10 June 2007

Backwards Compatibility

I was looking for an image to use related to backwards compatibility somehow but during a search on the tag Console I found this one and I loved it so I went for it instead.

Anyway for those of you who don't keep track of my current console ownership I don't have a PS3 currently. I'm thinking of getting one at some stage, possibly when White Knight and Final Fantasy XIII are hitting the shelves until then I'm resisting (don't get me wrong Resistance looks good and I'm liking the look of things like Little Big Planet but they don't quite have that draw yet). I'm also still in a little bit of a huff over the whole European Backwards Compatibility thing.

I pondered this for a while, then I finally did some counting. Roughly 80% of my PS1 and 70% of my PS2 games have any level of compatibility with 40% of both having a "no problems" compatibility level. This compares to my XBox 360's 60% compatibility with original XBox games (though that suggests that all those games work without problems). My DS is 100% compatible with my GBA (though you can't use multiplayer anymore) and if I had a Wii then that's apparently 100% compatible with my GameCube titles (which there are a few that are awesome). Cynical "the Wii is two GameCube's" remarks are fine, go knock yourself out. Well done Nintendo anyway.

I've come to realise that the percentage of games working isn't really as important as what games work. There are certainly a few titles I'll probably never return to and a few that I'd really like to see work. I think the XBox 360 is in a really strange position given there is no way to transfer your save games to it. I haven't completed Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, for example, just because I can't be bothered starting it again and I can't be bothered using my original XBox to play it on. I own PGR3 but I liked PGR2 for similar reasons to what Endie outlined. I'm also bothered by the fact that the latter two Prince of Persia titles don't work. That series is awesome and people should have the chance to revisit it later down the line (also with the classic Prince Of Persia coming out on XBox Live Arcade then people might pick up the rest of the series).

The PS3 allows me to copy all my save games across, which is great. As much as I love many of the Final Fantasy games I don't want to start them from scratch again. Its backwards compatibility bothers me though. I guess, in part, because it was promised in the first place and for Europe to become some forgotten third market doesn't really make me feel like I should care about the console. Sony is part right, a new console is about the next-gen games but there are some gems in the PS1 and PS2 collection that should not be so lightly forgotten about. The lack of Shadow Hearts bothers me. I'm also really not convinced about this Should play on PLAYSTATION®3 with noticeable issues rating Sony has. Noticeable, does that mean that very occasionally the text goes a bit crazy or that most of the type you can't play the game? Finally you've got to love their advice:

  • You avoid connecting any non-essential USB peripherals to your PS3
  • You avoid the use of "60Hz" and network modes (which may experience noticeable graphical corruption not present in the main game)
  • You should skip optional FMV sequences (a small number of games have graphical corruption in one or more video sequences).

Seriously? So I shouldn't run it at the native refresh of my TV, I should unplug everything from the PS3 and, if I can, I should skip any of those optional story telling cutscenes. Thanks for the advice!

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