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Don Mattrick Says "You're Really Backwards" If You Want Backwards Compatibility

I'm sure we'll all deal with it, Don.

The new Xbox One won’t, like the PlayStation 4, play its predecessor’s games off the bat. And whilst Sony are apparently working with Gaikai on some kind of streaming middle ground, Microsoft are flat out refusing to dabble in getting Xbox 360 games to run on its next-gen console.

Why? Well Microsoft’s Don Mattrick has today explained that he doesn’t see backwards compatibility as a big deal.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, he said that only 5% of customers questionned play older games on a new console, and so didn’t see much point in spending time and money to develop the technology to make it happen.

“If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards,” he said, in a quote that’s set to resonate around the internet tonight.

According to research surveys carried out by Fizziology, 12% of potential customers said they’d be “unhappy if there wasn’t backwards compatibility” – obviously the survey was carried out before last night’s big reveal.

That’s a bit of a shocking quote from Mattrick but it’s related to an interesting point: If only 5% of your fan base cares (according to their own research) then at what point does the expense of developing and manufacturing that capability become prohibitive for the potential gains the company could make?

If it’s likely to cost more than it makes, Microsoft has a duty to its shareholders to shun the idea. That’s how public companies work. Also, as an analyst from Piper Jaffray puts it, this might lead to more potential for profit “as gamers rebuild their entire library for a new console.”

But where does that leave the Xbox “brand” and its duty to its fans? We’re sure there’ll be a big fuss over the language in use here, and the apparent disregard for a set of fans, even if the majority doesn’t want the particular feature being discussed.

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52 Comments
  1. deadwelsh
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    I dont think BC should be a given any longer – chances are you still have the previous console if you have a large catalogue anyway.
    If its advertised from the off then fine, but being told in advance is fine by me.
    Plus i am so sick of all the HD remakes, which have only enforced my opinion that your golden era games should just be left as memories, i am looking forward to new experiences the next gen will deliver, not play upscaled versions of games that excelled years ago but are frankly poor in comparison to todays plethora of entertainment.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:20.
  2. cam the man
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    He hasn’t put his view across very politely. There’ll be a few unhappy xboxers.
    I’m not bothered about backwards compatibility on next gen consoles.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:20.
    • honkyjesus
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      I feel the same way.

      The bigger problem is Microsoft continuing a recent track record of downgrading their customers.

      Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 22:33.
  3. theshockwave
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    I’m not sure you’ve used that quote quite right. He says ‘If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards’. Not ‘If you want backwards compatibility, you’re really backwards’.
    I think he’s referring more to the console than the user.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:21.
    • Jakster123x
      Member
      Since: Aug 2011

      I think you’re right actually.

      Either way, i think he’s right. What’s the point in spending the time and money on something that barely any of your audience want?

      Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:26.
      • theshockwave
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        I for one, don’t care that much about BC. Almost all my games for my PS3 are outdated and I’m done with them. Besides, I’ll still have my PS3 to play them on.

        Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:28.
    • Jakster123x
      Member
      Since: Aug 2011

      Exactly. While it’d be nice to transfer all your content to a new console, ultimately you want to use your next gen system to play next generation games.

      Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:39.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      oh no, I think you’re right – he’s trying to make a joke about the console – but by association he’s tarring consumers who do care about that (I don’t) with the same brush.
      Apologies if that wasn’t clear enough in the original – that was why I wrote the stuff about it making a valid point :)

      Comment posted on 23/05/2013 at 00:21.
  4. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    I completely agree with him, but then I’m not a company big wig speaking publicly on behalf of my employers. I don’t want to spend all that money to pay games I can easily play on my ps3. I want a ps4 to play ps4 games on otherwise I’d just keep my ps3.
    Not that I think anybody who thinks otherwise is backwards mind, they’re just weird ;-)

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:23.
  5. quinkill
    Member
    Since: Oct 2010

    Wow! Way to put off early adopters. Those being core gamers (5% that care supposedly) likely with a decent games library. I was 99% going for a PS4 purchase anyway, but after that i’m 100% behind PS4. At least Sony is addressing the issue of BC and transferable libraries with Gaikai integration, and not insulting the fan-base by “telling” them they’re backwards for wanting it. So, yet again Microsoft shows a unique arrogance and lack of perspective; money first and consumers are idiots.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:25.
  6. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    frankly, the x1 has bigger problems than no BC.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:28.
  7. ron_mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    What a cock, whatever he meant by the quote I’ve instantly read it as a slight on what I like, which is unecessary and not good PR. Cock.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:30.
  8. JR.
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    I resemble that remark.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:34.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      You resemble a cock?

      Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 19:42.
      • JR.
        Member
        Since: Apr 2013

        You have no idea how hard it’s been for me growing up :(

        Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 19:50.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        Growing hard.

        *snigger*

        Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 20:22.
      • Broonba
        Member
        Since: Mar 2009

        Ha Ha…..Nice one Tuff :D

        Comment posted on 23/05/2013 at 14:18.
  9. The Von Braun
    Member
    Since: Oct 2012

    Well Don, IF you think i wanted:Kinect, Digital Permission and TV Intergration as part of my ‘wish list’ for a future Xbox, then you is one dumb mother.

    Disclaimer B.C was’nt high on my list either :-).

    what i def.did not want, is MS basically telling me they know what i want and here is…..

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 18:45.
    • E8_BALL_
      Member
      Since: Jul 2010

      Were you aware of this poll prior.
      Was it available at official Xbox website, or Marketplace?
      Just curious as to how wide an audience, was included in this poll.
      (5% of his closest friends? N.Amaricas reg users?)

      Don’t understands how they can make such a broad assumption, if poll wasn’t made available to the widest user base. Personally, i’d of put it on the website & Marketplace.

      (there was a tweet from a Xbox rep, a month or so ago, re alawys on, with the same type of careless, easily open to negative interpretation, unprofessional remark. M.softs’ PR is… i’ll let you fill in the blank.)

      Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 23:49.
      • E8_BALL_
        Member
        Since: Jul 2010

        (n*america)

        Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 23:50.
  10. TechnoSphere
    Member
    Since: Apr 2013

    I would still like some unique games preserved.
    Shame to turn your back on your own history really.

    I guess people who still like older films (in this context 10 year old) are backwards too.

    Please make as sequel to shadow complex then.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2013 at 19:00.

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