A long time ago there was a brand new console called the SNES. Many of us remember it with a particular fondness and some even consider it the best video game system ever made. Oh to think of the 16-bit goodness of the old days; Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy III (VI). So many pleasant memories from one little box.
Many people remember the SNES with more than a little fondness, but few people remember that amongst the many features that were supposed to be a part of its skill set, backwards compatibility was one of them. Indeedily, the beloved SNES was initially supposed to be able to play NES games, and as we all know, it didn't. The feature was eventually deemed too costly, and to the disturbance of many an annoyed consumer was ditched. And yet, over the years that fact has been all but forgotten. We hold the SNES and the era it lived in up in reverence. After all, what does backwards compatibility matter anyhow?
Apparently a lot. The eventual lack of backwards compatibility has been one of the largest complaints against the PlayStation 3. Not to compare the PS3 to the SNES. The two couldn't be more different. The SNES was a console that helped to define an era. The PS3 is in the eyes of many the third string of this generation, not failing but not exactly defining success either, and backwards compatibility seems to be part of the reason.