Is backwards compatibility necessary?

So I got into a Facebook war the other day for comments I made regarding Microsoft’s E3 showing, mainly the backwards compatibility (BC). I thought about it and wanted to talk about the need for this feature in current consoles.

A lot of people are looking forward to it and to be honest I would take BC over Sony’s streaming service anyday. They both address the same, or similar, need but with BC you still physically own a copy of the game. That’s huge for me. Another advantage of it on the XBone is the very well documented reliability of the early Xbox 360s. The later ones are fine but if someone has an early model that dies then this could be a viable option if they already have an XBone as well.

I also understand it’s relatively an easy thing to implement giving the similarity in architectures, generally speaking, between the 360 and XBone so why not?

Resident Evil®_20150120164009

I just question whether or not it’s really a needed update. But I also don’t make use of BC aside from playing PS1 games on my PS2, PS3 or PSP. I have many of my older consoles still. I guess I’m a purist, which is true for many things but I play my Gamecube games on a Gamecude, not a Wii. I play PS2 games on a PS2, original Xbox games on an original Xbox and so on. I HAVE used all my consoles for BC at some point. I can’t say I havn’t. However 90% of the time I play the game on the console it was designed for.

“They could have used those resources on something else like a new IP”

I also realize that I may be in the minority and I am but ONE consumer of millions. However with the 360 and PS3 still having legs with new games still planned for them I’m not sure BC was really something that Microsoft needed to dedicate a team of developers to. They could have used those resources on something else like a new IP, making current IPs better or something that’s actually ground breaking.

Far Cry® 4_20150104125140

Maybe I drank some haterade or something but even though I see the benefit I just can’t help but feel “blah” about it, and I am a big Microsoft fan. So maybe that’s where my disappointment comes from. I don’t have a XBone yet, I chose PS4 at launch and so far this year I don’t have a reason to buy one. New Halo and Gears look good so maybe I will get one by years end. But seeing MS put resources into a feature we didn’t really need doesn’t get me in a hurry to buy an XBone.

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the matter.