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Thoughts on Retro Compatibility

I’m in my mid thirties and a self declared retro gamer. I’m writing this when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are landing in people’s living rooms fresh from the factory. Many people are shedding their old systems to make way for the latest and greatest. Although I tend to wait a couple years before buying the current generation of console, I can’t help but scope out the new systems.

I’ve never been a heavy Xbox user, although I think the Xbox 360 controller is one of the best. Microsoft seems have been pretty good about retro compatibility. The new Xbox allows users to insert a disc from a previous generation, install and play. Granted this seems true for most titles, but not all. It’s great that you can still play the classics.

Being a retro gamer in the time of new systems means it’s a good move to swoop in on some of those older systems and games that are being off loaded. Not too long ago I picked up an Xbox 360 for pretty cheap, like $60. What is great about that is I can play 360 games and a lot of original Xbox games and it outputs over HDMI, unlike the original Xbox. Unfortunately game such as Fable can not be played on the Xbox 360.

Nintendo has been pretty decent at retro compatibility in the past. The Wii played GameCube games. The Wii U played Wii games which also had the bonus of outputting HDMI where it wasn’t possible on the Wii. The Nintendo Switch has a lot of classic games available on the store, of course you have to purchase them again.

When it comes to choosing between PlayStation and Xbox, I have landed on PlayStation in the past. However, with the strong retro compatibility coming from Xbox, it would make it a tougher decision for me this time around. I got a pretty shelf of classic Xbox games that can still be played.

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