Don’t give people reasons to walk away
The PS4 was announced with great fanfare by Sony yesterday with one glaring omission it won’t come with backwards compatibility. It won’t play the library of PS3 games that some gamers have amassed.
Why console makers do this amazes me - backwards compatibility for consoles may be a pain in the arse to implement but it should be as much of a standard feature as a power button or a TV out socket. No one is asking for compatibility with every PlayStation console, just the last one would do.
There’s a very very good reason why this should happen. Gamers are loyal to brands, I bought the first xbox and stuck with it to the 360 and will probably continue to stick with it when the next one comes out - though I won’t be buying it straight away, maybe a few years down the line. In spite of this loyalty people may have their heads turned, most will be thinking of getting a new console and replacing the one currently under their TV, they won’t be keeping both, and if you offer something that plays their existing library of games then that is a plus point straight away. It also means you’re launching the console with a back catalogue of titles ready to go and play on the console, you’re not starting from scratch with a handful of launch titles.
If you take all that away then you’re removing a reason for them to stay loyal to your brand and console, you’re giving them a reason to look around and see what everyone else is offering.
Do you think people would still be buying iPhones if all their apps stopped working on the new version? If every time a new iPhone came out the entire back catalogue of apps in the app store wasn’t available until new versions had been coded and released?
Put simply not including backwards compatibility is giving people the opportunity to walk away, they may not do but it is a stupid thing to do.