‘We thought it might never happen.’
One of the most impressive announcements that came out of E3 this year was not one of any impressive seeming brand new game, or of any neat new technology, but rather, a simple announcement that the Xbox One would soon be able to run games of its predecessor- backwards compatibility would be coming to the Xbox One.
It was impressive, because the Xbox 360 and Xbox One both utilise completely different kinds of hardware architectures, which theoretically makes software compatibility impossible. It was also an announcement that earned Microsoft a lot of goodwill from gamers- something that was desperately needed.
Speaking of the technical challenges involved in making Xbox 360 code run on the Xbox One’s x86 architecture, Mike Ybarra, Xbox director of program management, says that his team thought it might never happen.
“We knew it would be an enormous engineering challenge, and many people told us it would be impossible,” Ybarra said in an interview with Xbox Wire. “However, the team had conviction, and delivered. This is what I love most about Xbox: We’re all gamers, and fan feedback fuels our passion.
“At a fundamental level, we believe that consumers should be able to play their content on the devices they own,” Ybarra said about backwards compatibility.
Personally, I agree with him, and I was extremely happy at the way Microsoft handled backwards compatibility on the Xbox One. While it is not as extensive as the Wii U’s hardware based solution is, it’s still better than absolutely nothing, which is what Sony is offering with the PS4.