Backwards Compatibility on Xbox One: Does It Ultimately Matter?

Backwards compatibility is many things but is it a killer app for any console?

Posted By | On 19th, Nov. 2015 Under Article, Editorials


Ah, what a pre-holiday-ish season it’s been for gaming. We’ve all been enamoured by Halo 5: Guardians, guided Lara Croft through another perilous adventure in Rise of the Tomb Raider, returned to the wasteland in Fallout 4 and pretty much gave up making any sense of the plot in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Though these past two months have been significant for major releases (except that one Assassin’s Creed game everyone’s already forgotten about), November is especially special for the Xbox One’s biggest update. That’s the New Xbox One Experience, an interface upgrade which purports to offer a faster and overall better experience for those working with the Xbox One’s Dashboard.

It’s not perfect obviously – there have already been plenty of complaints, ranging from the design being cluttered to the usual bugs and errors – but the one major selling point is the backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles. Remember the enormous fanfare that the feature got back in June, during E3 2015? Or the usual comparisons of Sony and Microsoft and how the former was charging its consumers to experience old releases, whether in remastered form or through the miracle of game streaming, while the latter was busy bringing backwards compatibility to the Xbox One for free.

01_Playstation System Comparison_PS3

"First and foremost, you’re going to be busy with today’s games and look into the classics later. Perfect Dark is an awesome game but it’s not exactly going to be at the very top of your must play list this holiday season."

Honestly, when something like backwards compatibility is hyped to the point of being a major selling point for a console, it almost always backfires. Remember the PS3’s backwards compatibility with PS2 games and much Sony lost in manufacturing costs during the initial years of its console? Of course, it would have been one thing if it were only the fans that hyped up the functionality.

However, Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg believes that backwards compatibility will actually be a major reason for Xbox 360 fans who haven’t invested in an Xbox One to finally make the jump. The logic isn’t all that bad – pick up an Xbox One to experience all the cool new releases without having to worry that your old library is being left behind – but what about fans who are content to just keep gaming on the previous generation? What about the gamers who still haven’t experienced everything that the previous generation has to offer? What’s stopping them from picking up a PlayStation 3 and enjoying the Uncharted series or Beyond: Two Souls or even The Last of Us? There are a lot of factors to keep in mind when you think about those who still games on previous generation consoles and there’s no easy solution, backwards compatibility or not.

Backwards compatibility as a feature has always been meant as, well, a nifty little feature. It’s not like catering to the hardcore isn’t profitable; otherwise, PlayStation Now would be going nowhere. There are so many ways to look at it from your average Xbox One fan standpoint (do you play Halo Reach first or revisit the Gears of War trilogy?) and honestly, it’s a great way for players to acquaint themselves with some old classics. But first and foremost, you’re going to be busy with today’s games and look into the classics later. Perfect Dark is an awesome game but it’s not exactly going to be at the very top of your must play list this holiday season.

Xbox-One-backward-compatibility

"You can trumpet the values of one over the other but the fact remains that you’re hooked. If you’re not hooked, then it’s going to take a lot more to get you invested in an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 than the ability to play some older games."

Does backwards compatibility ultimately matter for the majority of Xbox gamers? Again, as a feature, it’s a neat extra. Backwards compatibility didn’t sell millions and millions of PlayStation 4 consoles for Sony at launch. The lack of backwards compatibility didn’t prevent the Xbox One from doing far better than what it could have done in the beginning of its lifecycle. It’s understandable that Microsoft has been trying to promote the feature but whether it brings tens of millions of Xbox 360 fans to the Xbox One is something that can never really be known. Honestly, at this point, you’d have an easier time pointing out the number of players who picked up an Xbox One for Halo 5: Guardians than those who purchased it purely for backwards compatibility.

At the end of the day, both the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility and PlayStation Now share the same distinction. They’re products of services, add-ons to our main entertainment sources to keep us engaged with the brand as a whole without overtly replacing the games either company wants us to drop money on in the future. You can trumpet the values of one over the other but the fact remains that you’re hooked. If you’re not hooked, then it’s going to take a lot more to get you invested in an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 than the ability to play some older games.


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  • Triton

    It’s free on Xbox.

    End of line.

