Is backward compatibility such a big deal??

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Sakitoshi, May 13, 2013.

  1. Sakitoshi
    OP

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

    Member
    1,435
    606
    May 8, 2012
    Chile
    behind a keyboard or a gamepad
    Like the title says, backard compatibility on game consoles has been something every whine about when absent, but is such a feature really necessary??
    if you have a console and want to buy the successor, why want said console to have compatibility with a console you already have?? is not that you previous console dissapear once you buy the new one.
    in handhelds is comprensible because your pockets cant hold all the gameboy and ds family, and psp/psvita??? holy shit you'll need a fucking truck to take a walk with the two of them.

    people buying the new console without have the previous one dont have a reason for bc because dont have games of the old console, and buy a new console to play the old games is silly, just buy the old console instead.

    backward compatibility is also the real reason why the wii and wii u are underpowered, old hardware cant scale up that much, thats why ps3 and xbox 360 are limited in that aspect, sony attempted to do bc with ps2 but failed because ps3 hardware is very different and was to expencive to maintain the old hardware inside the ps3, microsoft played safe and built a emulator with limited compatibility, and no one cared about the original xbox anyway.

    well, the topic is set, now is time to discuss.
     


  2. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

    Member
    27,883
    8,108
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    1 - To be able to sell the old console and get some money back.

    2 - So you don't have to connect and disconnect your consoles to change the games you play.

    3 - So you can take advantage of new controls and maybe console features (web browser, etc.) by playing the old game in a new system with overlays.

    But yeah backwards-compatibility can be a limiting factor too. Look at the Wii U still using old tech, the PS3's launch price being $600, etc.
     
    EZ-Megaman and gamefan5 like this.
  3. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    It can definitely be a selling point, but there comes a point where it does more harm than good for the system (as Rydian pointed out). Sometimes, it's best for your new console if you just cut your losses and move on with the new hardware.
     
  4. hey_suburbia

    hey_suburbia Do The Lizard Bop

    Member
    560
    22
    Apr 24, 2004
    United States
    Philadelphia, PA
    Personally, I could care less about having backwards capability in any of my handhelds or consoles. I do see their value to others, but to me I'd rather the system and company behind the hardware focus on the future not the past. I can always play my old games on my old consoles or re-download them in the future for a few bucks...
     
  5. Arras

    Arras GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,858
    2,673
    Sep 14, 2010
    Netherlands
    If no consoles had BC you'd end up with a ridiculous amount of game consoles that you'd need to connect and disconnect every time you wanted to play something though. Also, it's nice to be able to actually use your new system when it doesn't have any games yet.
     
  6. Sakitoshi
    OP

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

    Member
    1,435
    606
    May 8, 2012
    Chile
    behind a keyboard or a gamepad
    i put this topic on the table because is something im not seeing happening with the ps4 and nextbox, ps4 was said to have some kind of bc via streaming but that is a stupid workaround that i cant consider true bc, and the nextbox probably dont feature bc at all, both gaming machines are glorified pc's, the arquitecture is to different to do bc natively and a emulator is fucking imposible.
    for the point about selling the old console, i have never sold my old machines, i still have my gc, even when all the cube gaming i do is on my wii, and my dsi will never be sold even when i can transfer all my downloads to 3ds. but part of that is because im a collector, have all the gba family bar the gba sp backlit.
    and when the time to but a ps3 had come, i was thinking about buying a cecha, but then i remembered that i have no ps2 games and just went with a 320gb slim(one of the last slims, now all the stores have super slims and i dont like it)
     
  7. Coto

    Coto GBAtemp Addict

    Member
    2,353
    403
    Jun 4, 2010
    Chile
    I do value my old gaming consoles way more than most recent ones, that's why I prefer not using the old ones that much often, as, like the old n64 cartridges could suffer from wear and tear upon pin contacts. (i'd like my pokemon stadium 2 & zelda majora's mask to last a good ammount of time lol.), but I'd say most VG companies go for cheap components as logic isn't as expensive today unlike years ago.

    Moreover backward compatibility includes logic that may be removed on later components, hence the need to pay for it so it's bundled, and sometimes it costs more money, ie: like sony and the PS2 BC (real chips on fatty os3, then emulation), of course Nintendo is aware of this, so they could develop for a relatively cheap platform, then they just "upgrade" the logic so it's kept.

    But yes, that isolates the arquitecture against any other(s), and makes you basically do everything from scratch to support today's shared frameworks. I do think Nintendo should at least have had kept x86 and SSE, as there are others constantly developing to that arquitecture, but that would mean drop support completely for most RISC coding they've done basically, their entire life as a VG company, and it'd cost more (that, and most components they buy are cheaper to deal with)
     
  8. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,537
    21,496
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    It's not as big of a deal as it used to be - in the olden days a video game console was a massive expense (ahh, inflation - you are a cruel mistress) so some companies released adapters for backwards compatibility or put the hardware of the previous console on the motherboard of the new one to allow future buyers to swap an old system for a Next Generation one without having to sacrifice their entire games collection.

    Nowadays not only is hardware much cheaper (despite costing more dollars the value of the dollar greatly decreased in comparison to the Yen as well as the Yuan and naturally Japan and China are the primary manufacturers of consoles these days) but so are the games (just have a look at Steam, XBL, PSN or eShop sales) and the user isn't really forced to swap systems as much.

    Another factor decreasing the value Backwards Compatibility is the second-hand market which is now well-developed thanks to sites like eBay - getting an older system on the cheap is easier than ever.

    Backwards Compatibility is a fun feature to have, but not a deal breaker - if the end design suffers due to including Backwards Compatibility (Wii U) or inflates the price (PS3) then it should be dropped.

