A prominent gaming executive has commented on the potential impact of a console that does not have backwards compatibility, saying it breaks a contract with consumers and is far from ideal. Speaking to GI.biz, Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick shared his thoughts against the backdrop of a report from VGC that said some developers don’t want to see the next Nintendo console feature backwards compatibility support for original Switch titles.
“You need to give consumers what they want and optimize their experience, and you can’t not deliver a feature you’re able to deliver so as to maximize sales. That isn’t fulfilling your contract with consumers,” he said. “You have to do the very best you can for them. I suppose it’s possible the lack of backward compatibility could enhance your revenue for a period of time, but at what cost?”
Zelnick pointed out that Take-Two doesn’t make hardware so it doesn’t get to decide, but it’s his belief that, “if you can be compatible technically, then you want to be.” But in certain circumstances, “if the leap forward is great enough, that’s not a possibility,” he said.
Backwards compatibility is becoming increasingly prevalent with newer consoles. This is a stark change from the past, when titles for one console would not play on the next, presumably with technical limitations and the prospect of spurring the latest games’ sales both likely playing roles.
The next Nintendo console is rumored to release in 2024, but Nintendo has not made any official announcements as of yet. Some developers reportedly already have the system and are working on titles for it.
It’s already been hinted at that the next Nintendo console will be backwards compatible in some ways. The next console will reportedly use the same account system as the Switch.
Before this, a research firm predicted that Nintendo would release its next major system in 2024. In May, it was reported that development on the next Nintendo console was “progressing well.” The Switch has sold more than 125 million units. It is now the third-best-selling console of all time.
There have been rumors of a more powerful Switch percolating for a long time now, but Nintendo has never confirmed this. Nintendo has, however, confirmed that it will launch a new console before the year 2100.
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