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Author Topic: Is backwards compatibility a big deal?  (Read 2550 times)
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Graham
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« on: June 20, 2004, 06:49:52 AM »

I have heard some say that backwards compatibility is a big deal for some people.  For other people, it's not.  What do you think?

For me, I honestly don't care.  I got a PS2 for PS2 games.  I can count the number of PSOne titles I have on one hand.  It never was a factor, but I didn't own a PS1.  I might have changed my mind if I could, but I doubt I would have sold it off if I did get one.

What does everyone else think?
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stiffler
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2004, 07:05:36 AM »

It makes my life easier, but I don't think it's going to be a factor in my future console purchases.

For me it means I might be more likely to play my older games.  I won't have to plug in my older systems to play my older games.  I really enjoy my vast Dreamcast collection, but it's a pain to pull it out and plug it in just to play Worms in all its 2D glory.

I might like backwards compatibility with the Xbox because I enjoy the games and the system is so damn big.  The PS2 is smaller, so it's a lot easier to hide.

To be honest, I really don't go back to many of my older PS games.  The exceptions are the RPG's, because there are a lot of unique titles (Persona and the super Working Designs Lunar sets).

People do like to revisit older games.  I won't speak for every one, but when I am buying the latest system I am going to want to play the latest and greatest titles that show off my investment.  Am I going to want to break out the Xbox just to play Project Gotham 2 when Project Gotham 3 is out?

It's not like the games or systems are going to dissapear.  It's our choice to buy the new system and put the past behind us, not Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft.  It's not their responsibility to be backwards compatible, but if they add it to the offering I will applaud them.  It's nice of them to do that.  Consumers will feel like the console maker is doing them a favor.  In my mind it won't affect my purchase, but I was excited when I learned the PS2 was backwards compatible.

I feel it is more important that the GB and the upcoming DS be backwards compatible.  I can find a place in my home to put a console, but I can only carry one handheld.
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2004, 05:23:47 PM »

With very few exceptions, I'll never really revisit the gaming classics one (or more) generations ago, so backward's compatability isn't that much of an issue.

Short of my GBA anyway. Why just the GBA? Good question. I guess it's because there isn't such a huge graphical and sound boost between the portable consoles as there are on the home ones.

Ever plugged in your N64 into your HDTV? Good lord does it look ugly. At least the PS2's graphical 'cheats/boosts' make PS1 games look better.
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2004, 07:55:44 PM »

Backwards compatibility hasn't been a big deal in the past, but I think it is going to become a bigger issue with each successive console generation. With the NES, probably about 99% of the games released for that system are unplayable today without significant tweaks to gameplay, graphics, and sound. No one wants to go back to typing in long-ass passwords in lieu of a save system. No one wants to play a 40-hour RPG listening to the "music" generated by the NES's sound chip. With those systems, there was no reason to look back once a new console was released.

It's completely different now. There are a handful of SNES games (Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III) that are still completely playable today. And there is a whole range of 2D PSX and N64 games that are just as much fun to play now. With the current generation, depending on the art style, there are a lot of 3D games that are still going to be just as good ten years from now. Sly Cooper, Jet Set Radio Future, and Prince Of Persia will look dated in a few years, but I don't think they'll ever look bad. I can see myself wanting to play Prince of Persia every few years or so if I'm still actively gaming.

The big question in my mind is how am I going to play it if the Xbox isn't backward compatible (I have the Xbox ver of Prince of Persia)? All hardware has a finite lifespan and as these consoles get more complex they're going to break more often. I've got 25 Xbox titles now and will probably have 40 to 50 by the time the Xbox life cycle is over. Five years from now what am I going to do with this software if my Xbox breaks? Scour pawn shops and eBay for used Xboxes? Play these games on the computer via an emulator? I'll probably be able to find some way to continue to use the library but it will become much harder and involve more compromises with each year.

With the PS3, I don't have to worry about it, as I know that I'll be able to buy hardware in the immediate future that will play these games. The lack of backwards compatibility isn't going to preclude me from buying the next Xbox, but it will determine when I buy it and how many games I buy for it. The amount of money I spend on console hardware is much less than I spend on software. I'll appreciate a console that much more if I know that it isn't going to be a technological dead end in a few years.
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2004, 11:17:43 PM »

There are a lot of great quality games that I'd always like to go back and play.  For example, playing The Cradle mission in Thief: Deadly Shadows simply for the atmosphere alone would be cool once I've moved on a bit.  That said, with the backlog that most of us have of unfinished games, think of how many times you have broken out the older systems to play through classics like Zelda.  It just doesn't happen that often, or if it does do you actually finish it again?
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2004, 12:11:53 PM »

I've never really understood the need for backwards capability.