    • archfiendx

      No it’s not. You still have to buy the games if you don’t own them just like PlayStation Now.

    • Terminator

      But if you DO OWN them then its free! lol While PayUs Now you have to repay for the game you already have.

    • Triton

      Backwards compatibility as a feature is free on Xbox One and you get 4 free games of which at least two are BC, if you subscribe to Xbox Live.

      PS Now is not free as a feature, you cant use your already purchased games and you dont get to keep the game.
      PS+ free games does no involve PS3 games being playable on PS4.
      This means you have to buy and use two systems to benefit fully from a PS+ subscription.

      One should also mention EA Access will be pushing BC games to the Vault in the close future.

      Xbox One is clearly the winner here.

    • Mr Xrat

      Limited emulation of 10% of the 360’s library and EA Abscess.

      The winner here is the Wii U, which has full and complete backwards compatibility.

    • Starman

      keep trying to convince yourself of that … because it isn’t working on people with a brain … something you sony fangirls, clearly don’t have .

    • Agent_Blade

      Oh your one to talk. You give fanboys in general a bad name.

    • Mark

      Lol

    • GHz

      -_______________-

    • legacy

      Broke gamer always looking for something free

  • Gabriel Porto

    With that initial list? Won’t matter. In the future? Maybe.

    • Rodney Patrick

      Salty

  • Sindin78

    Double the free games on Gold, free games like Fallout 3 with big new releases and an ever growing library of compatible games all for free. I’d say it matters, and MS is building the best gaming experience available in my opinion.

  • Graeme Willy

    It absolutely does matter. Many ditched their 360’s the day they got an X1…and I am itching to play Reach in backwards compatibility, 1080p@60FPS. I’ve even gone back to play Mass Effect 1 and it looks splendid, still. I’ll play/ re-play ME2 and 3 as well.

    FYI, Microsoft also took a cost hit with the 360. Sure Sony took a hit as well, on account of their intricate and costly CELL technology, which was way ahead of its time. Also, not all PS3’s were backwards compatible. Only some units that featured the PS2 GPU in it were compatible…and those became rare. I still kick myself for selling my MGS3 PS3 Bundle. It had the PS2 chip in it.

  • Deeboy

    I’d rather have it than not to have it.

  • XbotMK1

    It’s funny how Microsoft fanboys like Triton are boasting about backwards compatibility when they spent the past two years downplaying it and defending Xbox One even when PS Now came out and Xbox One had nothing.

    Once again the comment section gets bombarded with delusional hypocritical Microsoft fanboys. They’re like plague rats spreading an IQ dropping disease.

    • Triton

      Defending Xbox for BC is not a pay-service like PS Now?
      Your desperation is showing again, ever heard of EA Access btw where WE (not you lol) can get 20+ games for less than you pay for one?
      Haha…come on man, you get dumber by each comment.

    • I agree with triton. You Sony Fanatics are not even giving Microsoft, or Phil Spencer a chance. Every time you get an exclusive game or Sony at an E3 Presser say’s we Stole a game from Xbox (I.E. Street Fighter, Shenmue or Call of Duty). You all Run over to us Xhead’s and trash our Console. But When we get something like Backwards Compat we cannot cheer it on. I dont care if you PS nuts rub it in our faces But I will laugh at you all when we get Cortana, and PC to Xbox Game Streaming comes. We will play the PC version of your PS exclusive Street Fighter game on our Xbox. Sony shoulx have put windows on Playstation back in the day, when Bill Gates Offered.

    • legacy

      man just shut up already, go cry somewhere else

    • Mr Xrat

      You know times are desperate when Xbox scum start talking up that EA Abscess con.

  • Terminator

    “Backwards Compatibility on Xbox One: Does It Ultimately Matter?”

    Of course it does matter, its a feature the Xbox community asked for. Its free, it works and its a good incentive for Xbox 360 gamers to jump to the Xbox One, not only will they be able to keep their old games, they will also be able to play the new ones. (win-win situation here).

    Haters and hypocritical corporate slave drone fanboys like TrollBotFailMK1 will damage control and lie because they have to pay for the games they already own. LOL As if PS Now will ever compare to what the Xbox One has as “backwards compatibility”. This fanboys are not gamers they are mindless id*ot fanboys who s*ck up to a company and worship a piece of plastic as if it was some sort of god. Truly pathetic.

