I don't see it as extra content either. A function that adds to the experience, sure. Content? Nope. I do understand work needs to be done to implement it but work also needs to be done to get the game running in BC mode too. I guess it brings it back to my past point of what you said about new hardware.
"If you by a force feedback wheel, you need a game that supports force feedback to make use of it. If the game didn't have it, it needs to be made for it. It's extra content."
I mean, you think it's additional content while I believe it is a feature of the hardware and that's the core of our disagreement too. Either way, if it's in the game... they don’t charge you an additional fee for it. You paid the price to access it when you bought the wheel, the functionality is attached to that device and it's price.
"Yet put in an older game, it doesn't start ray tracing all of a sudden. Should all BC capable games get free RT support?"
Well, no. Additional work was needed. Additional work came in the form of a patch that unlocked new device functionality that was paid for when you bought the compatible device. Just like the force feedback wheel should. A better CPU, GPU, Monitor... etc
I worry about the precedent this sets for the future.
Ehh, I worry more about the precedent Gamepass sets for the future.
Force feedback was maybe not the best example as that's an engine feature based on data that is already available, same as adding Dolby atmos support. Positional sound data is already available. For getting games to run in BC mode, it depends on compatibility but also there it's 'one' solution to get the game to run.
Now why I think haptic feedback is extra content is because every interaction has to be coded to have feedback. It's entirely different from shoot -> rumble, bump into something -> rumble. Code needs to be written to analyze the interactions and translate them to (hopefully) useful haptic feedback. You did not pay for that work by buying the hardware. Same as when you buy a HDR tv, you don't pay for HDR to be added to movies. There is auto-HDR of course, but that's nothing but a best guess while the source is still 8 bit SDR.
If the haptic feedback is nothing but auto rumble, then I would agree with you. But I think or hope that they actually went deeper into it and did the equivalent of getting new 10 bit textures for supporting HDR.
Anyway, seems this is the effect of things like auto HDR and BC enhancements, making it seem auto haptic feedback is a thing too. I don't think it is. It's extra coding for all interactions. Hence extra content, not a one time engine adjustment.
But don't worry, once this generational upgrade stuff is done, you won't have to pay extra for haptic feedback. Games will simply either have it or ignore it, just like motion controls, track pad and controller speaker.
And maybe the haptic feedback is just a pile of crap, like 1-2 Switch (I got suckered into that one). Unfortunately the debate is only about the $10. I haven't seen a single statement yet whether it's actually good or not, that is, is it worth 10 bucks or not.