Usually when I finish a game I never go back to it.  There are exceptions of course...games I'll keep forever (Legend of Zelda, Nintendo Pro Wrestling), but the times I go back and play those games are rarer than rare.

There are several games on my XBOX that I plan to keep forever, but whether or not I'll ever come back to them in a few years, after the next few generations of consoles have been released, that remains to be seen.

Of course, I plan to be playing XBOX for a long time...or at least until the nextgen gets cheap enough fo rme to afford slywink
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2004, 01:51:14 PM »

I'm all about backwards compatibility.  Typically, it's because I buy games slowly, and I like knowing that I can choose from the whole library of titles when I'm at the store (for example, I only ever played Metal Gear Solid last November for the first time).  

Plus, call me crazy but I actually do go back and play games of yore.  I just took a spin with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night the other day.  Also, one of my casual gamer friends will only play Tekken 3 against me.  Add this to the above point that the hardware I use for these games will almost certainly break down at some point, I enjoy knowing that I can always access these titles.  The point becomes even more salient for those of us carrying a backlog into the next generation.
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2004, 02:29:15 PM »

I can see where it might be useful, but it isn't a factor for me.

If this is your first system from the company, you may want to play some of the older games that you never had the chance to.

If I buy a PS3 - I bought it to play PS3 Games. I have a PS2. If I want to go back to something, I'll just play it on the system it was intended for.

While it's a nice feature, if it adds any costs, I say 'dump it'.
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2004, 04:14:44 PM »

It's definitely important... I don't want to have a closet full of ancient consoles just in case I have the urge to play game X somewhere down the road.  With backwards compatibility, I can toss/sell the old console (as I did with my PS1) once the next gen console is released.  Not to mention the fact that consoles will eventually break down and die... with backwards compatibility, you don't have to worry if your old console can still boot up, or go through ridiculous steps like turning your PS1 upside down or blowing on your NES cartridges until you're blue in the face.
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2004, 05:39:08 PM »

I don't think you'll find anyone who will say "I don't want it."  But I'm buying an Xbox2/PS3 for Xbox2/PS3 games.  The only other thing that might factor into a purchase decision is the price.
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2004, 07:23:44 PM »

The only argument I have seen that makes a lot of sense (besides convenience) is the idea of alienating some of the current owners.  The Xbox is not that old, yet rumors have the Xbox 2 launch in 2005.  Will people be upset about their game catalog becoming obsolete so quickly?  Note that it won't really be obsolete, but people might feel they are being forced to buy new hardware and to turn their back on the new games that are suddenly old.  Backwards compatibility would go a long way in allaying these fears and complaints.

Your Xbox will not explode or revolt just because a new system is released.  If it breaks you will have to buy a new one, which you would have to do even if there is never a new console released.  With millions upon millions of consoles in circulation they WILL be available.  You DO NOT have to buy a new system!

Nintendo Entertainment System
Super NES
Nintendo 64
Sega Master System
Sega Genesis
Sega CD
Sega Saturn
Sega Dreamcast
Sega Nomad
TurboGrafix 16
Atari Jaguar
Atari Lynx

^^^
not backwards compatible
whatever did we do?
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2004, 07:44:47 PM »

I would be playing a lot more of my old games for those systems if I hadn't been forced to choose between clearing shelf space and maintaining a link to my childhood.  Still, your point is valid.  Sometimes in life we just have to move on.  I'll be the guy screaming and kicking in the back.
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2004, 08:30:16 PM »

It's always nice, but I don't consider it necessary.  If that feature was left out, it wouldn't prevent me from getting the new consoles when they come out.

I was wondering though, if the new consoles are more powerful, would it help games that have frame rate issues on the current ones?
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2004, 11:08:53 PM »

Backwards compatiblity is luxury, not necessity. But, aren't luxuries nice? slywink

Bah, backwards compatible or not, I'm not buying a new system in 2005. I'll be hardpressed to buy them in 2006, to be perfectly honest.
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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2004, 08:33:08 PM »

Considering that despite owning all of the current consoles my current playlist consists of Final Fantasy 4, Final Fantasy 8, and Fire Emblem, I'm a big, big fan of backwards compatibility.  

That said, it won't stop me from purchasing a console but it could delay it a little while.
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« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2004, 08:37:24 PM »

Quote
I was wondering though, if the new consoles are more powerful, would it help games that have frame rate issues on the current ones?


Actually I don't think so.  I.E. Thief was designed for X amount of RAM.  Running it on the Dev Kit which has double the ram of a retail kit doesn't make it faster as the game isn't programmed to take advantage of the extra headspace.
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