  • XbotMK1

    I understand that backwards compatibility on Xbox One is a great feature and it was a smart move by Microsoft but I also understand that it doesn’t matter in the big picture between PS4 vs Xbox 180. I also understand why backwards compatibility on the PS3 didn’t stop the Xbox 360 from selling.

    What I don’t understand is why these delusional hypocritical Microsoft b*ttlicking frauds are trying to use this as ammo against the PS4 when the reason why Microsoft added backwards compatibility in the first place was because of the PS4. Microsoft is losing so they’re desperately reaching for every little thing they can.

    I already stated my opinion on why backwards compatibility doesn’t matter on a previous Gamingbolt article.

    – Xbox 360 backwards compatibility is mostly catered to people who still have old Xbox 360 games. It doesn’t matter as much to anyone else.

    – Many people are done with Microsoft after their lies and 180s at launch. The fact that Microsoft added backwards compatibility for select titles two years later only makes them laugh.

    – This is the first generation that many PS4 or Xbox 180 owners have partaken in and they didn’t own a PS3 or Xbox 360 nor do they care to play old games.

    – Many people still have their PS3s.

    – As much as Microsoft fanboys want to talk sht about PS Now, it’s still there. It still lets you play older games and over 100 older PS3 titles for $20 for one month. So the people who want the top selling console that offers the best price for hardware ratio, has the most “current gen” games, and can still play older games, are going to buy the PS4 and they aren’t going to switch just because Xbox 180 now plays select Xbox 360 games.

    • Starman

      no one cares for your opinion , you lost all credibility … so stfu , and go play knack …

    • Agent_Blade

      Don’t get mad at him for telling the truth.

    • efnet

      Truth and xbotmk1 don’t even go together lol that boy is the farthest thing from truth lol

    • Triton

      +1

    • Agent_Blade

      Even sometimes even a crying wolf can tell a little of the truth and this is one of those times.

  • XbotMK1

    PS Now also has other potential besides just letting you rent older games. We will have to see if and what it evolves to.

    • GHz

      “PS Now also has other potential besides just letting you rent older games.”

      Like what?

      And How is buying a service (Onlive) and doubling the monthly price a good thing for gamers?

    • Triton

      He’s making things up as he writes.
      A common troll.

    • Starman

      looooool , it’s at it’s dead end already but, idiots like you can’t see that , oh wait ! …you work for sony ..stfu !

  • XbotMK1

    Microsoft 2013: “If you’re backwards compatible you’re really just backwards. Only 5% of Xbox owners make use of the feature”

    • Terminator

      lol Who said that? Oh that’s right Don Mattrick, ex Microsoft employee. Yet you are the same hypocritical fanboy who is defending the ex naughty dog employee and his micro-transaction stance.

    • Starman

      shut the fk up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • Agent_Blade

      Ohhh somebody’s a little salty. Love seeing you cry like a baby.

    • efnet

      And here goes another one lol you minimum wage gamers are hilarious

    • Agent_Blade

      He is salty. Not my fault.

    • efnet

      How so? He’s here relishing in an article about a console he owns…..and you’re here because? Well we both know its not because you own one lol

    • Agent_Blade

      On the contrary I do own a XB1 and I find the system lacking in a few areas and some things even the 360 has that the XB1 doesn’t have. However the system itself is not to shabby actually. But PS4 to me is still much better in many aspects.

    • legacy

      Hey look it’s the rich guy with no life, go do something with yourself

    • GHz

      “Only 5% of Xbox owners make use of the feature”

      You’re so knowledgeable. You must sit @ the big chair on MSFT board of directors because you know more about them than you do Sony.

      And say for argument sake its only 5%. SO WHAT!!!! You don’t own an XB1. Why do you care so much!? 0_O

      Angry weirdo.

