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Thread: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

  1. #17
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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Also, if I remember rightly, it wasn't really backwards compatible as such. They just put half the innards of the PS2 into the PS3, which pushed up manufacturing costs.

    Mind you, PCSX2 has now got very close to emulating the PS2 totally in software, so you would think Sony could make a decent stab of it with the PS4. Not that it would help run PS3 games, which is what the article's about.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Yet annother reason why PC is superior. The vast majority of PC games can be made to be backwards compatable.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    The initial PS3 released in Japan had full hardware backwards compatibility by including both CPU+GPU from the PS2, but by the time it reached the international market, the CPU was removed and instead emulated in software, but still included the GPU. Later versions broke backwards compatibility completely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS3_Har...Configurations

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Quote Originally Posted by HalloweenJack View Post
    sony ended up removing backwards combatibility from the PS3 as it was shown to be the least used feature! agreed they should just add older games to the market place to buy them for download
    As 'rabbid' says, backwards compatibility is very attractive in the first couple of months - say 12-18 month timescale - since it allows a "huge" library of content - you're not dependant on the games publishers to make your product a success.
    What I definitely don't agree with is that you should have to buy a second time (although I'm sure EA, Activision, Ubisoft et al would just love that arrangement). Having spent £40 on BOps2 there's no way I'd want to spend even as "little" as £15 buying a second copy to run on my shiny new Xbox720.
    Quote Originally Posted by big_hairy_rob View Post
    Yet annother reason why PC is superior. The vast majority of PC games can be made to be backwards compatable.
    That's because - being rude - today's PC is no more than a very much faster version of something from 10-15 years ago. On the other hand I think you'd be pressed to be able to get a PC that could play games (at even console resolutions) for the price that consoles sell for. Heck, my graphics card alone cost more than an XBox!

    The problem with the consoles seems to be that they're either changing the hardware dramatically or the underlying "operating system" is wildly different. I read a US-based article that was saying that XBox720's OS is as different to the 360's as Windows7 is to Windows95. Wouldn't like to say how true that is though.

    Then again, I was trying to play Lemmings from Windows3.1 days the other day - not a fun experiment. Far easier to just download one of the free clones instead.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Regarding backwards compatibility:
    It happens most of the time on the PC because it generally happens by default or not too much of a problem to fix/bodge.

    Regarding the current gen consoles and the gen coming up however:
    You're going to have immense issues because whilst the next gen is relatively 'off-the shelf' x86 PC components, the current gen is pretty exotic hardware (we're talking powerpc to x86 instruction conversion in software to start with, it's even worse/more-complex for the PS3's weird Cell CPU), the only realistic way to do this is to include the old CPU in hardware, which adds cost.

    Personally i'd like it if they just added a cheap expansion port to the consoles and sold a 'backwards compatibility' addon for those that want it.
    All it'd need is the CPU/GPU on it, the rest of the parts (PSU/IO/controllers/storage) could be handled by the host console, so it shouldn't cost a great amount to make.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Quote Originally Posted by fail_quail View Post
    ...
    Personally i'd like it if they just added a cheap expansion port to the consoles and sold a 'backwards compatibility' addon for those that want it.
    All it'd need is the CPU/GPU on it, the rest of the parts (PSU/IO/controllers/storage) could be handled by the host console, so it shouldn't cost a great amount to make.
    Finally some sense, and very well put at that. Regardless of some people only playing the latest and "greatest", there are a lot of users who play older titles and backwards compatibility is very much desired. It's almost as if console manufacturers dismiss the fact that there is still a huge market for previous generations' games, and something as simple as a backwards compatibility addon would solve that easily. Alternatively, there could be official licensing fees for products similar to the defunct Bleem!, a rather popular PSX emulator at the time that even got to be sold commercially with versions running on Dreamcast consoles with full games.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Quote Originally Posted by tribaljet View Post
    Finally some sense, and very well put at that. Regardless of some people only playing the latest and "greatest", there are a lot of users who play older titles and backwards compatibility is very much desired. It's almost as if console manufacturers dismiss the fact that there is still a huge market for previous generations' games, and something as simple as a backwards compatibility addon would solve that easily.
    Don't forget that there's more games in folks' libraries than merely CoD, various EA (naff!) sports titles etc - what about that wealth of "indy" games that are available on XBL/PSN? No backwards compatibility mean that those are also cut off from future sales - at least until the coders can catch up with all the changes in the new hardware/software.

    And then there's all those games from games houses that are no longer with us - sure some of the IP's from these ex-studios have been picked up by the survivors, but even so if you're a fan of one of those titles then you're outta luck if you plan to trade-up to a '720.

    (PS I also suggested a "sidecar" type arrangement in post #13 - this is an addon that I'd definitely buy if it wasn't grossly overpriced. E.g. for an XBox one I'd say <£100 would be reasonable given that a new 4GB '360 can be had for <£140 on the high street)

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    TBF it's probably a little bit more complicated than simply glueing a box on the side. You'd essentially need the whole console in this little box, you can't have stuff like memory bus/video/etc transferred over some USB port, and that's before we get to cooling and power requirements.

