OPINION - Moving Forward; Looking Backward

Backward compatibility is back in the news, with hardware manufacturers under scrutiny once more. It's an issue that divides the industry, and enrages consumers. But does it actually matter?

Backward compatibility, say its detractors, is a colossal waste of time. But those who favor BC contend it is an expected feature of modern consoles, rewarding consumers loyal to a hardware brand, offering some comfort at point of purchase and extending the life of old-gen games.

Detractors argue that the cost of engineering hardware in boxes that will enable BC is wasteful, as is the time spent by 'emulation ninjas' bringing old games into a new hardware fold.

They say that the number of people actually playing old games on new systems is tiny. When pushed, they may concede that if BC is to be implemented it should be done as cheaply as possible, and it should focus on only the very biggest games, possibly offering some form of enhancement, either paid-for or free.

Intel's gaming strategic planner Tasos Kaiafas says, "I think backward compatibility is nothing more than something else for the fan boys to pick on and complain about. Unless console hardware manufacturers can do something to the old games to enhance them in some meaningful way on the next-gen consoles, it's not worth doing." He argues that the PC, the ultimate backwardly compatible machine, has always been about evolution rather than stark generational cycles.

Apart from the tiny numbers of consumers who make use of BC - they are vocal way beyond their actual mass - even industry fans of BC say it's a cosmetic fix rather than a practical benefit.

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Gh0stDrag0n6199d ago

I could care less about BC for the XBOX360,but....BC for the Wii, now that will be Great. All the games I played as a kid available and then some! Can't wait.

nirwanda6199d ago

there are lot's of games on the xbox that look great scaled and with AA
also it extents the life of the console sony proved that with the ps2 more sale's for dev of the last gen, certain styles of game like RPG's don't tend to appear early on in the consoles lifespan.
M$ are daft to try and do all the BC stuff on their own all new games released could be BC if they let devs do it im sure they would be willing to help if it ment selling more software

TheXgamerLive6199d ago

The great thing is were getting still more titles but all my favs are already b/c. Hey did anyone play "theif" III for the XBOX, awesome game and it;s now on the B/C list. If ya like stealth and midevil type game rolled into one then go for it. One of my top 5 games for the XBOX.

PS360PCROCKS6199d ago

I have still yet to play a game from the original xbox, I agree with number 1, I am more interested in playing mario and stuff like that

sonyISgod6199d ago

On the other side about the 360 BC, when a new games has been anounce for BC all of you fool get all excited and some are dissapointed that your favorate games is not on the LIST. haha all of you moron are sadd just sadd... get a life already and step out of Fairy World alredy and face Reality for once. ahhaha

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