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Backwards compatibility a must?


Robot Monkey
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With all due respect, I think the PS2 needed backwards compatability because with the very notable exception of SSX the first round of software for the console smelled like seven shades of ass. ;)

 

Then when people point out your console's flaws you can (as the company) just cough and go, 'Well, play a PSOne title then.'

 

I don't think it's a feature that is necessary, no, but I think that it has become one in the latest round of consoles because people want to take it with them, as it were. I mean, it does open up a wider range of software for the "new" system even if it's old titles.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not crapping on the idea, I think being able to play your old titles on the next-gen of systems is great and it keeps those libraries in circulation longer than you would expect. But I also don't think it's necessary honestly. I'm not giving away my PSOne or my Cube, why would I? If you wanted to play the games badly enough, you'd have the system to play them on.

 

I'm hardly going to downgrade a system just because it won't play the games its predecessor used to. That'd be like tossing out your DVD player because it won't play old VHS tapes.

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With all due respect, I think the PS2 needed backwards compatability because with the very notable exception of SSX the first round of software for the console smelled like seven shades of ass.

 

Agreed. Well said.

If you can't get your development kits for a new console out on time you need backward compatibility.

 

This topic might make a better poll than a regular thread. Personally, I think backward compatibility is "nice" but not necessary. After all, I already have the older console. -but that's me...I know from experience that backward compatibility is a MAJOR purchasing factor for mom's & dad's.

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I live in a very small place and I really don't have room for more consoles, so backward compatibility is important to me. The less clutter, the better. Also, I only have so many inputs on my projector, and power outlets (even with power-strips).

 

I wouldn't refuse a new console just because it won't play the previous revs games, but I would consider it lazy and I'd have to deal with more hassles as a result.

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Yea, it's a huge factor to non-gamers (who account for the vast bulk of video game sales). These people are not interested in technical merits so very simple statistics mean a lot. One of those simple facts is the quantity of titles available for the system. When they hear that PS2 can play thousands of games while Xbox & Gamecube have a couple hundred they see a major advantage. They have no comprehension of the quality of these titles...they only know that a massive library means options and options are good.

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they only know that a massive library means options and options are good.

 

Heh, I've argued a similiar point before - that having a massive library of titles is a /good thing/ from a business point of view (as long as they're not ALL average!) as it bulks up market share in shops & gives the consumer more choice on price/value.

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I know from experience that backward compatibility is a MAJOR purchasing factor for mom's & dad's.
When they hear that PS2 can play thousands of games while Xbox & Gamecube have a couple hundred they see a major advantage.

 

 

We can't really speak on behalf of the 60 million PS2 owners or 10 million XBOX owners. Is there some sort of market research that states either of the above? If not, I'd stick to our own personal opinions and reasons. With that...

 

Does anyone here, that has a PS2, actually play PSone games on it? I can't speak to this because I only own a Gamecube and XBOX. I personally would not be playing my fuzzy/choppy/blurry N64 games if my Gamecube were backwards compatible. There is a another thread about replaying games - I don't replay games anymore. There are just too many games comiing out every couple of months for me to be replaying old games.

 

So no, I'm not interested in backward compatibility. Halo is a great game, but I'll be playing Halo 3 on XBOX 2!

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We can't really speak on behalf of the 60 million PS2 owners or 10 million XBOX owners. Is there some sort of market research that states either of the above? If not, I'd stick to our own personal opinions and reasons. With that...

 

Well, when Camp speaks of parental buying habits etc, I trust his opinion as he's got a nice solid background working in the battlegrounds of parental purchasing (not Gamestop/EB) so has direct hands-on experience of it - more than most of us here.

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I don't think that backwards compatibility is a must, but I think its a good show of faith on the part of the hardware developers that your old library isn't abandoned.

 

I'd love for backwards compatibility, but I can see the why or why not of including it. It's not going to stop me from buying a system.

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But would you pay an extra $50 for that feature? What is it worth to you? Is it worth it? When Sony/MS/Nintendo are developing a console, I am sure they agonize over every little feature and hardware feature trying to get the most bang for the buck (e.g. the DVD remote for XBOX). And some things gotta give, while others take priority. What's most important? Bigger harddrive, more ram, wi-fi, wireless controllers, four controller ports, console size, dvd-rom speed, etc?

