Xbox One Backward Compatibility Report ‘Grossly Inaccurate’

Well, there it is, then.

Posted By | On 11th, Jun. 2017 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The Xbox One backward compatibility report that was made public by Ars Technica was apparently ‘grossly inaccurate’, according to a statement made by Microsoft to VG247.

“We’ve carefully reviewed Ars Technica’s article, and have completed our own analysis of the actual data using identical parameters,” they saud. “Based on our findings, Ars Technica’s analysis and conclusions are grossly inaccurate and misleading due to an incomplete set of data and drawing conclusions about actual usage from data that approximates usage.

“As an example, we specifically know, based on our complete view of Xbox Live usage data, players are highly engaged with backwards compatible game titles. It’s why we continue to support this well-loved feature and the games that use it. We appreciate the work and effort by Ars Technica to share more information about the Xbox community and we are continually looking for ways to do so that also protect the interests of gamers and our partners.”

Ars itself, meanwhile, has updated its report, to recognize the inaccuracies in the numbers it had reported. “Microsoft has given us reason to believe the usage data provided by Xbox API consisted of incomplete estimates of total Xbox Live usage, and does not reflect a complete account of recent usage sessions by the sampled Gamertags. While the data provided seemed reliable in our spot tests, Microsoft tells us the API was “intended to display to each Xbox gamer an approximation of the time spent in a game so that they have the option to compare it with other gamers on the service,” Ars’ update to its report reads.

“That fault in the underlying data has led us to vastly underestimate total usage times for the apps and games in our usage sample. Graphs and charts that refer to average minutes played or percentage of users who played a game during that 4.5 month period seem to be an order of magnitude lower than the actual per-app usage rates and times. The “My Games and Apps” section of the Xbox One was used by 71 percent of Xbox One players during our sample, according to Microsoft, not the approximately 6.3 percent shown by our data.”

A 65% margin of error seems to be absurdly high, but… at the same time, at least they’ve gone ahead and rectified the mistake, I suppose. On my part, I have always been a believer in backward compatibility on all systems, and I have held fast in my belief that the feature is well loved. I am happy to see the numbers also support me on this front.


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  • Gamez Rule

    Within the article is states..

    “But Microsoft has not provided us with sufficient information to answer this question of relative comparison reliability to our satisfaction, simply saying it considers the current analysis “grossly inaccurate and misleading due to an incomplete set of data and drawing conclusions about actual usage from data that approximates usage.”

    “Microsoft has given us no significant reason to doubt the basic reliability of the separate “ownership” sample in our report, which measures what games show up on the public Achievement lists on Xbox . com”

    Why hasn’t MS released information to them?

    • heima

      The sole fact that they decided to rectract their previous data and analysis says a lot about the accuracy they put in their report.
      And since we’re at that, why would MS spend thousands of dollars on a feature that’s not valuable?

    • Gamez Rule

      The sold fact that Microsoft has given them no significant reason to doubt the basic reliability of the separate “ownership” sample in their report is also valuable. Why wouldn’t MS show solid information to answer the question of relative comparison reliability to their satisfaction?

      Why would MS spend on BC…Simple IMO as Xbone wasn’t in a good place back then due to the amount of 180s taking place while losing features etc, hence why MS *may* have brought in BC.

    • heima

      “No significant reason”? They rectrated their previous analysis, ffs!

      Considering that according to some “BC is a useless, uninteresting feature” its marketing value should be null, correct?

    • Gamez Rule

      No matter what is posted, what I copied from that link is correct.

      Where are the actual MS stats?

      https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/06/correction-undercounted-usage-data-in-our-xbox-unleashed-analysis/?comments=1

    • heima

      I don’t know, ask ArseTechica.
      While you’re at it, ask them how they managed to effe up those stats, too.

    • Gamez Rule

      They have asked MS but MS haven’t given stats to them. Maybe MS should release stats to back up their claims too

    • heima

      Apparently it was enough to make them withdraw their previous work.

    • Gamez Rule

      Nothing was handed to them to show what MS stated was correct, hence why they stated “going forward we will refer to the data generated by this
      source as a “player” report, rather than an “ownership” report”

      Where are the actual MS stats that MS talks about as the people have asked and MS have shown nothing? They have asked MS but MS haven’t given stats to them…why?

      Click bait or not MS could have shown that BC was a very good feature used by gamers but they didn’t.

    • heima

      Jesus, let me just paste this comment I read on Arstechnica, maybe it will let you understand where the problem resides:
      “I invent a new type of microscope. I use it to measure Ebola, influenza and Polio and I publish the measurements.

      A medical firm that OWNS A REAL MICROSCOPE calls me and says “your microscope isn’t working. We’ve measured Polio and it’s different then your number”

      I reply by saying “well that sucks. But I’m sure Ebola and influenza’s measurements are JUST FINE!”

      You can’t do science with a broken or miscalibrated instrument. You can’t do math on a data set collected with a methodology that isn’t accurate 100% of the time.

      Period.”

      If you don’t grasp the meaning of it, I don’t know how to explain it.

    • Gamez Rule

      After that post MS could have shown that BC was a very good feature used by gamers to everyone but they didn’t. MS could have shown what was needed but didn’t.

    • Luke Skywalker

      @disqus_eidelyn:disqus is in the right here and you’ve said nothing to discredit it. all you’ve been going in is that Microsoft could have done this or that, but in actuality they don’t need to do anything, they’re under no obligation to do so, correct?

    • Gamez Rule

      Yes and no.. The company asked MS to provided them with sufficient information to answer the question of relative comparison reliability to their satisfaction and MS haven’t done so…. MS could have done it to clear the air but didn’t.

  • heima

    “A 65% margin of error seems to be absurdly high, but… at the same time,
    at least they’ve gone ahead and rectified the mistake, I suppose. On my
    part, I have always been a believer in backward compatibility on all
    systems, and I have held fast in my belief that the feature is well
    loved. I am happy to see the numbers also support me on this front.”

    It would be a shame if people weren’t unable to see the value a feature like this has, especially considering that DD is becoming more popular on consoles too.


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