That Back Compat Thing

Talk about setting one up. Even so, I’m going to start by playing a bit of a devil’s advocate by saying that the news doesn’t affect my desire to own a PS3. I still won’t be buying one next month. That’s my cheap shot out of the way.

Honestly, I think backwards compatibility is overrated. I was always going to have to keep my PS2 around since it’s chipped and my PS2 collection takes in games from all three major regions, and I think I’ve played a grand total of five Xbox games on my 360 since last year. Two of those for more than a few minutes, or for more than just to check out how they looked in HD. Aside from a bit of FFVII last summer, it’s similarly underused on my PS2. Others might find it more important, as I know plenty of people who only want one box under their TV and don’t want to chuck out some of their favourite games. Not to mention the appeal of seeing what PS1 games you can find for a couple of quid each in Gamestation.

What’s irksome about the whole issue is the way in which they’re going about it. I’ve made it clear how I feel about the price, as have countless others, and this just makes things worse. We’re now paying more for a late, lesser piece of hardware? Sony had already twisted the knife in the wound; now they’re pouring salt onto it. The fact that this all comes out weeks from launch with preorders (mysteriously not sold out anywhere yet) in full swing is just low. That’s pissing on you while you’re down and still crying about how much the salt hurt.

This is where the obligatory Kutaragi quote comes in:

“PS3 will feature backwards compatibility with PS and PS2 games from day one. I’m emphasising this because, from what I hear, there are some platforms that haven’t been able to completely do this. It’s costly in terms of hardware, but we’d rather invest firmly on compatibility from the beginning, rather than to have issues later on.”

I hear there are two platforms that haven’t been able to completely do this, Ken.

I don’t think anyone would really object to them switching to software emulation to save hardware costs when their emulator is mature, but why do we have to, essentially, pay extra to beta test this feature? Why not keep the EE/GS chip in there for the machine to fall back on if the emulator doesn’t support the game? And, more pertinently from a European perspective, why not roll this out worldwide if you’re going to do it? Why just us?

Fuck them. I’m going to sit back and wait for the next of the weekly PR disasters.

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