Those of us in the gaming world are in an interesting time right now, staring down the release of the next generation of game systems. Nintendo took the first step with their Wii U game console, while in the past few months we’ve been informed of the upcoming PlayStation 4 from Sony and the Xbox One from Microsoft. One thing fans have been interested in is possible backward compatibility from the new system to the current games already owned. News recently broke that this isn’t likely to occur on the next gen systems as many people were wanting. (forbes.com)
I’m still somewhat new to the current generation of game consoles, having just picked up a PlayStation 3 at the beginning of this year. I have had an Xbox 360 for about 5 years now, but I only played it once in a while. Paying for the monthly subscription service in order to play online was an issue for me, since picking up the PlayStation 3 I’ve played it almost every day due to the free PlayStation Network setup. Apparently Sony plans to have their PlayStation Network free still (gamespot.com) , while having their Plus (subscription program) remain with the new system, this is great news for fans of the Sony brand and one of the primary reasons I’ll be continuing on as one of the faithful PlayStation fans.
While playing the discs from an old system may not be possible on these new machines, I suspect they will eventually have the games from the current console available for download in their respective marketplaces. The downside for the Microsoft faithful is that their Vice President, Phil Spencer, made the statement that people will need to keep their current system in order to play games downloaded from the Xbox Live Arcade. This could prove problematic as people tend to give up on old systems once they move on to the new console. It would be nice to see these games carried over using your existing gamertag, but that doesn’t seem to be what Microsoft is going to provide. (forbes.com)
My suggestion would be to bring along the games you’ve already downloaded on the previous system, so that our hard earned money hasn’t been completely wasted. I understand that people companies are desperate to make money off their consumers but rewarding loyalty would be something that is on their mind as well. Another suggestion would be to offer a discount for the digital version of the current gen games when they move into the marketplace for download on the next gen console. I’m not completely sure what they would use as a validation system, but giving a half off discount to download games already owned in disk format would benefit the loyal customer base. While these suggestions may fall on deaf ears, I would hope that the diehard consumer at least holds some importance to the executives running these companies.