    The main console's PSU would have to be over-specified so it would be capable of powering both units simultaneously, which may not be a big problem if the new consoles do idle at low power and can be prevented from waking while the add-on is active. However you still have heat to deal with. In essence, you'd end up with something not much smaller than the current console, at about the same cost (if not more, due to additional development and likely higher profit), simply so you can use your current console as a peripheral switch.

    You can bet something like this has crossed the minds of the console devs more than a few times, and there are likely good reasons, technical and/or economical, why we haven't seen such a thing hit the market yet.
    Last edited by watercooled; 14-02-2013 at 11:58 AM.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Great ! Basically your going to have to pay for your games again (should you decide to sell your PS3) with DLC... Rape the consumer more Sony !

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Although it's purely a rumour, I can't help but still feel disappointed. If the new Xbox console doesn't support backwards compatibility, I won't be buying it and will instead make the full switch to PC gaming and play my Xbox 360 whenever appropriate if I get that nostalgic feeling. I'm not surprised at all by this though, it's to be expected, but I bet many others won't be happy neither. It seems to be the norm now that developers and manufacturers seem to care less and less about the consumer and more about making profit. I know that's the point of a business but they should do well to remember that it's the consumers that keep them in business.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    I've never really been a console gamer. We bought a Wii when it was still fairly new, its still used now. We won't be buying a WiiU because it isn't compatable (we think) with the mat that one of the kids favorite games uses.
    We bought an xbox 360, mostly because I like the burnout series, so if I can't play them on any new console then I won't be interested.
    Most recently we bought the kids a PS3. I will avoid buying another Playstation, it's not a pleasure to use or setup.
    Much as I'd love to have a complete set of consoles going back to the Atari 2600, I don't have enough space. We only just have space for the Wii and xbox in the living room as it is.
    And, TBH, I got a little excited about the Wii in the run up to its launch. But the WiiU hasn't excited me and nothing I've read about the 720 or PS4 has made me desperate to see them launch. About the most exciting thing is the possability of them not allowing second hand games, and if either of them do that then I won't buy the console on principal.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Quote Originally Posted by fail_quail View Post
    it's even worse/more-complex for the PS3's weird Cell CPU
    Cell still uses the power instruction set, you just have to write for it as a SIMD device with beefy alus and fpus.



    Yet annother reason why PC is superior. The vast majority of PC games can be made to be backwards compatable.
    DOS titles require a full DOS emulator, because while not an instruction set emulator has to emulate a dos machine with a very different progmatic environment (120hz system clock is hilarious nowadays). If Win32 ever got depreciated (and Microsoft seems to want to push WinRT as the "new" system API) or you ever tried to run Windows games on another platform, you would end up emulating the software environment. It gets even worse with Wine, because at least the Playstation and N64 had design docs of how their registers and architectures worked for developers to use - Microsoft goes out of their way to obfuscate and black box DirectX's internals, and many games are written against bugs in the API that MS keeps that aren't documented.

    Throw on a major processor architecture shift away from x86 (and ARM is gunning for it) and you have a very similar degree of emulation required to run a win32/directx/x86 PC game compared to a ps3/opengl/POWER system. General purpose computers only seem superior because companies don't just force consumers into massive hardware switches every 5 - 6 years away from architectures and APIs. Especially in Microsofts case - they exist on their ability to support 20 year old software still. But even in the most recent case, it would take a significant amount of hardware and software emulation to run a game from x86/win32 on ARM/winRT if you got a Windows 8 tablet.

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Cell may be POWER but the new consoles are x86, and I agree, emulating it in software would be a major PITA, even with another more standard POWER CPU. For example, the 'SPU' cores all have fast, programmable local memory, not cache like most CPUs. Also, they are issued data from system memory via the main POWER core (which is similar to the 360's cores).

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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Im glad I share a different view to compatibility, I tend to find new consoles make the old console worthless to sell and I dont buy a new console as soon as they release so what I tend to do is just keep my previous console, like my xbox I only sold it a year ago haha and I now have no games I want to replay since I got the pc equivalent . It certainly will be challenging to put it in these consoles and I believe it should be omitted, seriously if you think about it the price will be like £50 - £100 more so why not sell it for less then you keep your console which will most likely only get you £60 anyway and use that as a media streamer and a backward compatibility unit .
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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    I am hoping that SONY dont repeat what they did with the PS3 and emulate the old games from the PS2 and charge you for each of them on the PSN network.
    I have loads of old games that i had amassed over a long period of time, but would have to buy them again or buy the remastered versions (or dust of the PS2).

    The Xbox 360 did it a lot better, but some games they never got a working emulator for.
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    Re: News - Next gen consoles probably won’t be backwards compatible

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Cell may be POWER but the new consoles are x86, and I agree, emulating it in software would be a major PITA, even with another more standard POWER CPU. For example, the 'SPU' cores all have fast, programmable local memory, not cache like most CPUs. Also, they are issued data from system memory via the main POWER core (which is similar to the 360's cores).
    Perhaps they need to goto the existing people that do emulation for PC like epsxe. dolphin e.t.c. and splash the cash on getting them to do the emulation for them, where theres a will theres a way.
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