Microsoft: Backwards compatibility is backwards

Written by David Hing

May 23, 2013 | 16:15

Tags: #backwards-compatibility #backwards-compatible #xbox-one

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has defended its decision to skip backwards compatibility in the newly revealed Xbox One.

Microsoft Interactive Entertainment president Don Mattrick has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that there are no plans for any form of backwards compatibility on the new system, saying 'if you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards.'

According to Mattrick, only 5% of customers play older titles on a new system and the option was therefore deemed unnecessary. Whether this statistic encompasses both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 players is unclear and there is no mention on whether it also factors into the fact that the Xbox 360 was not fully backwards compatible with all original Xbox titles.

By contrast, Sony is being less strict in the backwards compatibility area and have plans to include a cloud-based streaming service to play older titles on its new console, possibly leveraging cloud gaming company Gaikai which it acquired last year.

At its launch, the Xbox 360 was capable of running 279 titles from the original Xbox library, although this number whittled down over time due to new bugs being discovered by players and updates to the console hardware.

Sony's Playstation 3 had a marginally better offering with backwards compatibility with earlier models allowing for Playstation 2 titles to be played from them and all models allowing for original Playstation titles to be run.

Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One was revealed earlier this week and has sparked a great deal of discussion in the gaming community, in particular surrounding its ill defined stance on the second-hand games market.
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