Xbox Team Discusses Work On Backwards Compatibility And Challenges Faced: ‘We Don’t Do Half-Measures’

While the team has to put in a lot of work and faces problems with licensing, the number of games that support this feature is growing.

Posted By | On 30th, Apr. 2018 Under News


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While the Xbox One may not have as many stellar exclusive games when compared to the PS4, there is one feature which gives it an edge over the competition and that is backwards compatibility. In a recent piece published on Edge Magazine, Xbox platform lead Bill Stillwell discussed some of the goals and challenges faced when it comes to enabling backwards compatibility.

One of the great things about this feature is that the game will look even better on the Xbox One X due to the visual enhancements which ensure that older games look better than they ever did before. Still spoke about the amount of work that goes into enabling this feature along with Xbox One X enhancements, “We’re having to constantly tune the emulator to make it more precise, but every time you make it more precise, you make it less powerful. The enhancements are a lot of work because we really have to go back and tune the performance profile so there’s no change in the gameplay experience. And we don’t do half measures.”

Apart from the technical challenges that exist, there are also some other problems the team faces such as licensing issues. Stillwell explained the problem as follows, “Music licenses are often written for either a distributor or a user. In the Xbox 360 days, streaming was just about non-existent; publishers bought the user license because it was cheaper. But Xbox One has GameDVR and Game Broadcast built into the system, so when they go, ‘Oh, we’re gonna release this on backward compatibility on a console that broadcasts’, they look at their contract and they can’t do it – the license prohibits it. The legal elements of this are as big an issue as the technical ones.”

The number of games that are being made backwards compatible, is constantly growing. Have you been able to play your old favorite games thanks to this feature? Let us know in the comments.


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