 

I think it is important to acknowledge the tradeoffs in supporting various features as far as price. Not that I know or can measure those things.

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I think that for the mainstream, backwards compatibility is a huge deal. I know it was when the PS2 came out. That's what people were talking about. That and its DVD playing capability.

 

For us crazies, it's probably not such a big deal. We have all the current gen consoles, so if the next gen ones allow us to play our current games on them, all it does is save us a bit of space.

 

It's a nice feature, though. The PS2's backwards compatibility allowed me to retire my very old PSX that would only play games consistently if it was upside-down. It also allowed some people I know to play some great games in the PlayStation library that they would have missed otherwise.

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Originally posted by FutureVoid@Sep 11 2003, 04:10 AM

Does anyone here, that has a PS2, actually play PSone games on it?

 

A question that was resoundingly answered in this thread:

 

Play PSOne games much?

And just to add one more voice to it, I'll point out that between WipEout 3:SE, MGS and Strider 2 I've used my PS2 more for PS1 games than PS2 ones in the last three to six months.

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Thanks, Brian.

 

But would you pay an extra $50 for that feature? What is it worth to you? Is it worth it? When Sony/MS/Nintendo are developing a console, I am sure they agonize over every little feature and hardware feature trying to get the most bang for the buck (e.g. the DVD remote for XBOX). And some things gotta give, while others take priority. What's most important? Bigger harddrive, more ram, wi-fi, wireless controllers, four controller ports, console size, dvd-rom speed, etc?

 

Look at how Sony implemented backwards compatibility in the PS2. They did it in a very smart way that probably didn't push the cost of the feature to the customer (it certainly didn't cost $50). The chipset controlling PSone compatability doubles as the controller for the gamepad input. They had to have this part there so why not make it run the old games too?

 

While few of us can speak intelligently on the costs of what goes into a new console I would be willing to bet it's not much of a stretch to say backward compatibility can be done, in many cases, for "free" -or very close to it. Will that be the case with Xbox2? I don't know as the switch from nVidia to ATI seems a daunting task in terms of backward compatibility.

 

We can't really speak on behalf of the 60 million PS2 owners or 10 million XBOX owners. Is there some sort of market research that states either of the above? If not, I'd stick to our own personal opinions and reasons.

 

I think the multiple thousands of mainstream game buyers I've worked with gives me fair insight and a respectable statistical base from which to draw an educated opinion. I may not be right on the money but I imagine I'm pretty close.

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I'm sure Square would consider it to be a must... the number of copies of the Final Fantasy games (including the more recently released Origins) that continue to sell is quite impressive. Most of the people I ask when they buy these games are playing them on a PS2.

 

For customers though, I think it is quite a nice feature. It allows us to play older games that we still enjoy without having to have the old system hooked up, allows us to play older games that we may have missed (I know many of us continue to purchase classic games), and yes, mom and dad love that they don't have to throw out their current investment and start all over again (although that argument has always bothered me. It's a new system, why are you spending $300 on a new system to play the games you already own and can play fine?).

 

I've spoken to more than a few people who are irritated that Ninetendo makes you rebuy "everything" with each console. One recently stated that he'd never buy a Nintendo system again because he now has a "useless" N64 with tons of game sitting in the basement that wouldn't work on the Gamecube had he purchased one.

 

My dream is to one day have proper shelving that allows me to have all my old systems hooked up, ready to play, with all the games easy to access. Until that happens, backwards compatibility can help me play all my games (although I haven't experienced that since I still don't own a PS2).

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It's a new system, why are you spending $300 on a new system to play the games you already own and can play fine?

 

Well, you aren't really. You're paying $300 to get a single box that will play all the new games and everything you already own (for that system).

 

Some people, me included, don't want to collect consoles. If one box plays new and old games, I'm down with it. Like I said, I'm not going to turn down a new console just because it's not backward compatible...but it is an additional selling point for me.

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I don't understand how anyone who works in a game store doesn't own all three consoles. I figure the employee discount on a used system must be pretty good, no?

 

Not necessarily.

Lots of places don't even offer employee discounts on consoles. The reason is that the margin on consoles is so low that after deducting a discount the retailer is loosing money.

TRU offered no employee discount on consoles (though I would allow my guys to take systems home). Game Crazy offers no employee discount on new, refirbished or used consoles. I can't speak for the EB's or Gamestops of the world but I'd imagine it's a similar story.

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