Console Wars: Does Everything My Ass

June 11, 2010

There's one thing newer consoles should have that I personally think is more important than exclusive games, and that's backwards compatibility with the previous generation's games.

Backwards compatibility wasn't really possible back in the old days of cartridge-based games, seeing as both Nintendo's and Sega's 8-bit and 16-bit systems used completely different pin connecter setups. Nintendo's Game Boy Series was unique in that all the way up to the Gameboy Advance, one handheld system could play a library of games that started all the way back in 1989 with the original Game Boy. I personally own a Game Boy Advance SP, DS Lite and a DSi, just so I can play every single hand-held game Nintendo has ever made.

Backwards compatibility on a console didn't show up until the second generation of disc based game systems. Owning multiple hand held systems is one thing, they don't take up that much space, but consoles are another thing entirely. Having multiple systems hooked up to one TV can begin to be complicated, so when I heard that the Playstation 2 was going to be able to play every PS1 era game as well as play DVD's, I was sold. One machine that could do all those things, not to mention the PS2 came out around the same time as DVD players? $299.95 was a decent price considering all it could do.

So what about the PS3? Is it backwards compatible? Well... yes and no. Originally the PS3 had a driver installed in it that mimiced a PS2, so it could play PS2 and PS1 games, but it gave many games severe graphical errors. In lieu of trying to fix the problem, all new PS3's just have no backwards compatibility, period, which is why many people still own a PS2 and a PS3.