Why make a console that is backwards compatible ?

Discussion in 'Wii U - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by osirisjem, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. osirisjem
    OP

    osirisjem Wii U: Y U No Sell ?

    Member
    1,074
    356
    Jun 19, 2011
    Canada
    Seems to me that it's a bad idea for the Wii U to be backwards compatible with Wii games.
    I doubt Xbox1 and PS4 are backwards compatible.
    Seems like it ties you to the past, restricting the future.
     


  2. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

    Member
    4,363
    542
    Jan 14, 2009
    United States
    Backward compatible has its selling point. One major reason PS2 dominated the sixth generation was because of backward compatibility with highly successful PS1. No other console in sixth gen is backward compatible.

    X1 and PS4 are not backward compatible, due to significant changes in hardware compare to X360/PS3.
     
    BAHIM Z 360 likes this.
  3. Arras

    Arras GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    5,858
    2,673
    Sep 14, 2010
    Netherlands
    How is it a bad thing? Is there anything that might not have happened because it is backwards compatible? If you need to include special hardware, it can be bad because it jacks up the price, but the WiiU hardware is so similar to the Wii that isn't needed.
     
  4. strikersama

    strikersama Newbie

    Newcomer
    2
    0
    Dec 31, 2012
    How about wii u is it not a sixth generation console ?
     
  5. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,537
    21,496
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    ...backwards compatibility of the PS2 was hardly *the* selling point - it had good games the start. This is not the reason why it dominated the generation - the reason was that it just did everything it was designed to do well and on top of that it was a DVD player, and DVD was all the rage at that time.
    Different paragraph - different thought.
     
  6. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Member
    10,254
    17,403
    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    ...Because it means that there's already a massive preexisting library of games for your console?

    I don't think it's the be-all, end-all of a system or anything, but the advantage is pretty obvious.
     
    Minox, Kippykip, Warlord698 and 6 others like this.
  7. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,537
    21,496
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    I treat Backwards Compatibility as a cherry on the cake - if it doesn't stand in the way of progress, it's highly desirable as it allows access to the pre-existing library, as Gahars mentions... but when it does, it should be scrapped in favor of using superior technology which may very well be incompatible with old titles but gives better prospects for future development.
     
  8. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

    Member
    4,363
    542
    Jan 14, 2009
    United States
    It was a big selling point, Sony stressed about it at that time, along with being a DVD player. That and Sony stole all the attention people were having at Dreamcast by announcing PS2 a year before its availability.

    Not having BC is not a big deal, but having it is advantageous.
     
    RodrigoDavy likes this.
  9. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,537
    21,496
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    I suppose you're right, now that I think about it, but later down the line people stopped caring - the PS2 library alone made that ship sail.
     
  10. YoshiInAVoid

    YoshiInAVoid GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Banned
    560
    336
    Jan 10, 2011
    FIFA 14 is the best local multiplayer game to just play with friends at the moment; but it's £50 for something which is basically the same every year (at least to someone like me who barely follows football).

    Sucks though since if the PS4 was backward compatible I could just play my copy of FIFA 05 which I got for 20p :)
     
  11. osirisjem
    OP

    osirisjem Wii U: Y U No Sell ?

    Member
    1,074
    356
    Jun 19, 2011
    Canada
    So you think that Wii U sales have been significantly boosted because people can buy Wii games too ?

    If I was Nintendo, I would not have made the Wii U backwards compatible.

    I think it discourages software development. If your software company already have a Wii version of a game, why make a Wii U version ?
     
  12. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Member
    5,566
    1,619
    Dec 23, 2009
    Belgium
    Belgium
    I don't get how backward compatibility on the wiiu is restricting the future in any way. The thing can use most (if not all) of the controllers and gimmicks of the wii, thus prolonging their lifespan. The wiiu is not very different in structure, so I doubt adding backward compatibility was much of a cost for nintendo. Or for the consumers.

    I don't think developers care much about it either. Regular wii games may drop in price drastically, but I don't think that is stopping anyone, as the graphics are vastly superior now. And on the flip side: if people buy a cheap game from last generation and like it, they are more prone to buying the sequel/next entry in the franchise on the new platform.



