for it.

If i should get the urge to play some old games, i still have all my consoles fully functioning, and i think in my family alone, there are at least 5 PS3's and a couple of Xbox'es + PS2 and PS1

I will live...

Wedge191984d ago

The perfect answer is BC by streaming, but add disc and trophy support, etc. If you have the disc, it would be great to be able to play the HD collection at a reduced price.

GalacticEmpire1984d ago

Backwards compatibility, probably the most over rated thing in gaming. 90% of consoles in history have not had BC or have had a half-assed approach to it and they've done just fine. Sure it's a good marketing point but people need to step back from their knee-jerk outrage and just think about what they'd rather have:

A system with BC that could cost upwards of $600/£450


A system w/o BC that would cost around $400-500/£350-400

When they are in the store buying a console it's amazing how many people would change their mind about BC if they could save fifty to a hundred bucks.

LordHiggens1984d ago

I'd pay the extra price gladly.

mistertwoturbo1983d ago (Edited 1983d ago )

You would, but a majority of gamers won't. From a business perspective, it would make more sense to sell millions more units than to please a few hundred gamers. That's the sad truth and reality of the matter.

My personal opinion, is that while it is great to have B/C, it's more of a luxury feature meaning it's not necessary to me. If I still wanted to play PS3 games, I'll keep my PS3. I did the same thing with the PS2. I figured I would keep my PS2 games, but since the PS3 came out my PS2 collected dust and in fact I haven't touched it since.

But I know there are folks out there that get nostalgic and wants to re-live their old titles. To them, I say keep your current hardware and don't expect any B/C going forward. Also don't moan and complain that the console makers aren't including it as a feature either.