Future of Backwards compatibility

Without digging into any type of system wars garbage. I’ve found that keeping your catalog going forward has become increasingly more important to me.

At the launch of the PS3 I really wanted one but didn’t want to buy it for the price so I ended up waiting (I buy almost every system at launch so this was way out of character for me). Then Sony announced that they would be removing hardware emulation and I ended up getting a timely red ring and returned my Xbox to get that PS3. I spent nearly a year or so just playing the odd PS3 game but primarily playing PS2 games on it.

Now we have no bc on PS4. No way to play PS1 games at all on the system and the only way to play PS2 games is to re-buy them digitally. I thought some sort of announcement would happen at PSX that would bring PS1 games back to the fold. It’s shameful that Sony was the ones championing BC from generation to generation and for all the good moves made by them this has to be my biggest peeve. I have everything required to go back and play those games but sometimes you just want to pop in a disc in the living room and go back to generations past. I think this is especially true for people who haven’t gone off the deep end like us. Just casually want to play ridge racer for 20 minutes and go back to whatever new game they want.

Going forward I am seeing the moves Xbox is making and it’s honestly making me rethink where I buy my games. I feel MS will drop the generation thing before Sony and just say everything is bc from now on and we will keep adding more features to future consoles. The biggest plus to them is that if you have the disc you are good to go. No need to re purchase a game you own. Even if they don’t drop the console cycles they still will most likely keep their previous generation of titles available to their current systems.

TLDR. I like bc and Sony should bring it back so I’m probably going to buy more 3rd party stuff for my Xbox 1 X cause it will likely still work next generation.

P.S. don’t get my started how we are going to play vita/psp games in the future (when its clear the PS4 could run a emulator that could work for PS1 and PSP at least).

P.P.S. Yes, I have all the hardware to play those old games I’m just saying for the sake of convenience.

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Backwards compatibility always goes away at some point. even in systems designed from the ground-up with having backwards compatibility forever, you can’t sustain it. Look at the Compatible IBM-PC and how it fares: even though your modern gaming PC is technically backwards compatible all the way down to the very first IBM 5150 from 1981, good luck running anything but the most basic command line program from the era.

You shouldn’t consider emulation as backwards compatibility. The limitations that come with it means you can’t run everything the original could, in the exact same way it could. Where is the RGB / Composite output on your PS4? How do you use your original controller or memory cards?

With the evolution of electronics, machines more than one generation away cannot realistically be made fully compatible. It’s shown time and time again: Out of those three in each list, you can get away with having only two, but not one:

  • PS1, PS2, PS3
  • SG1000, MarkIII, Mega Drive
  • Game Cube, Wii, Wii U
  • PCs of any era

There is a future in emulation and back catalogue re-offering, where publishers adapt some specific software to make it available on modern machines, but that’s not backwards compatibility.

With regard to 3D generations. Emulation is bc and that is totally fine by me. The older systems never felt right with emulation. I never liked playing NES, SNES, GB, etc on my PC. I actually thought I didn’t like retro gaming until I tried it again with real hardware. There is nothing special about 3D systems that make me care if they are emulated or not. Modern consoles are basically PCs and sure there is a point that you can’t run a pc game natively without a program that tries to emulate that environment. But I’m not really into PC games that came out before 2000ish so it’s not something I have any experience with.

The point I was making is that even with emulation having access to older games is a net win for all gamers not just people like us who play on original hardware. And because of that, I am more likely to spend my money on the console that has proven that it wants to continue to support their back catalog.

Also the GameCube runs on the Wii U they just took it out. wiis are GameCubes and Wii U consoles have the Wii chip on board. They just don’t support the mini DVD disc. Yes, it requires a jail break but it doesn’t require an emulator.

PS3 had PS2 and PS1 at first. That was a cost cutting choice.

There is nothing special about 2D games that makes them more worthy of being played on original hardware.

And you missed my point about PCs. There are problems with playing PC games that came out in 2005. In 20 years, today’s games will be unplayable on then-current systems.

WiiU doesn’t run GameCube games, it runs gamecube code. That’s different. The WiiU never had the hardware to read the discs, only the Wii had it.

Early PS3 had PS2 backwards compatibility, but the PS1 has always been done in emulation iirc.

And yes, it’s always a cost cutting choice. Else we’d still have ISA slots on modern PCs.
You can design a perfectly backwards-compatible-with-everything system, but it doesn’t economically make sense. Even though it would be a net win for all gamers.

To me, if not having BC is necessary for hardware to progress while keeping costs low, then by all means I’m all for getting rid of it. Then again, this is coming from a guy that literally has 18 consoles (not including handhelds) hooked up and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I’d argue that the adherence to a strict BC architecture is, in part, what destroyed the Wii U from a development perspective. Completely starting fresh with the Switch, by contrast, is in large part why it’s so successful.

