Introduction to Backwards Compatibility?

So all the way back in 2009 I was visiting a friend of mine while he had Halo 2 running on his Xbox 360. I was fairly young (and fairly dumb) at the time, so I was blown away by the fact that the Xbox 360 was actually able to support game saves with original Xbox games as I expected the benefits of backwards compatibility to end at “you can play it.”

I believe this was the first time I ever experienced backwards compatibility, so what were your thoughts your first time?

For me it would be getting a launch day PS2 and realising I could play almost all of my original Playstation games on it and the same with the Gameboy Colour and later Advance.

The Xbox 360 and PS3 are interesting cases to me though. I liked that Microsoft added support for it though it was entirely software based, supposedly a wrapper was made for each title. Some games like Halo and Halo 2 had issues which was a bit of a shame, but given I could play at least half of my Xbox library on the Xbox 360 definitely made picking one up on launch much better.

As for the PS3, this one annoyed me. PAL gamers got ripped off from the start. Our PS3’s were downgraded before release and we still had to pay full price for the system and we were also the first region to lose BC altogether. Backwards compatibility was achieved with either having full PS2 hardware through the Emotion Engine and Graphics Synthesiser (EE+GS) in the 20GB/60GB NTSC, half hardware and part software with around 85% compatibility with some issues (GS only, PAL 60GB and NTSC early 80GB) whilst later models removed PS2 support entirely.

As for this generation, it’s disappointing that 2 out of 3 consoles don’t support the feature. PS4 has a working PS2 emulator but doesn’t give the end user access so i’m extremely glad that Microsoft brought it back in the Xbox One. Xbox One backwards compat is a technical feat of engineering and it is the best feature of the console to me. I was so happy when they announced OG Xbox support as well but it’s a shame Halo CE and Halo 2 aren’t currently supported. It’s also a shame Microsoft haven’t found a way to provide online support for the BC OG titles but I accept they cannot just ‘flip a switch’ and make it happen.

Still, Halo CE and Halo 2 support would be nice. 343, it would make a nice start to the new year?