16 June 2006
More on Backward Compat.
Adding to my previous post, a couple of more points on the backward compatibility article at Next-Gen:
- This quote from Christian Svensson struck me as interesting:
As such, it has value as a bullet point in the system wars and the lack of it is perceived as a major deficiency in the face of consoles that do have it. In reality, people buy new hardware to play new games. (emphasis added)Seems to me the Wii virtual console could well disprove that last sentence entirely. We'll see how well Nintendo pulls it off this holiday season.
- This sentence from the conclusion could use an extra bit:
Microsoft might just as well have made a virtue of its shortcomings, pledged BC for just a small proportion of really big hitting Xbox games, and moved on. We realize this isn't going to be a popular position to take but, Sony, under immense cost pressures, ought to consider the unthinkable and do likewise.The key word there is "unthinkable". Sony has made a pledge that the PlayStation 3 will be backward compatible to the PSOne and PlayStation 2. Even if it's just 99% like the PSOne-on-PS2 situation, they'll survive intact, I believe.
But Sony has a big public relations problem, one that has gotten worse with nearly every announcement, clarification, and interview. The only bright spot is when they explained that the lobotomized PlayStation 3 model wasn't quite as awful as we'd been led to believe.
Even if backward compatibility is not on the minds of most consumers now, it will be when they see a headline like "Sony Cuts More PlayStation 3 Features". Even if Joe Slashdot wasn't ever going to fire up a PlayStation 2 game in a PlayStation 3, the new that they're reneging on their pledge of backward compatibility will only cement the current impression that the PlayStation 3 is underpowered and overpriced.
Again, the point is not whether that impression is accurate or not. The point is that if enough people have reason to believe it, Sony will pay a painful price.
--Matt Matthews at 15:34
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