Rumors have been growing these pasts’ weeks about both the PS4 and the Xbox 720, and while they are just rumors one big thing that many are concerned about it whether each console will support past gens titles. While we of course do not know, one has to ask why this is important to have.
Why Play Old On the New?
This is a question of opposing the idea to having backward capability as many have wondered why anyone would want to play an old game on a new generation console. Let’s just think of this for a second. I know when the PS3 and Xbox 360 released we wanted to play the new games, however the library, like at all console launches, just isn't that big. We had to wait months just to more games. Building a new library consist of next gen titles takes time. Another thing people will say is keep your console then, and yes that is always an option but typically people trade-in (or maybe it broke) their old console to get the new ones. The idea isn't much that we want to play our old games on a new console; it’s the idea of playing them on our new console while we wait for more titles to release. That was me for the first half of my year owning a PS3, and now that we are 6 years in I don't even bother playing the PS2 titles as much as I use to since there is such a huge library available.
It's much like what Iwata told Nintendo's investors: “The software lineup for a new platform is not very rich during such a period and many consumers do not want to throw away the software they bought for the previous platform.”
Now the differences with last Gen (PS2, Xbox 360) were pretty clear when it came to graphics, and online interaction which brings me to my next point.
Achievements/Trophies - Offering Gamers A Way to Continue
Unlike last generation of consoles, we didn't have a unified online network (well LIVE tried), nor an achievement/trophy system. I believe this will play a big role for next gen when it finally gets announced. Do we as gamers really want a fresh start? Or would we rather have all our progress and hard work brought with us? Personally I like the second choice.
With Sony, PlayStation Home is no Doubt being ready for the PlayStation 4. If you remember when Sony first showed off PS Home, back when Phil Harrison was working with them, they showed us many features that never made it into the current build. One of the many features was the trophy room.
Pretty impressive don't you think? Well this never did happen and we wondered why, but its one thing we would want Sony to return in the next generation and with support of our already earned titles. Either way, the difference between last gen and this gen is that we have an online system that works and is much unified. We can expect the next console to allow us to carry our progress over, and I personally see no reason why backward capability shouldn't be added. The games this generation look great, and as many have said we shouldn't expect a huge graphical leap like before.
Today's games will still be relevant in the next generation. If backward capability is possible, it only means further support for existing titles as new gamers will have the chance to play them. I've already said that people will say why play the old on the new, and it's really more of a why not? It's a nice feature to have and it’s not something that'll be forced on you to use. If you want to play new titles then go ahead, but like mentioned the library at launch, no matter how great of the titles release will be small and continue to be small for the next couple of months to come. You can't expect someone to give up their library of hundreds of games and start over again.