Normally everything is up for grabs at the start of a new console generation. Loyalty goes out the window and gamers go for the console with the cheapest price tag and best launch line-up. We all know someone who was a diehard PS2 fan, but now his or her console of choice is the Xbox 360. Brand loyalty was so easy to abandon back then, but not anymore. Here’s one simple reason Xbox gamers won’t convert to PlayStation next generation, and vice versa.
Sony and Microsoft’s secret weapon is your PSN and Xbox Live account.
These accounts have your trophies, achievements, friends’ list, downloadable games, and DLC. Gamers have become too attached to these things; they’ve invested too much time and money in them to just walk away now.
Some of us spend thousands of dollars on PSN and XBLA games; we’re already in too deep. We can’t sell these games back to GameStop. We could sell the console with the games on it, but then we would be giving up our account (bye friends, trophies and achievements). Sure, we could keep our old consoles around, but the majority of us don’t want to deal with the unnecessary clutter.
If Sony and Microsoft handle things correctly they could get almost everyone who bought their previous console to buy their new one. That’s why backwards compatibility is more important than ever, every PS3 & Xbox 360 game, DLC item, and downloadable game must be backwards compatible.
This could negate price, one console could cost more than the other and it wouldn’t matter. You may go for the more expensive one because you can carry over all of your content from a previous console. What’s an extra $100 when you’ve already invested thousands of dollars and countless hours into a platform?
There’s no way around this, not allowing us to carry over DLC and everything else would hurt both companies in the end. Gamers would become reluctant when it comes to downloadable content — “All of this stuff will be tied to this console, so why bother?” Most of the PS Vita and Wii U’s games are available for download, the same will be true for the PS4 and Next Xbox. So ensuring that the PS3 and Xbox 360’s content transfers over is a must if Sony and Microsoft want gamers to continue to buy digital next generation.
If Sony and Microsoft have any sense left in them — digital backwards compatibility will play a major role in the marketing of their next generation consoles. Make it obvious that everything will carry over; if both companies nail this then they have nothing to worry about. It’s their secret weapon, ace in the hole, etc. Their consoles will basically sell themselves and no one’s gaming division will go out of business.