    Think about it, what would you rather do - trade in a PS3 for a $100 (since it's used) now and get a PS4 for $600 ($200 for a brand-new miniaturized version of the PS3 hardware plus $400 for the actual PS4, the end product being undoubtedly a huge beast due to having both consoles in one box) *or* keep your old system and buy a PS4 for $400 (and have it in a nice, slim case since it wouldn't contain any of the PS3-specific hardware)?
     
  9. Ergo

    Ergo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    614
    131
    Oct 29, 2008
    United States
    I prefer my consoles to be bw compat for a host of reasons so, yeah, I consider it important and I'm generally annoyed--especially in a world where content is now being marooned on a given machine (thanks Sony! No more PSN purchases for me!)--when it's not included.
     
  10. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

    Member
    27,883
    8,108
    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Also TVs tend to have a lot more plug holes nowadays.
     
  11. Kouen Hasuki

    Kouen Hasuki Kouen the Cyber Husky

    Member
    1,388
    337
    Jan 9, 2013
    Norway
    Gaming Bunker
    Backwards compatibility is a selling point to me, I found myself a bit disappointed when the DSi dropped the GBA slot cutting off some accessories as well as the whole GBA line up for instance

    However this subject is a case of each to there own
     
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  12. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Member
    5,567
    1,619
    Dec 23, 2009
    Belgium
    Belgium
    To me, it certainly isn't important. As mentioned, those older consoles are very cheap to come by, so I really cannot understand why anyone even cares about it. I mean...how much money are you making when selling your wii/gamecube/PSone/... in the first place? In my opinion, the answer is "not enough to freaking make the effort". On the contrary: I just bought another wii because I wanted a black one (in other words: I have now three consoles that can play wii games in my house...yet I don't play a single one).

    And what good does it do? Not much. The wiiu can play all the wii games, but still I hear "It has no gaems!!!!" as a major complaint. That regular wii games come free with a box of cereals isn't even helping in that regard. Let alone the fact that you can already hack the thing to play the entire wii library.


    I'm not sure if I agree on that statement that having backward compatibility hurts the specs of the main console, though. Does anyone have a decent source on that one? :unsure:
     
  13. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,537
    21,496
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    That's not true - you'd only ever end with two due to Moore's law. Systems two generations ahead are generally strong enough to emulate older ones, hence Virtual Console, PSOne Classics, PS2 Classics and so on. You can implement software-based backwards compatibility relatively easily if the specs are up to scratch, hardware-based backwards compatibility costs money - both the End User and the company involved.

    If you were to keep Backwards Compatibility forever, you'd have a hefty amount of slots on Nintendo systems, don't you think? (Sony and Microsoft not so much as they've always been Disc-Based)
     
  14. Sakitoshi
    OP

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

    Member
    1,435
    606
    May 8, 2012
    Chile
    behind a keyboard or a gamepad
    another point is the fact that nes/snes master system/genesis didnt featured bc and the same happened with the n64 and saturn, but no one complained about that, the first home console with bc was the ps2, and the only reason the gameboy had bc was because gameboy color is just a gameboy with color screen and slightly better cpu. then bc was made a standard feature in that generation, after that the ps3 fiasco happened and now ps4 is going to do the same, just now sony said since the beginning that bc will not happen.

    EDIT:
    just ducktape a retroduo with a gamecube with a wii u and youre set, NINTENDO MASTER RACE!!!
     
  15. TackyPie

    TackyPie GBAtemp Fan

    Member
    304
    43
    Jul 4, 2012
    United States
    You took the words right out of my mouth.
     
  16. J-Machine

    J-Machine Self proclaimed Pog champion

    Member
    655
    220
    Aug 25, 2011
    Canada
    A concrete Igloo
    I like it mainly as a means to free up clutter since I'm an apartment dweller but also because with my wii, I also had a gamecube which I never owned before. before I only had 1 tv so having the ps3 do ps1 via hdmi was nice but I know have a component crt using a scart converter setup as well so it's now moot. overall I'd say it's nice to have but was never a deal breaker when not included.
     
  17. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,537
    21,496
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    The Genesis was fully backwards-compatible with the Master System - it had Master System hardware on-board and all you needed was a cartridge adapter. Additionally, the Atari 7800 was backwards compatible with almost all 2600 games.
     
  18. Ethevion

    Ethevion Wannabe Artist

    Member
    1,783
    802
    Sep 23, 2010
    Canada
    I don't care much for backward compatibility. Never used a DS game on my 3DS or an original XBOX game for my 360.
     
    Parasite X likes this.
  19. RodrigoDavy

    RodrigoDavy GBAtemp Maniac

    Member
    1,453
    572
    Feb 9, 2011
    Brazil
    Backwards compatibility is a big deal. For example, I wouldn't have bought a 3DS if it didn't play DS games. My line of thinking was: "I want to play DS games but why not invest a little more in a more powerful system that can run DS games as well?"

    Now, people got to realize that backward compatibility has a cost, it increases the console price you're not getting it for free. Even in the case of the Wii which has a very similar architecture to the gamecube, you still pay for the controller and memory card slots. That's one of the reasons Nintendo releases non-BC versions of their console later in their life, it decrease production costs, which allows them to increase their profit and/or decreasing the retail price.

    Now, if the person is interested in buying a PS4 for playing PS4 games, the lack of BC shouldn't be a problem and it's not a big deal at all
     
  20. Sakitoshi
    OP

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

    Member
    1,435
    606
    May 8, 2012
    Chile
    behind a keyboard or a gamepad
    i didnt know about the genesis, but the atari i know thanks to the avgn, even the colecovision released a adapter to play atari 2600 carts :P