's successor, the Wii
, employs backward compatibility with the ability to play games designed for its predecessor and support its legacy controllers. All Nintendo handhelds
, besides the Nintendo Switch
and Nintendo DSi
, following the Game Boy have at least one model that is backward compatible with its predecessor.
Backward compatibility (sometimes known as backwards compatibility) is a property of a system, product, or technology that allows for interoperability with an older legacy system, or with input designed for such a system, especially in telecommunications and computing.
Modifying a system in a way that does not allow backward compatibility is sometimes called "breaking" backward compatibility.
A complementary concept is forward compatibility. A design that is forward-compatible usually has a roadmap for compatibility with future standards and products.
A related term from programming jargon is hysterical reasons or hysterical raisins (near-homophones for "historical reasons"), as the purpose of some software features may be solely to support older hardware or software versions.