During the week of the E3 conference, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would adapt with an upcoming update that would allow owners of console to play Xbox 360 games. Some of the interesting features of Microsoft’s idea for backwards compatibility include the ability to transfer saved game data from old Xbox 360 hard drives to the Xbox One and resume where you left off. Also, gamers have the privilege of playing their old games online via Xbox Live. This all seems fair given that the update is free and that we won’t have to repurchase Xbox 360 titles (given you didn’t sell them a while ago). However, the real question is: why did it take so long for Microsoft to come out this?
If anyone was wondering, Microsoft Executives originally did not care for the idea of backwards compatibility. In fact, one executive stated that “To include backwards compatibility would mean moving backwards.” Many were both pleasantly surprised and frustrated at the news that the Xbox One would soon include free backwards compatibility, but it led people to ask questions. Why was it an issue for the console to be backwards compatible in the first place? What kind of problems can we expect from this update? It’s all relevant and everyone needs to know the answers.
First of all, Xbox director of program development, Mike Ybarra has been contradicting the original opinions and statements of Microsoft as a result of the displeased consumer. “Many told us it would be impossible…consumers should be able to play their content on the devices they own.” Ybarra stated in an interview with Xbox Wire. While that’s all well and good, there was massive demand from Xbox One players for backwards compatibility from day one. If anyone said it was impossible it was the company that makes millions upon millions of dollars in revenue headed by one of the richest men in the world. Backwards compatibility isn’t a challenge, but it certainly will be the way that it’s been set up.
At the end of the day, it’s an unfortunate occurrence that Microsoft decided to include backwards compatibility so late in the lifespan of the Xbox One. Gamers will be the recipients of a much deserved function that all consoles should have. However, it seems a little unnerving that the benefit that Microsoft is most concerned about is their observation that backwards compatibility generates sales. The feature hasn’t even been released yet and their sales have gone up in the last two months.
Anyways, enough of the rant. Enjoy your spoils, Microsoft. Enjoy the backwards compatibility to your hearts content. And good luck, gamers.