Actually, according to G4, the PS4 will not be backward compatible with the PS3
. Conversely, the WiiU is BC with Wii games, but not GameCube games, as those would be offered for Virtual Console later. Microsoft could not
legally offer full BC on the 360 for their Xbox 1 titles, as they did the 'rookie mistake' of not securing the IP for the essential hardware of their Xbox 1 (namely, the intel CPU and nVIDIA GPU). They remedied that one quick with the 360, and the contracts ending for the Xbox 1 gave them time pressure to get the 360 out there more than the competition.
Going into it, I knew that the 360 would not have 100% BC
, and at least Microsoft was pretty up front in fessing up to this leading up to the console's launch. But at least their BC efforts focused on the landmark, higher-rated titles... the kind of titles that were important to the Xbox 1 as much as possible... even if some games running similar code got a side benefit (like a few curious additions I remember popping in and out of that list). To date, the 360 has BC for about ~51% of the entire Xbox 1 library... and the only caveat needed to make it work on any Xbox 360 out there is to have A
hard drive installed. Doesn't have to be any particular size... you just have to have one. Which means, even a brand new 360 S you pick up right now can still play those older games from its prior generation that have been confirmed. And if you can't find the disc or your disc(s) are ruined beyond repair, Microsoft does have the option for Games-on-Demand, where you could download it and play it without fear of that happening to your rarer titles.
The Wii didn't really need to play up the fact that it could play its GC games directly; and save for a few accessories (GB player comes to mind), the Wii has effectively supplanted any need for me to keep a GameCube, because the games play, and for those that support it, I can automatically enable 480p on them. Current Wii's coming out are missing these ports, but it is my understanding that the leads on the motherboard are still there... so if you are so inclined, you could buy the requisite ports and solder them back on the Wii and regain the functionality. Or well, it's not like there isn't an abundance of Wii systems out there that retain the ports to buy used or refurb'd.
Which then leads me back to the PS3. While Microsoft did fess up that 100% BC wasn't going to be possible on their Xbox, Sony played up the fact that their system would be BC at E3... it was practically a selling point talking about how "over 10 years of games" would be playable from ONE console
. I can't remember which E3 it was (if memory serves, it was the one before the "$599 US Dollars" debacle), but it was definitely a keynote slide in their presentation. So they knew that for many, it was a deal maker/breaker situation to bring up BC. And when the system finally launched, yes, it had the hardware inside for it, but the BC wasn't perfect... and while Sony would go on to then state that "about 200 titles don't work," the problem was that these 200 or so games that initially didn't work or were glitched were HIGH PROFILE games!
This wasn't stuff that was like obscure to the point you'd have only seen it in stores for like a week or something... it was best sellers that were just flat out not working. At the same time, there was hope and reason to update firmware then because the successive updates did improve playability of these BC titles (applying AA and improved scaling for HDTV's), and helped fix many games. Then in an effort to "save money", Sony would then make a limited edition
model that removed one of the two chips required for PS2 BC, doing some of it in software mode. This then made for only about ~60% of PS2 games to remain working... PS1 has been done in software since the first slim PStwo; unlike the PStwo though, the improved hardware on the PS3 allowed for more accurate emulation than that hap-hazard redesigned console.
And this is where I was finally able to seriously save up for having a PS3 finally. So, I did the research... and even according to Sony's own game lists, it was a case of:
•A given game(s) in my library not working at all on the soft
BC unit while it worked on the full BC model, or...
•Given game(s) was/were fixed in a much earlier firmware than on the softBC unit.
So, the choice was obvious... I needed a full-BC model.
And then Sony did the most blatant neutering yet, with the first 40GB ps3, which removed...
•PS2 compatibility completely
•half the USB ports
•The flash memory slots
Thus, neutered. Then neutered again
with the first Slim, only to then retroactively remove Linux support from all PS3 systems, after Sony went out of its way to say that all existing systems that had it would not lose it.
So when I finally had the money together for a PS3, I sadly could not go new... no store would carry any full BC models whatsoever. And I was not
spending $1000 on eBay for one that claimed to be new, only to get a pair of cinder blocks in a PS3 box. So, off to gamestop it was, to get the first of four PS3's I'd have to go through before ending up with the system I have now.
So now, let's take a moment to think about this... if my existing unit died on me, and I had no way of getting it repaired, that means that my only options are to get:
•Another neutered PS3
•An extra USB hub or two to replace the missing USB ports
•A flash memory reader to replace the slots that did it on my current CECHA model
•A hardware upscaler to replace the functionality that the BC PS3 did for my PS1 and PS2 games
Nevermind having to try and find memory cards, cables, and all that to manage both systems...
So while G4 is saying PS4 won't
have BC for PS3, WiiU will obviously have BC for Wii directly, and as far as the next Xbox, Microsoft has no legal reason why they can't implement proper BC on it for existing 360 games. Gee, I wonder which one(s) are going to look good come the holidays? --
Because, f*ck Sony