In computing, backwards compatibility is the ability of a device to accept input from a previous generation of the product or technology. Backwards compatibility is very important to consumers in a variety of industries as it allows them to use previously purchased content with newer technology and products. For example, most Blu-ray players will also play DVDs and CDs even though it is not a requirement of the Blu-ray standard to be backwards compatible. Video game consoles are also frequently backwards compatible, as it encourages players to purchase the newest consoles if they know they can play previously purchased titles on them (the Nintendo WiiU, for example, can play all Wii games).
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 12/6/13