Phil Spencer’s announcement of the Xbox One’s backward compatibility received both shock and praise from most people during this years E3 conference for Microsoft. Not only was it a surprise to most that watched, but it also has been a long awaited feature that this console generation has gotten much flack. Their promise of backwards compatibility came with one stipulation, however. Publishers had to give the ok to Microsoft that their game can be backwards compatible before the game receives support.
During Microsoft’s Gamescom conference, a wider variety of games were displayed as being given backwards compatibility support. Three major publishers, however, were absent: Activision, Konami, and Take-Two.
In an interview with Gamespot after Microsoft’s Gamescom conference, Phil Spencer stated that talks with all publishers have been positive when discussing backwards compatibility. “It’s really been a good time for something like backwards compatibility to come around, because so many of the publishers have built more service-based games where they’re able to find a business opportunity in the longevity of games,” stated Phil Spencer.
“One of the things that’s really exciting for me, and we announced this with Gears of War, Just Cause, and Rainbow Six, is that when franchises are releasing an Xbox One version, [publishers] have an opportunity to give them the Xbox 360 version at the same time. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really have that in mind when we started thinking about backwards compatibility, but the studios have got the games, they realise they’re not really selling them anymore, and can use them to introduce people who maybe didn’t play the earlier entries in the franchises while growing engagement in the property itself. That’s very valuable for a publisher.”
Xbox One’s backwards compatibility feature will be available to everyone in November. Over 100 games will start off with backwards compatibility, with hundreds more receiving support afterwards.