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Why I Don't Care About Backwards Compatibility Anymore

Bear with me here.

When I got the PlayStation 3, backwards compatibility was undoubtedly my most-wanted feature at the time. I got the PS3 at launch (which, by the way, I would never have done had it not been for work purposes) and besides Resistance: Fall of Man, there really wasn't anything I wanted. Plus, I still had a bunch of PS2 games I wanted to play and hell, Final Fantasy XII had just arrived. I didn't want to have both the PS2 and PS3 hooked up at the same time; I was basically out of room, what with the Xbox 360 already taking up one spot in the entertainment center.

But as time went on, the last new PS2 games I wanted to play petered out. It didn't take very long, either. Furthermore and more importantly, something else happened- I found I didn't have much desire to go back and play any games in my PS2 collection. While at the same time, I always have the urge to go back and play some of my PS1 titles. ...but why? On the surface, it shouldn't make any sense. Obviously, going back and playing old games is dictated entirely by nostalgia, and I'm all sorts of nostalgic over certain PS2 titles. So what's the deal? How is this possible? Why, outside of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Final Fantasy X, do I just not care about playing my PS2 games? 

The answer is clear: Because the PS1 games I want to go back and play - mostly old-school turn-based RPGs - offer experiences I can't really find anymore. Yes, I'm aware I could turn to the PSP at times but I can never fully embrace handheld gaming; it just isn't the same to me. And for whatever reason, the turn-based games I had in my PS2 collection (Suikoden III, Legaia 2: Duel Saga, etc.), just weren't tweaking my nostalgic heartstrings. Maybe it was the unparalleled glory of Squaresoft in those days, or the fact that even games like Twisted Metal 2 and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are just lodged in my memory banks as being unapproachable.

Thing is, the PS3 just made a lot of what we had on the PS2 better. It wasn't about creating entirely new gameplay experiences; it was just fine-tuning the 3D action experience even more. So why would I want to play the lesser experiences when the gameplay is virtually the same? And when the PS4 gets here, I see more progression but games should play very much the same way they play now. So in looking forward, what reason will I have to go back and play PS3 games? Why? Will I really want to play Uncharted 3 again after playing Uncharted 4 on the PS4? GT5 after playing GT6? Killzone 3 after playing Killzone 4?

I suppose I might want to go back and play Heavy Rain again but beyond that, I can't really think of a game or gameplay style in the PS3 era that won't simply get better in the new generation. That's just how I see it.

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, next generation, backwards compatibility, ps4 bc

9/27/2012 9:51:40 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (30 posts)

Killa Tequilla
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 10:47:07 PM

Well, I have a bunch of games that are still wrapped. I doub't I'll play them anytime soon. So PS4 BC is a plus. Also, wouldn't you want to go back and play some Assassins Creed? You wont see it in the present, but in the future you will. You cannot hide from the past.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 10:51:29 PM

That makes perfect sense to me. The main reason I wanted backwards compatibility on the PS3 was because I never had a PS2, and I knew there was a great back catalog of games I wanted to play. Turns out nearly all the games I ended up playing were re-released as HD collections or downloadable titles. Now I'm at the point where I've played most of what I wanted to and am ready to look to the future. If there are any games I still want to catch up on, or go back to, I still plan on keeping my PS3 for just such the occasion.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 10:52:31 PM

I still care, I want to be able to return to my RPGs to play them as different, evil characters to see different outcomes once enough time has passed.

Then there's original experiences like Catherine, Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls that we will never see the like of again and HD collections of PS2 games like Silent Hill HD that I don't want to be unplayable without hooking up a system.

Then there's that period of drought after a console launch when it's time to shell out for the super cheap experiences from the last generation that you missed out on but want to give a chance.

Also there are still some good JRPGs on PS3 and I fully expect that genre to be dead in the next generation.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/27/2012 10:54:54 PM

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Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 11:51:29 PM

I agree. There are games that are timeless for the PS2 and it's nice to have the convenience to not have to dig out old systems and hook them up.

It's not high on my priority list, as I can just hook up my other consoles, but it's a nice option to have. If it ups the price of the console considerably just to get the backwards compatibility then I say no, but if they can do it for relatively cheap, they should.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 5:13:47 AM

Actually World, you make good points. These are very good reasons why backward compatibility should remain.

I would surely like this option!