    For other consoles...the way I understand it, they are built with different hardware, making it harder to provide backwards compatibility (the earlier PS3's were more expensive because they had additional hardware that was needed for PS2 games). So I can understand why sony and microsoft don't provide it (heck...nintendo has to break compatibility as well at some point).
     
  13. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    23,537
    21,496
    Sep 13, 2009
    Poland
    Gaming Grotto
    Wii U's Backwards Compatibility made Nintendo unable to use a different CPU or GPU regardless of whether they wanted to or not - they needed to use something directly compatible in order to achieve fluid hardware-based support. The alternative would be using powerful PC-grade hardware capable of 1:1 emulation of the earlier system which would make the Wii U unreasonably expensive. Had it not used the aged PowerPC 7xx architecture, we would probably see a completely different system altogether.
     
  14. osirisjem
    OP

    osirisjem Wii U: Y U No Sell ?

    Member
    1,074
    356
    Jun 19, 2011
    Canada
    What I mean by restriction is ....

    In order to maintain backwards compatibility, you can't change the structure of the new console very much.

    People complain the Wii U is not powerful enough, that it is not a "Next Gen" console .....

    Maybe Nintendo should have broke away from the past and not worried about things like backwards compatibility.
     
  15. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

    Member
    4,363
    542
    Jan 14, 2009
    United States
    There are two ways to achieve BC,

    * Full hardware BC
    By using faster, but essentially same processor family (or hardware capable of directly executing intended legacy instruction). This is the path Wii U and early PS3 FAT took. Wii U used essentially faster CPU and GPU capable of executing legacy instruction (and by extension Wii's BC to GameCube). Early PS3 fat accomplish this by including nearly all PS2 hardware. While compatibility is high, it either limits developing freedom or increase production cost.

    * Partial hardware / full-blown software BC
    Have software emulate some, if not all features of legacy hardware. PS2 took this approach when dealing PS1 BC. All PS2 (including all PS2 Slim confirmed by FreeMcboot developer SP193) have PS1 CPU chip, while using software to emulate PS1 GPU. It can be difficult to keep compatibility high from this approach.

    BC doesn't discourage software development. Publisher and developer decide on which platform based on whether they think it'll be profitable.
     
  16. Parasite X

    Parasite X Banned

    Banned
    637
    75
    Jul 6, 2009
    United States
    Katy Tx
    And this thread sucks backwards capability rules & that's reason I might skip out on this gen backwards capability matters to me.

    I agree with most of what you say but they will never break bc capability its here to stay if they did do that like they did with that stupid Wii that had no bc we would also see an option for those like myself that love bc.
     
  17. pwsincd

    pwsincd Garage Flower

    Member
    3,319
    1,711
    Dec 4, 2011
    Manchester UK
    if i had a ps2 , and wanted to buy the next gen console at that time , the ps3 or 360 . what would sway me to stay with sony . backwards compatability would help to keep you on their side of the fence . common sense.!!
     
  18. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    migles is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    6,797
    4,558
    Sep 19, 2013
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    my dad works for nintendo.
    why not? lets just don't care about players and sell consoles full of DRM and never care about previous console lines,

    also, lets make a remake of every game available to the previous console and sell it as a new title
     
  19. osirisjem
    OP

    osirisjem Wii U: Y U No Sell ?

    Member
    1,074
    356
    Jun 19, 2011
    Canada
    But the least popular console (Wii U) has backwards compatibility and the more popular consoles (xB1, ps4) don't.
     
  20. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    migles is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    6,797
    4,558
    Sep 19, 2013
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    my dad works for nintendo.
    and you think it is related because???

    i would think more about buy a ps4 if i could play ps3 games

    if your question is why is not wii u selling much compared to other questions, that is a really diferent question and we already got a topic for that

    i love retro-compatibility, instead of having a wii and a wii u plugged to my tv taking space on my living room and my tv connections are limited, i can have one system and insert my wii discs in the wii u and play with no struggling...

    what happens to my 10+ wii games if i don't have retro compatibility? A: never touch that games again B: having one more console connected to my tv taking up space so i can play both C: dont get a wii u until i get really tired of that games and decide to sell them so i can buy a wii u and buy games over again...


    (note: i don't own a wii u or ps4 or xbone, i just wanted to show my point)
     
    filfat likes this.