Xbox Backward Compatibility’s Success Has Been Instrumental for Game Preservation, Says Exec

In an interview with TechRadar, Xbox's Jason Ronald talked about the influence of backward compatibility on the industry at large.

Posted By | On 18th, Jan. 2022

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In a recent interview with TechRadar, Xbox’s Director of Project Management Jason Ronald talked about the impact of the Xbox Backward Compatibility program on the industry, and how its success has helped make a bold statement about the preservation of games.

Ronald says that the team has learnt a lot in the duration of this project, from the various technicalities of running old games on current-gen hardware to the legalities required to actually put them on offer for fans. He also said that the industry should come forward together to make preservation an effortless task for all parties involved.

“I think over the course of this program, we’ve learned a lot about game preservation, whether it’s technical decisions, the way that games are actually ingested into the catalog, the way that we sign contracts and deal with licensing, and whatnot. I think it’s actually informing not only us but the entire industry of what we can do to preserve these games moving forward,” Ronald said.

Ronald also talked about how Xbox Series X/S were built keeping backward compatibility in mind, saying that the same philosophy will apply to their eventual successor as well.

“When designing the Xbox Series X and S, backward compatibility was a tenant of the program from day one and actually influenced the design of the silicon, the design of the hardware,” he said. “It was like, ‘Okay, how do we make sure that these games not only work but play better than ever before.’ So absolutely, as we think about future devices, as we think about future platforms, we’re always thinking about what unique things can we do to enhance or optimize these games?”

Xbox’s backward compatibility program has had a solid run, although Microsoft has confirmed with its last massive batch of games that there will be no further games being added to the program due to the aforementioned technical and legal issues. That said, Ronald’s statements about influencing the industry on preservation couldn’t be truer, and perhaps we’re beginning to see some of that outside of Xbox as well. PS3 games have started to appear on the PS5 store very recently, further fueling the rumours for PlayStation’s supposed Game Pass competitor.


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