    • Sindin78

      Take your meds boy

    • legacy

      Dont argue with them they play 5 dollar games, they can’t afford up to date games leave these bums alone

    • efnet

      Oh yes …..I found my next victim …..lol

    • legacy

      Waiting on you homie, i see you got a couple of cheerleaders in here, this is going to be fun

    • efnet

      So I see you’re calling people poor lol
      It’s kinda hilarious because I think the same exact thing about you …..
      It’s amazing how broke people feel like they got it like that because they own one console lol

    • legacy

      I got a couple of systems, but no xbox cause i don’t allow sht in my house

    • efnet

      Lol now that sounds like a poor man’s excuse …..HILARIOUS!!!!!

    • legacy

      Xbox is cheap and nobody wants it but the gays in here, and only thing that’s hilarious is xbox sales

    • efnet

      Oh noooooo let’s not try and change the topic here …..you’re calling people poor so I want to know what makes you feel you like you got it like that to be able to say such?
      Lol to be honest I’ll embarrass you and show you just how poor you really are ……please !!!!! I’m begging you to try me lol

    • legacy

      Don’t show me show your girl or your boyfriend terminator, and i see you got no life who goes to a comment section and brag what they got, you a lame just like every other bot in here.

    • efnet

      But wait !!!!! Didn’t you just call the people here poor? Lol
      And trust me I’m not going to talk about what I got I’m just going show you just how poor you are …..come man let’s spend some money lol I’m ready

    • legacy

      And you telling me this cause? I can see you a child with no life, this the only place you can actually talk to people. Smh

    • efnet

      Lol why are you backing down? I thought we were talking money….what? You don’t have any or something ? Lol the struggle is real

    • legacy

      Im here cornball what up show me something

    • efnet

      Lets buy everyone in the comment section 2 59.99 games a piece…..f*ck showing something let’s just spend and see who taps out first

    • legacy

      Hahahahahahhahahahahahhahhahahhahabhahahhhahahahahahahahahahhahaahahhahaahahhahahahahahahahhahaaahhaahhahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahhahahahahahahhaha

    • efnet

      Yea that’s what I thought lol see you talk a good game but you ain’t got no money behind that talk SMH…..broke people trying to pretend like they about that life lol

    • legacy

      Trying to get people to buy ya broke azzes games, my point is proven

    • efnet

      Who said anything about buying me anything ?
      I said buy people of your choice

    • Agent_Blade

      Really? I swear you Xbots spend more time on these forums and comment sections of websites then you do playing your own system.

    • efnet

      And yet you’re here as well so what does that tell you? Lol

  • Triton

    Backwards compatibilty.
    The one feature PS4 fans wanted most.
    Now they act like they never wanted it.
    Hilarious!

    • Agent_Blade

      Ugh no it isn’t. One of the biggest but not the biggest.

    • legacy

      Don’t think so, we good with playing new games but ya enjoy

    • Mr Xrat

      “The one feature PS4 fans wanted most.”

      Source for that?

      Crawl back to Twitter so you can suck up to Tim Dog some more. 🙂

    • Triton

      We all saw the whining before launch, especially on gaf.

    • Gamez Rule

      Well it looks like PS2 games will be heading to PS4. Sony kept quite on that one. So only time will tell what else will be added I guess.

    • Mr Xrat

      Nice source, Xgimp. Fancy another go?

  • Starman

    what kind of fanboy , question is that , all other gens it mattered , when announced at start of this gen , that there wasn’t gonna be back-compat…..people were upset , now that xb1 did it and sony can’t “it’s a sin now” … gtfo here .. once again , and i will keep saying it ..
    just more of the “save the playstation campaign” continues …

  • Starman

    please stop putting the ps-now crap in the same category as xb1 back-compat … ps-now is a crappy lagy streaming service … it isn’t back-compat …

    • legacy

      Another broke gamer talking about backwards capabilities

    • Agent_Blade

      Dude I can almost guarantee you, he has never tried PS Now nor has a PS4. He ranks on anything Playstation. Look at his comment history.

    • legacy

      He’s a fangirl, i tell you xbots spend more time in the comments than actually playing their systems, that’s how i know there’s nothing to play

    • Agent_Blade

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • ShoNuff

      Wait… You’re in the comments for a system you clearly don’t care to own. You must really have nothing to play.

    • Agent_Blade

      PS exclusives cover virtually every corner of gaming in almost every single genre available in todays market. There is always is almost always something to play.

    • efnet

      Broke gamer you say huh?

