Well, there it is, then.
“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.