I think I have a slightly different perspective on handhelds though. It’s annoying to carry around more than one, and prefer to have as much BC as possible there. But even still, I’m all for fresh starts where necessary. It’s part of what makes old systems fun to bust out from storage for the non-hardcore crowd.

Your last line is truth. I keep every system but still, being able to have a minimal number of boxes under the main TV is definitely a plus.

Even with my retro setup, being able to keep my Master System, for example, boxed up, and just have my Mega Drive set up, is awesome.

Going forward there’s really no excuse for no BC. Peltz makes a good point re: holding the system back though.

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I’ve always felt BC was important at a system launch to make the transition much easier and help sales. I don’t really care anymore because everything I want is a click away. However, I’m not everyone and still feel its an important part. I know if Sony made the PS4 full backwards compatible to the PS3 it would’ve made my choice to go with them much easier because I missed most of the PS3 last ten.

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I think the fact that PS4 doesn’t have a working PS1 & PS2 emulator on board is a mistake. I can forgive last gen because most of the good stuff has HD(ER) remasters.

I would even pay for that app.

I agree a clean break is needed but with the case of PS4 there is little to no reason to not include that PS1 chip that is on every PS1, PS2, and PS3. If it’s a cost reason keep software emulation. Leaving a good old game somewhere that can’t be played by the average person just sucks.

I popped in a PS1 game on my slim PS3 recently and was so surprised how good the games looked and played. Everything I had on disc was a night and day difference from the downloads from the PlayStation store. It basically looked like 4x scale on a Framemeister. Sharp pixels and very clean. Some say the green label games look better but I’ve yet to see a difference.

Cynical me thinks the emulation isn’t there to push people to buy it on the digital storefront on PS3/Vita but not enough money to make it happen on the PS4.

It sucks that there are very little avenues that people who want to buy old games without the hassle of using old systems or going with a black market solution. Hopefully, we will see Sony do a PS1/2 classic or something some day.

I thought the main reason they ditched BC was the push to Playstation Now.

Yes this is true. But it’s only PS3 and PS4 games. No PS2 or PS1. This is the bc/emulation I’m more interested in.

Oh god no at PlayStation Now.

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Sorry, I thought they wanted all PS1 through PS3 on PlayStation Now

I really hope BC makes a comeback for Sony, loving that the X1 is doing this and thus gives me more reasons to use it.

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This is exactly why I made the thread. Xbox bc made me want Sony to do the same. Even if it’s emulation that is fine because what’s more important is having legal access to old content for the sake of convenience and also to let people who don’t care to do what we do have access to the legacy software. I would argue that playing Kotor on Xbox one X is superior to playing it on the original Xbox.

I used to be all about it. The idea of having everything on one box was very exciting as a concept at one point. But now i care less and less about it. Firstly because modern games are not my cup of tea for the most part, i rarely if ever play on my ps4. Secondly most of these consoles are going to be absolute shite when it comes to displaying older games on modern displays. My tastes are to fickle and demanding. They will never serve them.

psone games are never going to look good on a ps5. Its just not happening.

The sheer volume of boxes under the TV is a problem for me now. I have nowhere to go with anything. That said, I always prefer original hardware to the emulation for the most part. Virtual Console, despite having an occasional issue, being the exception, even on the Wii U.

I’m about to add the Analogue Super Nt… somewhere… probably the living room, but I dunno? What do I push aside?

The only good thing is that we’re hopefully in a period of calm with no other new game systems on the horizon. I’m also full up on Retro save something like Vectrex (although I don’t own a Turbo of any kind… grafx or Duo…). It is definitely something that has become a pressing issue now as to how things should move forward. Sony pisses me off most with the inability to play anything other than PS4 discs on PS4. That’s just brutal. At least let me pop in my PSX games. PS2 would be a bonus.

You gotta go above the tv. Shelving above the tv for wireless consoles s d shelving below the tv for wired.

My dream team of consoles is NES, SNES, GBA via GC, & PS2 (sneaking in PS1 ftw). I could probably put everything else away and not care. The Wii is basically my lazy gamecube because I just burned everything to a portable HDD. Between the SNES and the GC all my Gameboy needs are covered. I like genesis & n64 but I don’t play them nearly as much. I sold my Dreamcast and XBOX years ago and I kind of want them back since I have a 480p CRT now, but considering I am not blown away by the Gamecube 480p on it I might not bother getting them again.

I honestly have been thinking about getting a Pi for Arcade, Neo Geo and PCE/TG16 but now that the disc drive replacement is a thing I doubt I would bother emulating that system when I can play the CD based games from a SD card on real hardware.

Good point. I have a lot of room above the TV in the living room to mount something there… or buy a TV stand that’s more of a wall unit… I will look into that option in 2018. PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, the Alienware Alpha… pretty much all of them can go up there. Thanks!

Hey does that thing have a way to output 240p/480p? That seems fairly robust enough to run almost any indie you threw at it but getting it to run on a PVM 20L5 would pretty nice.