    • Mr Xrat

      Neither is the Dudbox’s limited emulation. At least Sony don’t pretend that it is.

  • legacy

    Hey if ya had some money you can be playing/getting these games the order, streetfighter 4, helldivers, rocket league, resogun, loadout, never alone, everybody gone to rapture, tearaway unfolded, soma, final fantasy 7 remake, persona 5, hellblade, rime, horizon, the last guardian, shemue, god of war 3 remaster, until dawn, planetside 2, guilty gear x, streetfighter 5, uncharted collection, bloodborn, killing floor 2, Detroit, rachet and clank remake, dead or alive, uncharted 4, god of war 4,infamous second son, alienation, I’ll stop here i don’t want ya to look bad

    • Terminator

      @disqus_fCTS7SePe6:disqus show this guy who is broke

    • legacy

      Who’s efnet? I don’t understand is that your father, your lover i mean who is he

    • Terminator

      That’s the guy who is cleaning the floor with you, that’s the guy who was able to buy your mother 5 times and that’s the guy who was able to have you be born an id*ot

    • legacy

      Funny im having my way with both of you monkeys at the moment, and how can another man brag about someone else’s money what part of the game is that, you no terminator more like cheerleader, that’s what we gonna call you now debbie the cheerleader go suck one

    • Agent_Blade

      Nice!

    • Terminator

      Money? lol @disqus_fCTS7SePe6:disqus his all yours

  • Bill Tanner

    For most of the people reading this? No, it doesn’t matter. But there are a lot of people, like me, who still have a big backlog of 360 games we want to get through. And I don’t feel like keeping my 360 if I get a One, I want to trade it in. But until I play those games like Tales from the Borderlands etc., I’m not getting an Xbox One….unless those games were backwards compatible. If the list expands, I’ll get one right away.

  • bobbyjhayes

    gamingbolt jobs……… How Many Time You Lost This Droid Chance… If you wana get a reasonable income through laptop and if you have a reliable internet connection then you should be able to know how you make your income by laptop.this is very simple to know just vist my website.

    and sign up there for more details http://OneTimeAccess

  • Riggerto

    XB backwards compatibility is great if you had a 360 and switched up XB1, or if you were PS3 and now have an XB1.

    So if you belong to that particular section of the gaming community you probably think it’s a useful little extra.

    I’d personally prefer BC for the pre-360/PS3 era but that’s because I was full on gaming last gen so there is not much left for me there.

    • Gamez Rule

      Sony are bringing PS2 games over to ps4 so that might make ya happy.

  • Mr Xrat

    Did the Wii U having proper BC and not limited emulation like the Jokebox make a difference?

    Did removing PS2 BC (again, actual BC and not limited emulation) from the PS3 to cut costs cause a drop in PS3 sales?

    Did anyone care when MS abandoned Original Xbox BC on the 360?

    Xbox scum have so few games they need limp straws like the joke Uncle Phil announced at E3 to try and justify their fanboyism for a dead brand.

    • Triton

      Go enjoy those interactive movies you call games instead of crying here every time.

    • legacy

      Screamride said you better shut up.

    • Triton
    • legacy

      Sorry you not funny, but who’s that in the pic your moms and pops

    • efnet

      Mom jokes? Lol oh naw you ain’t ready for me then lol
      Probably still making minimum wage money

    • legacy

      Dude i been shting on you since i been in here, non of ya is ready

    • efnet

      Lol says who? All you’re doing is talking and talking but ain’t got nothing to back up anything you say Lol bro face it you’re a poor gamer trying to make yourself feel superior to others

    • legacy

      I see you the type of person that buys his friends, you said you got money but yet you still here instead of doing something else with your time you a cornball end of story

    • efnet

      Lol what should I be doing while I’m at work?
      I mean act because a person got money they can’t use their cell phone to browse the net and comment on topics that intrest them lol

    • legacy

      Hold on loser im taking a call

    • efnet

      No the loser would be the minimum wage worker

    • legacy

      Don’t you wish little buddy

    • efnet

      Then prove wrong lol

    • legacy

      You see unlike you i got girls to talk to and fk and i don’t gots to pay for them, but you wouldn’t understand that cause you a lame

