Is Backwards Compatability Necessary?

Do we deserve to play our old games on the next gen or should we just get up and turn on the old one?

I actually wanted to create a counterpoint to what these guys at Machinima are saying as well as Don Mattrick.  I don't think that the people put in charge of backwards compatibility for the 360 are understanding why people wanted it in the first place. They claim no one uses backwards compatibility and only want it so that they have the option. Don Mattrick even claimed that only 5% of users actually played the previous gen's games on the Xbox 360.

This made me frustrated.

The reason is that I remember back when the Xbox 360 launched and they promised to update their list of Xbox games that will be compatible with the 360 every month. I also remember them telling us that they will be putting out original Xbox games for download to your 360 on a regular bases.  I recall seeing a new one about every week.

The issues came from Microsoft not knowing what games people were frothing at the mouth over.  Sure, Halo is a given, but who in their right mind sat there in a conference room and said, "You know that people want?  You know what game people remember and hold such reverence for that it deserves to be one of the first games we announce in the first month of owning a 360?  I know I could not go into a new console generation without the calming sensation that comes from knowing that when the urge strikes, I can just pop in..."

Barbie Horse Adventures: Wild Horse Rescue

 "...Saddle up, we're on the way! Out on the trail, where ever we go... We'll search for horses high and low..." Man that is catchy!

Sarcasm aside, the lists of games being released for download and backwards compatibility sucked and never seemed to get better.  They left out games that even got petitions started to GET them backwards compatible.

What about those that had an Xbox but it died?  Mine certainly did.  About a year into the life of the 360, my original Xbox called quits and stopped turning on. I actually got a copy of Voodoo Vince new from a Cosco and was so psyched until I found out my 360 could not play it.

I have a perfectly new copy of Voodoo Vince I could not play!

Even Sony, the first real people to create a purposefully backwards compatible system, are still supporting some form of backwards compatibility with Cloud Storage in the PS4.  While Microsoft has stated they will not bring over Live Arcade games from the 360 to the One.

I think they need to understand why backwards compatibility is so loved.

It is the simplicity.

I love backwards compatibility because then I don't need to take up so much room in the living room with more cords and controllers. I can simply drop the disk into my next gen console and play.

I know to a certain extent they can be thinking, "Get off your butt for 5 minutes and hook up the other system!"  And I agree. Get up and do it because it isn't that big of a choir especially if you do it often enough because you will know how to stream line that process.

Final Thoughts

We need to realize that backwards compatibility is a gift and it also is a privilege. No company needs to implement it seeing as you have several other ways you can play those games when you actually take a second to look.  Emulators are always being made and built upon and consoles become very cheap once games are no longer being built for it. Seek out these ways to enjoy your games and accept that if you don't get to play your old games on your new console, it is okay.

Columnist

I like video games so I talk about them! Works for me!

Published Jun. 17th 2013

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