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kay Oss
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 11:15:34 AM

I still play tokyo xtreme racer series that came out for the ps1 and ps2 on my PS3. But i have to agree some of the best RPG's are from the PS1 era and from time to time I will go back and play them but never had the urge to complete them. I'm currently knee deep in PS3 games that I havent even played yet. I have over 40 ps3 games and I would say 26 of them are not even unwrapped... i blame it on Call of Duty modern warfare. Because of that game I neglected all other great games. Now Im trying to play catch up so i have no time for PS1 or PS2 games.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 11:53:14 AM

that many games unwrapped, your losing yourself money.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:11:28 PM

No question I would really like to have the option. I hate the idea of losing access to my current collection (I CAN'T keep every console I ever owned hooked up at the same time!) I do agree with Ben's larger point -- that the vast majority of PS3 games will be improved upon by their successors to a point where we don't even want to play the PS3 iterations. As for those truly unique games you mention, there's your incentive to hold on to your previous-gen consoles and hook them up from time to time right there.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 11:01:37 PM

To be honest with the same mentality i bought my PS3 60GB(PAL) and played there Okami/FF12/Rogue Galaxy and some other games but once the next gen kicked really good i didn't really felt the need to replay any already finished ps2 game.And let's not forget the HD remasters launched also.Eventually when the price of ps2 dropped to be like 2-3 games(launch price i mean) i just got one extra ps2 for backup just in case the first one failed.With the same mentality i think i will buy a second ps3,ps4 and so on.

Although i said all the above and think that backward compatibility is not important to me ,it is nice to have a feature like that - as long as we aren't asked to pay some premium price or see some half-assed implementation(see xbox-xbox360).It shows that the company cares for its old console owners and it continue somehow the support to it.

Last edited by 1torulemall on 9/27/2012 11:03:13 PM

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Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 11:09:13 PM

I can understand keeping my ps3 hooked up after ps4 comes out. Main reason is so I don't have to download all my psn games again, or transfer saves. Plus ps3 had something tremendous that ps2 did not, wireless controllers. If the ps2 had wireless controllers that were not crappy aftermarket mad catz controllers I would have most likely kept it hooked up. But alas it did not but the ps3 does, so it will remain hooked up even after I get a ps4

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 12:41:36 AM

I think one huge thing bc allows is for people without a lot of money to splurge on a new console so that they are preparing for the future, but allows them to have a large catalog of games for very cheap.

Whereas if it's not bc you have to spring for full price games right out of the gate and it's a much larger expense than just the console if want to actually game on it.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:06:07 AM

Don't agree, just like with classic movies they'll always be something someone wants to go back and play.
BC compatibility is a must in every successor console in my opinion.

Although for PS4 i'd want real ps2 BC because PS3 was really lacking only series I honestly see me going back to is Mass Effect Series and if we never get another true Socom, Socom Confrontation. That's it for PS3.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:14:16 AM

I care, even with 2 PS2's(a Phat & a white Slim) & 2 PS3's(a Phat60 & a Slim), I still want Playstation to continue making B/C machines.

Just because once they're gone, their gone....& then you have no other options to get B/C back except to buy it used(& with the chance that it was abused), or an actual refurb(which I have nothing against, almost 1/3 of my consoles, even retro's are refurbs & still kicking it to the max today).

Plus I still hope to buy more PS1 & Ps2 games to play as well(well, that was until I got laid off 16 months ago).

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:48:11 AM

I'm still heavily wanting full backwards compatibility. At first, when it was a feature for the PS3 I merely wanted it so I could continue playing my multiplayer PS2 games (Killzone, CoD: Big Red One) after the ethernet port of my Slim PS2 blew out from a storm. By now, I'm sure most of those servers are long gone with the exception of Killzone (last I checked few months ago), but it was a real letdown when they removed it before I could finally afford one.

That and the space; it would be nice to give my PS2 away with the memory cards to one of my relatives and then I could just save my games off the hard drive rather than continually buy more memory cards. I'm dealing with it though, ever since I upgraded my SDTV to an HDTV (mainly just so I could finally read the in-game text, I'm not into the best graphics). I've been able to plug in my other PlayStations to my older tv and play them on. Yes, even my PS1 since some of my memory cards aren't recognized on the PS2.. plus it's a more nostalgic to see that startup screen. :)

So overall, it's merely a convenience and major space saving to have everything all in one. Plus it would really drive the PlayStation motto of it being able to accomplish everything.