    • efnet

      Bro lol you got me over laughing hard …..
      Boy im a grown a** married man lol and the fact that you’re saying girls just lets me know you’re a young buck lol I only deal with grown a** women and not little girls bro ….come on son get your weight up

    • legacy

      Well since they don’t let you say words how you want to have to switch it up, and you don’t give off the vibe that you a so call grown man, ha you telling me to get my weight up my weight been up since 97 im good eating chicken and pus

    • Terminator

      Why dont you go buy all those games you listed? You said we Xbox gamers are broke and only want free games, so come on sh*ts for brain go play all the games you listed, I mean if you where even able to buy them unless your mommy said no lol

    • efnet

      He can’t afford them

    • legacy

      Sorry young fella im no child i got my own don’t gots to ask mommy from anything, and some of those games are not out yet that’s why i said playing/getting foolboy, whats up with your girlfriend efnet ya laying in the same bed today

    • efnet

      Bro you can pretty much pre order every title you named on psn ….. Oh let me guess you don’t buy digital lol

    • legacy

      Ok we got some team up action lets go, first off of course you can pre order on psn cause their exclusives, i don’t get the digital joke but watever

    • efnet

      Then buy them…..what you waiting on?

    • legacy

      Half is already out the other half in 2016 do your homework instead of complaining all the time

    • efnet

      Who’s complaining?
      I don’t know about you but I’m 270 games strong in your favorite console lil boy …..catch up

    • legacy

      270 games wow, please go get some as you making us gamers look bad smfh

    • legacy

      Look at this here admitting he plays ps4 holy turd 270 games in wow, we know what your favorite system is glad to have you aboard, but xbox1 is still a turd and i will never get that trashbag console

    • dave cody

      i can catch up with you and pass you by a mile
      if i listed every console i have here then you know what a real gamer is let me give you a little list
      ps1-4 plus the prototype playstation
      xbox v1
      xbox 360
      xbox one
      all the nintendos nes and super nes
      all the segas mega drive,mega cd,master sytem 1&2
      sega dreamcast
      atari 2600 and 7800
      so you go and play your 270 and i will play them around 4000 games disc and probly 200 digital

    • efnet

      Please lol don’t make me laugh …..I could drop 15k and shut you and that made up list down….move along lol

    • dave cody

      I aint trust me I work with games consoles for a living so yeah I do have them and why would I make it up how many people remember the dreamcast and atari 2600

    • dave cody

      i can catch up with you and pass you by a mile

      if i listed every console i have here then you know what a real gamer is let me give you a little list

      ps1-4 plus the prototype playstation

      xbox v1

      xbox 360

      xbox one

      all the nintendos nes and super nes

      all the segas mega drivemega drive 2,mega cd,master sytem 1&2

      sega dreamcast

      atari 2600 and 7800

      so you go and play your 270 and i will play them around 4000 games disc and probly 200 digital

    • legacy

      I just found out about you and Terminator little relationship, how long you been a Cinderella fella

    • legacy

      Obviously i played the ones that’s out, can’t play the other’s till they come out , the real question is why you like dudes you and efnet scares me

    • efnet

      Bro I’m willing to bet I spend more on games in one month than you make lol

    • legacy

      Thanks now i know you clearly have no life

    • efnet

      BWHAHAHA that’s what I thought….
      Broke people with no money try to act like money isn’t everything …..

    • efnet

      Trust me I’ll give 1,500 in ps4 currency if you can prove that I don’t have a life …..lol come on lil man

    • legacy

      You funny why are you here, you loaded get you a girl it’s embarrassing your life sucks

    • Triton

      Dont you recognice your FGT face?

    • legacy

      You not built for this i can tell from the pic, you can’t even defend your system

    • Triton

      I dont need to defend it, I dont build it and I dont benefit from it in other ways than in my own happiness.
      Obviously defending is exactly what you are doing.

    • legacy

      Im not defending anything fk all ya lames, and dude get a life

    • efnet

      Lol broke a*s lol

    • legacy

      What you say mitch

    • Mr Xrat

      I’ll enjoy more and better games while you suck up to Tim Dog and clear dust off your Xbone occasionally.

    • XbotMK1

      I guess when their console has less current gen games than the competing console they feel the need to hype up backwards compatibility.


 

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