Backward compatibility most important next-gen feature for gamers - Survey

GameSpot survey indicates gamers keen on playing older software on new hardware, though they have little faith in companies to provide the means.


Yesterday, GameSpot published the results of a reader survey conducted by GameSpot Trax that indicated the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360 successor already have a leg up on the Wii U, Nintendo's forthcoming tablet-based console in terms of consumer purchase intent.

GameSpot's reader survey found that backward compatibility is a big deal.
GameSpot's reader survey found that backward compatibility is a big deal.

Also revealed was that backward compatibility was viewed as an important feature for next-gen consoles more than any other. Some 83 percent of respondents said backward compatibility was either "very important" or "somewhat important" to them in a new console. Better graphics was important to 80 percent, while ability to download full games was important to 49 percent, and better integration of motion controls was important to 32 percent.

Despite that, GameSpot's survey also found that just 24 percent of respondents believed backward compatibility is likely to be a feature of the next generation of consoles.

Nintendo has already confirmed that the Wii U will be backwards compatible with Wii games and controllers, but neither Sony nor Microsoft have offered such an indication. (Those two companies have not officially unveiled their new systems).

If the next Xbox and the PlayStation 4 are revealed at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, as the latest rumor suggests, will backwards compatibility be a component of these systems? If GameSpot's survey is any indication, backwards compatibility is what gamers want but perhaps not what they expect.

For more on the results of GameSpot's reader survey, check out the larger feature.

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