Why USB 3.0??? The transmission speed of USB 2.0 is fine enough for controllers. You’d only need USB 3.0 if you needed the speed for far higher packets of data. Doesn’t follow; memory cards pretty much got retired this past generation in favor of hard drives.
The only thing that needs USB 3.0 are those crazy expensive solid state drives. Even that’s kind of being bypassed by the “cloud phenomenon” where you can store your data in a virtual hard drive. (Very, very risky… As insecure as the Internet is now, a virtual hard drive that anybody can log into is a good idea? They can’t even protect our bank accounts!)
There’s another new connection standard being pioneered by Apple and other companies to take the place of Firewire (which crashed and burned because Apple wouldn’t license the technology to enough companies; that’s why USB is the major connection standard). Was called Light Peak, now called Thunderbolt. Not sure if even that’s necessary unless the game companies really think it will make a difference for controllers. I really don’t think it will matter for digital controllers (old style d-pads and joysticks). Maybe for analog or something else that needs to be more sensitive.
Nobody knows yet.
I really don’t expect the next generation to support the current controllers. It’s likely Microsoft will alter its controller chip scheme again so that you’ll have to buy new controllers (or reverse-engineered PCB’s) to use your current controllers on a new system.
This business of backwards compatibility is a gimmick Sony started to gravitate fanboys to the PS2; it was never a factor before when other generations of new systems launched beforehand. PS2 had better standards of compatibility with the PS1 than the PS3 ever did with the PS2 but neither was 100% backwards compatible. There were PS1 controllers and games that wouldn’t run on the new systems for whatever reasons.
I dunno… I’d rather see cheaper systems that were gaming first and put the other things besides the online aspect second. This business of trying to be all things to everybody just confused the hell out of people start of this generation and resulted in systems that are still $100 more expensive than their predecessors were at this point in time. Not to mention all the reliability issues – both systems run too hot, but the 360 is especially bad. 30 years of gaming and I’ve never seen another system that had so many malfunctions and basic manufacturing defects. And yet people still keep buying into it even after they’ve traded in for their fourth copy of the system! Amazing…
If rumors about the PS4 are true (AMD chips for graphics processors instead of Nvidia this turnaround), it means you can kiss all backwards compatibility with PS2 software good-bye unless it’s strictly software emulation — and that won’t work well enough for many people. That’s what MS did with the 360, too.
Backwards compatibility is just a carrot the game companies use to get people to buy new systems. You’re getting next to zero credit from GameStop or other used game companies for old hardware; why not just keep it for the older games and controllers and worry about new games on the new system? The older games will NEVER run as smoothly on Generation-Next as they did on their mother systems!