Backward compatibility has become a major talking point in the games industry, so it’s no surprise that that’s been the case so far with upcoming next-gen consoles as well. While Sony are promising that the vast majority of the PS4’s library will be playable on the PS5, Microsoft are doing the same for the Xbox Series X, in addition to a selection of legacy Xbox and Xbox 360 titles. Then there’s the Nintendo Switch, which has no backward compatibility whatsoever, with the exception of a limited selection of NES and SNES games available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
There are many who’re hopeful that Nintendo and Sony will both eventually follow in Microsoft’s footsteps- and that includes Thomas Happ, developer of Axiom Verge and its sequel.
Speaking recently to GamingBolt, Happ said that he considers backward compatibility essential, so that older releases don’t “get lost to history.” Happ added that he considers Microsoft’s policy to be the best, and hopes that their competitors will “find ways to do the same.”
“Culturally speaking I think it’s essential if we don’t want games to get lost to history,” Happ said while speaking with GamingBolt. “For consumers it definitely adds value to the platforms that have it. For devs is saves us the problem of having to port again and again and again. I know there are some companies who like to get a boost each time a game is re-released on the next generation, but overall, I think the cost of this policy is that many games will be forgotten. The Microsoft policy of being backwards compatible all the way to the first generation is the best, I think, and I hope Sony and Nintendo find ways to do the same.”
In the same interview, Happ also spoke to us about the PS5’s haptic-enabled controller, and how it could benefit next-gen games- read more on that through here.
Axiom Verge 2 is out later this year for the Nintendo Switch. Though it’s launching as an exclusive, the developer hopes to eventually launch on all platforms, including next-gen systems.