Microsoft paving the way for a cross compatible, continuous future.
With the Xbox One Scorpio and with Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, they are treading new ground- they are creating a continuous digital platform and ecosystem the likes of which has never been attempted for video games before.
One of the things Microsoft are committed to, going forward, is apparently continuity and compatibility- gone are the days when your Xbox games would not play on your Xbox 360, or your Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One, outside of a small list of games in both instances. From now on, Microsoft want to ensure that when you buy a new device in their ecosystem, your software migrates to the new device without issues. That is why they are committing, in no uncertain terms, to having all Xbox One games and accessories work on Xbox One Scorpio without any issue.
‘Yes, we have committed that all of the games that you have, all of your Xbox One games, will work on Project Scorpio,’ Microsoft’s Xbox head of marketing Aaron Greenberg said in an interview with GameReactor. ‘We really think of this as one big family, and so the idea is wherever you want to enter into the family – today, there are millions of people still on an Xbox 360 who haven’t bought an Xbox One – those people buy an Xbox One S today, in the future, whenever they are ready to upgrade to Scorpio and get the next step of true 4K gaming, they bring their games catalog with them.’
Greenberg pointed out to other industries, such as music and movies, and how digital content was carried across hardware, and emphasized that Microsoft are aiming to do something similar here.
‘Consumers think about digital entertainment in other industries, those go with you from device to device, so we had the same sort of vision to do that for gaming. And really it goes back to us focusing on putting the gamer at the center of whatever we do.’
This kind of commitment to continuity is also the reason for Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere program, which may just be the most ambitious Cross Buy initiative ever attempted.
‘When we looked at where gamers play, we found most gamers play on both, console and PC. And so as we thought about how can we bring our games to a broader audience? Allow more gamers to experience things like Gears of War 4 or Forza Horizon 3, big titles like that, we knew bringing them to the PC would allow a broader audience to experience them. But traditionally you’ve had to buy those games a second time. But that’s the beauty of being able to build this on one platform with Xbox Live, leveraging Windows across both console and PC, so we can link your purchases to your account, so when you do buy our games digitally from us, our first party titles, you’ll be able to play them across your devices, and only have to pay once, and not multiple times,’ Greenberg explained.
On the whole, I definitely appreciate Microsoft’s various initiatives here- I do believe that these are all very prescient and forward thinking moves that will be industry standard in a short time, and I have to give Microsoft kudos for having the foresight to take this step first. How this all pans out remains to be seen- but everything we hear now sounds very encouraging.