Last edited by VampDeLeon on 9/28/2012 1:52:42 AM

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 2:37:02 AM

I hope BC is part of the PS4 especially with trophies being a big part of games now.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 4:33:47 AM

Trophies has little to do with BC? Your PSN account surely will follow you over to the new machine.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/28/2012 4:34:49 AM

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 4:23:06 AM

The only problem I got with no BC is that without it my entire PS3 collection will be rendered practically worthless (ergo collect dust in the basement) the moment I replace the PS3 with the PS4. That stings. It bites.

One thing is for sure, with the next gen console s I'll be a bit more picky with the titles I buy and *when* I buy them. I'v bought around 150-200 games for the PS3 over the years. Although many of them are sold again (and thus financed purchases of new titles), was it worth it? Not if bought at full price, no most definitely not.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/28/2012 4:32:12 AM

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 6:21:47 AM

Ben, I am surprised at you... Surely you must know how good the PS2 was for JRPG'S ,something the PS3 certainly has not done better this gen! - Final Fantasy X, Persona 3,4 Digital Devil Saga's, Rogue Galaxy, Dark Cloud 1 & 2, Dragon Quest VIII - I can go on and on. The PS2 was THEE place for JRPG's that gen.While this gen I look at my PS3 selection and I barely have 5 RPG's...

For me having a backwards compatible PS2 is essential, quite simple because a PS2 does not support a HDMI, so it looks rubbish on a HDTV. While the PS3 upscales the content to at least look as good as it did on a normal TV,which is all I want. I have bought HD collections of some PS2 games. Playing Metal Gear Solid 2 & 3 in widescreen was so satisfying. But I have over 70 PS2 games many that I play frequently and still some I need to sit down and enjoy.

You said you would go back to play Heavy Rain, what about Quantic Dreams Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy I think it's called in the US) - I personally enjoyed that more than Heavy Rain. If you haven't played it please do. The first two introduction scenes are so well done.

If the PS4, is in 1080P along with all TV's for next next, I will be content with my PS3 to play PS1 and PS2 games, but 2160p (4K resolution) becomes the standard for next gen gaming and I upgrade to it, I will want all of my games through my PS3 too look good on it or I will cant the PS4 to be backwards compatible.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 11:04:41 AM

One thing you have to remember- My PS2 collection consisted of a LOT more than JRPGs. I got into a ton of other genres in those days, and all of those genres simply are better in the PS3 era.

As for the PS1, 95% of my collection was JRPG.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 8:23:53 AM

If the new system is backwards compatible that means developers don't have to ditch old development entirely as well for me. Like the vita, developers still have the choice to release psp games for us. I think it's a must, for the industry to have options and consumers.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 9:26:03 AM

And this is why I always keep my previous consoles. :P

I know some can't because of certain situations though.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 9:46:23 AM

I want backwards compatibility for one reason-
So I have 1 game console in my entertainment center instead of 2. And with the PS4 (without it) now I'll have to have 3 consoles. lame.
Besides how optimal at any given time to play your entire PS catalog on one system? Add in additional perks wireless controller and smoother picture, its like owning your own
That friends is the ultimate Playstation satisfaction.

Last edited by Amnesiac on 9/28/2012 9:47:06 AM

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playstation usa
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 10:08:35 AM

Sony should keep the cell processor and improve it make it more dev friendly ... Sony spent tons of money RD and buying the cell factory from toshiba ...!!! It wouldn't make any sense to change all sony invested in and flush it down the toilet ...!! It would be a big mistake for sony to use different hardware ...!!! If sony would keep the cell processor the ps4 would cheaper to build and you can play your ps3 games.... but this is just my opinion ...

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 10:24:36 AM

I have to mostly agree. Once I started playing my PS3, I don't believe I've touched very many PS2 games. Sure the backwards compatibility was great at launch due to limited supply of new games. After the first year or two, the only PS2 games I played were HD remakes. Let me correct that. The only old Playstation games I played on my PS3 were HD remakes.

I do like the option, but I don't see it as important as it used to be.

