Debate of the Day: Why is Backward Compatibility Important?


The Playstation 4 and Xbox One have now been officially announced, and the most clear proclamation made about either of them has been that neither will play last-generation games. Neither are backward compatible.

Yes, there are various issues about “always-on” connectivity and restriction of used games, but those issues are far more murky and have yet to be resolved. But backwards compatibility keeps coming up as an issue people love to gripe about when it comes to these new consoles.

It’s one that’s never particularly bothered me. I don’t throw away or sell my old consoles, and if I want to play a classic game on a new system, it seems like there are few titles that don’t have a HD remastered version of them out. We didn’t complain when the Gamecube didn’t play N64 games as gaming evolved, so why should we care now?

I’m genuinely curious. From what I can tell, some of this may come from the idea that many people like to sell their old systems to have money to put down toward the new one. Without backwards compatibility, you’re throwing your whole library away too if you do that. Additionally, I guess it’s nice to be able to play classic titles without hooking up an entirely separate system. But how often does that happen? I believe I’ve used backwards capability functionality less than a half dozen times across the lifespan of my PS3 and 360, and it just doesn’t seem all that important to me. Perhaps I’m alone in this, and I’m curious to hear more counter opinions on the matter.


  1. Gabriel May 23, 2013
  2. XenoIrish May 23, 2013
  3. hallamq May 23, 2013
  4. Nick Verboon May 23, 2013
  5. Newjak May 23, 2013
  6. Justin Everett May 23, 2013
  7. Justin Everett May 23, 2013
  8. lazybasterd May 23, 2013
  9. Chooch May 23, 2013
  10. Draugr May 23, 2013
  11. bob May 23, 2013
  12. Azenomei May 23, 2013
  13. Chooch May 23, 2013
  14. ponder May 23, 2013
  15. Pyco18 May 23, 2013
  16. XBLA May 23, 2013
  17. bigpartymaker May 23, 2013
  18. steve p May 23, 2013
  19. Tonyctitan May 23, 2013
  20. Britt May 24, 2013
  21. SpyKi May 24, 2013
  22. Dan May 24, 2013
  23. Adam May 25, 2013
  24. Jake May 28, 2013
  25. Gyrfalcon May 30, 2013
  26. Mark June 27, 2013
  27. Kristi July 5, 2013
  28. Ben July 5, 2013
  29. Andrew September 3, 2013
  30. Travis December 7, 2013

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 Humongous Plot Holes in the Star Wars Franchise
May the Fourth Be With You: The History of “Star Wars Day”
MCU Characters Whose Costumes Got Worse Over Time
The Truth Behind the Famous ‘I’m Walkin’ Here’ Scene in Midnight Cowboy
How to Unlock the Ultima Weapon in Kingdom Hearts 3
A Very Basic Hollow Knight Walkthrough
Five Awesome Cheats for Mount and Blade: Warband
Lord of Wolves
How to get the Lord of Wolves Shotgun in Destiny 2
10 Things You Didn’t Know about The Witcher’s Yennefer
Watchmen Jeremy Irons Ozymandias
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Watchmen’s Ozymandias
Who Is Gotham’s Solomon Grundy?
Explaining Black Sky from Marvel’s The Defenders
Lore Olympus
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Lore Olympus
The Top 10 Most Popular Web Comics Online Today
Five DC Superheroes Who are Incredible Liars
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Guy Gardner
How Cloud-based Logging Is Influencing Gaming Experiences
Why Web Performance Optimization Matters
Using Log Management Tools to Monitor Your Web App
Server Monitoring Tools That Provide Uninterrupted Gameplay