Retro support: Fan boys' obsession?

Monday 19 June 2006
Whether backwards compatibility is a vital feature of a new console or just a non-essential extra is a hot topic of debate amongst gamers, and now some industry voices have offered their views on the thorny subject of being able to play old games on new consoles.

Capcom's senior director of strategic planning, Christian Svensson, believes that backwards compatibility is just a "security blanket", explaining to industry website next-gen.biz that it makes gamers "feel like the investment they've made historically wasn't a waste, even though a scant percentage of them will ever put a legacy disc into a new platform."

Another strategic planner, Intel's Tasos Kaiafas, calls the issue of backwards compatibility as "nothing more than something else for the fan boys to pick on and complain about." Kaiafas offers his opinion that unless old games can be enhanced in "some meaningful way on the next-gen consoles, it's not worth doing."

The article also quotes an anonymous source at a hardware manufacturer as saying, "Our research shows BC is something everyone says they want but, when we look back at the same people after a period of time, the vast majority of those people don't use it." The unnamed insider also states that the only reason backwards compatibility continues to be a discussion point is the "vocal minority raving on in forums."

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