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ctophil

Console Backwards Compatibility

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ctophil    19

I'm sure most of you guys play classic game consoles by default, since this is a retro magazine site. But my question is this...do you care about console backwards compatibility at all? I sure don't. But my ear is always on the ground listening to people talk about how they hate the current generation of systems (PS4 and Xbox One) don't have backwards compatibility at all. The Wii U, however, can play SOME Wii games. But Gamecube games are not compatible.

Sony launched (although still in its infancy) their game streaming service (Netflix-style with games) call Playstation Now, which allows people to play older PS1, PS2, & PS3 games on their PS4. But Microsoft is pretty quiet about their future plans. They did mention that software emulation is in the works where you can download games from Xbox Live from the previous generation. That is not even something they really care about.

As for myself, I could care less about backwards compatibility. The concept has been around since the Atari days where the Atari 7800 could play 2600 games. I always feel that each console should play their own games. That is why I have 2 TVs (with one spare) for classic consoles and 2 HD TVs for new-gen consoles. There is something else. I have a "strange" tradition of taking care of my consoles where I let the console rest every 2-3 hours of gameplay (and not play it for the rest of the day) and rotate them around so that each console has a rest period (like a few months). So, I believe that if you play say a PS1 on PS2, the PS2 would not have time to rest when you feel like playing another PS2 game next time. Get my point?

It seems "strange" to regular gamers. But you know, my oldest console (The NES) bought back from 1988 still works like new. The up and down mechanism (where you put the game in) still works flawlessly where other people complain that the older NES models wear out quickly and the mechanism has to be replaced all the time. All of my other consoles also work like new.

Anyways, Backwards Compatibility is a marketing thing for casual gamers in my opinion where they like to trade in their "old" consoles for the new ones. Therefore, they can no longer play older games if the desire to do so. Another thing is people complain about running out of room with so many consoles to manage. Really? If there is a will, there is a way. I've seen hardcore gamers' house where they have massive entertainment centers that cover the walls with classic consoles to modern ones. You can play anything you want--just pick up the controller. :-)

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Sean697    318

I really really wosh my PS4 was backwards compatible with PS3. If only because the systems are so simlilar in regards to features. Same media format, basically same controllers, basically same size. Having both a PS3 and a PS4 hooked up is really redundant. Especially when the PS3 still has better media funtionality, and there were so many good late I. Life PS3 games I have that I haven't gotten around too.

My GC got packed away when I got a Wii. My PS3 Phat handles all PS games, my Wii U caused me to never go back to my Wii. So yes I like it.mesoecially with digital purchase , backwards compatability is better.

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RetroDefense    136

I've never been a stickler for backward compatibility. If a new system includes it, that's fine, but it's more or less a nice bonus imo. Not something I consider fundamental or necessary.

That said, I'm something of a video game collector. The play-it-and-trade-it mentality of most gamers is incomprehensible to me. :) For those gamers - and for anyone lacking physical space - I can see the appeal of BC.

But I think backward compatibility will be entirely ignored by game companies eventually. Maybe even become something of a moot point if gaming ever goes 100% cloud streaming (ugh). There's too much money to be made by digitally re-selling (aka temporarily licensing) everything via Virtual Console, PS Now, etc, versus the expense/hassle of a hardware BC chipset. Even Nintendo - still supporting Wii BC with the Wii U - probably could have included Gamecube BC but chose to ignore it, what with Gamecube Virtual Console a real possibility.

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TheRon    1

Honestly, I've never cared that much about it. In general, most old consoles become fairly affordable so that, if you really want to play some old game, it won't cost you an arm to go and pick them up. While it is a nice feature to have on a console, I never really grew up with backwards-compatible consoles like the PS2, so it's not a must-have feature for me.

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twiztor    100

backwards compatibility IS a big deal to me. i like the idea of buying a new system and ditching the old one, but not losing any playability.

one of the biggest selling points of the Wii-U WAS the BC. not just with the games, but with the controllers and accessories too.

one of the reasons i never bought a PS3 is because when the price finally dropped into my range, the BC was gone, and the older systems that still had it had gone up in cost.

i've got 5 systems (Atari 2600, NES, Nintendo 64">N64, PS2, Wii-U) hooked up to my two TVs right now. if i add any more systems i have to unhook something else, and i just don't want to do that, so i've hit my max.

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ctophil    19

Yeah, I don't have a problem with backwards compatibility. It's just another feature a modern console may have, similar to being able to watch TV and movies, surf the web, or post on facebook/twitter. I don't use any of those features on a video game console, including the backwards compatibility. I believe a game console was made to play games and that's it. And each console was made to play its own games, and backwards compatibility is for those who enjoy the convenience, cost-effectiveness, and saving space.

As you know, I'm quite the hardcore gamer and a purist at heart. I enjoy each console in their own right and playing games on any console other than the one meant for it is not my cup of tea. If it requires the "hassle" of switching out consoles once in a while due to space constraints or dealing with a ton of wires in the back, I will happily do it--just another part of a hardcore gamer lifestyle.

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Sean697    318

If the system is significantly different,I'm don't want backwards compatability.mbut when it has hardly changed it would be nice. Nintendo 64">N64 no need for backwards compatibility. Technically the Wii U was so different that backwards compatability is sort of a hassle but I like it. I really didn't need backwards compatability with the Wii. The system was radically different enough controller wise that it wasn't nessesary. It's Definetly a selling point for me though. If the controllers are basically the same, why not?

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Terry93D    12

I like it because it allows your new system to play the games the old one could, which is useful if you don't have enough money to spend on a new version on that old console in the future, or if that old console is, say, sold or breaks at some point. I will agree that a console should stand up on its own merits - but the way I see it, backwards compatibility is one of those merits, it's not necessarily a make-or-break deal, but it's definitely a good, and useful option.

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For me, it varies. I do use the backwards compatibility on my PS2 and Wii for PS1 and GameCube, respectively. As long as it emulates by hardware/firmware (like those do) and not software to hardware (like the 360 with XBOX discs), I'm down with it. I make an exception for the Wii Virtual Console, XBOX Marketplace, and 3DS downloads, though, as they seem to be done properly.

When I can, though, I do prefer to use separate systems. I figure the less wear and tear I put on an older and potentially harder to replace piece of hardware, the better off I am long-term.

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Britanica    0

I think it would have been a nice feature on the One and the PS4 but if they were to do that, it would take away a lot of profit they would be making over the next 3 to 5 odd years where people choose not to upgrade. If they were backwards compatible, why make two versions of the same game? It is more about money than anything.

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