Back when this feature was first introduced, there weren't as many games releasing as frequently as they are today. Generally you had long hulls in between launches of great games. Now a days, I can't find the time to finish or even just play all the games on my list.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 12:04:17 PM

I'm on the fence about backward compatibility. On one hand I agree with Ben that once I started getting more PS3 games the desire to go back to older games diminished.

At the same time though, I'd have a urge to play Red Dead Revolver, San Andreas, DBZ Tenkaichi 2, and lord knows my urges to play the Onimusha series. I have no room in my entertainment center for the PS2. I wish I could just play them on the PS3. I can't imagine not being able to play Uncharted on the PS4 to get ready for Uncharted 4 and the same goes for God of War..and the HD collections I've purchased..It would just seem odd not to have b/c on the PS4..I mean if rumors are true then I know we won't have b/c but if Sony sticks with Cell technology I don't see why it wouldn't have b/c for PS3 games at the minimum..

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:06:40 PM

It's a pretty good argument. I would add also that with the passage of time, those handful of games you REALLY like from the previous generation are almost certainly available via download for your current console at a very reasonable price, quite possibly remastered in HD (MGS Collection was the BEST) and since they are digital, they presumably WILL be compatible with future console generations (for a while at least.) I adored my PS2 something fierce. But I own nearly all the games I truly cherished on it in digital form on PS2.

The problem becomes when a company inexplicably keeps some classics out of the digital stores -- WHY is SE keeping Dragon Quest VIII and FFX to themselves? But those games are few and far between, and it's not like they'll never be released.

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Comic Shaman
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:24:48 PM

I've had the original PS3 since launch, and its backward compatibility has been a boon to me over the course of its life cycle. Sometimes I've gone back to old games during a dry spell. Sometimes I just like to fire up an old favorite that has no contemporary equal (like Drakan), and other times I finally get around to that gem that I never managed to make time for years ago.

Plus I would say that there are certain games that have not been improved with new-gen versions. The 2-player co-op games like the old Baldur's Gate & Norrath titles that are still more fun than most of their contemporary counterparts. And the first three SSX games are still more fun than the next-gen iteration, in my opinion.

If my PS3 broke down today, I would do everything I could to get it repaired as opposed to buying a newer slim with no backwards compatibility.

So I hear Ben's point, but I have to weigh in on the other side. Backwards compatibility is a huge selling point for me.

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:41:19 PM

For me backwards compatability was huge for the PS3. To this day I play PS2 and PS3 games equally. There's so many games that didn't get a sequal on the PS3, I assume it's due to the rising cost. Games like the Kessen seires, Onimusha, name a few. I own all my games and I hate the idea of having to buy that I already own.

Besides, it's like having a movie collection. You may watch the latest movie out but that doesn't mean you won't go back to watch the classics. Backwards compatability is very important to me. That, and the FF13 "exclusive", was what sold me on the ps3. Now both are gone lol. Happy I have my og PS3 60gb Fatty. :) best system ever....along with a hacked PSP-EMULATORS!

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Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 3:03:39 PM

While JRPGs on the PS2 may not have matched the PSOne (although there were still plenty of great ones), the PS2 was the golden age of 3D platforming (I still personally enjoyed the original J&D and all three 'main' Ratchet and Clanks more than Super Mario Galaxy) - if it hadn't been for the HD re-releases, I'd be going back to play PS2 games a lot more.

You're spot on that in terms of shooters (although there are still original games like XIII, Second Sight and the excellent Timesplitters), racers (generally, although purist rally games have taken a step back this gen) and flight games that this gen has surpassed them, but there are still exceptions. There hasn't been a single online military third-person shooter this gen that matches the single-player of the SOCOM series (or, arguably, the online) - hell, even the two Op Flash games weren't as authentic (although they were still great). And Rez, Rez was great :).

That said, I just rock a spare super-slim PS2 these days, now that my original fat PS3 has gone to Playstation heaven. I'm hoping that they can handle B/C for PS4, but suspect that with the unique architecture of the PS3, and all the rumours of going with a more standard x86 chipset for PS4, they might find it tricky. But it's a hope, not a dealbreaker - worst comes to worst I'll just keep the 'ole PS3 in a readily accessible location.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012 @ 5:40:59 AM

I would definitely still be willing to pay a premium for a BC PS3, if Sony still made them :-( I have lots of old PS2 games that I never had time to play, or would still like to play, and with my poor launch PS3 YLOD, now I no longer can...

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