Half Of All Xbox One Owners Have Tried Backward Compatibility

300 titles are now supported.

Even with the deluge of remasters that the first few years of this generation has seen, getting backward compatibility to work on the Xbox One was a pretty popular move by Microsoft. With the addition of the BioShock trilogy to the roster, there’s now over 300 Xbox 360 games that you can simply pop into an Xbox One and play.

The sneaking suspicion is that nobody really cares about backward compatibility, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has made a pretty bold claim about its success.

Of course, you need to take that figure with a pinch of salt. This isn’t people playing games daily, but quite likely just that 50% of Xbox One owners popping in a disk to see what’s what or giving an old favourite a quick whirl when it pops up as part of Games with Gold.

Feel free to get angry about the imprecision of his quoted statistic in the comments below, but getting half of their entire audience to engage with a feature even on the most superficial level shows that it’s been worth it. Interest and use has almost certainly spiked when huge sequels like Red Dead Redemption 2 have been announced and the originals are available to play.

Source: Phil Spencer

 

26 Comments

  1. I dunno, it might be a kick up the chuff for Sony to make their backward compatibility solutions a bit more competitive. The Classics are all too pricey and I still can’t use Now due to my poor internets, so I’d love to be able to pop at least my PS1 and 2 discs in my PS4… and play a game! I’d settle for cheaper classics :)

    • Perhaps this says more about the state of Xbox one games, that Xbox owners prefer to play last generation titles…

      I would say that shouting about how your users really like your old console isnt really great PR.

      For me, there are only 2 games I wish were out on PS4 and would happily pay again for, are pixeljunk monsters and SSX3

  2. I’d love to know what the real-world figure is when it excludes people trying just one game for a few hours and never returning.

    Personally, as a PS4 and PC owner, I’d really like to see a push towards something where console gamers are “taking their games with them” like we do on Steam. Especially as we ebb ever-closer to (maybe) one day, physical discs being phased out. I already hate the fact that so many older titles are simply unplayable once you’ve moved onto the newer console. I don’t want a house full of ageing hardware just to revisit something I’ve bought ten years ago. If it can be done on the PC/Steam, I really can’t help think that it can be done properly on the consoles.

    • Now that the current gen consoles are built with essentially PC hardware, I think backward compatibility is much more likely, especially if they follow a more “mobile phone” style upgrade cycle, that I think they have already started with the PS4Pro (I fully expect a “PS4Pro+” announcement in two or three years).

      • Surely it will be a PS5 announcement?

      • And this is why buying digital makes sense. You have a non transferable licence for the game to play it on your current console (and if feasible) future consoles. With disks, there is no ownership, no revenue for the publisher, its a wild west that benefits nobody.

      • @Kronik76, Im sure it wont actually be called “PS4Pro+”, what I meant is it will again be the same kind of hardware, but more powerful.. As opposed to previous console generations which were completely different from each other and therefore incompatible

  3. I valued BC greatly when the PS3 launched with a small quantity of games but the novelty faded rapidly as the PS3 game library expanded.

    • I agree… it’s just for those (personal) gems that I want to revisit. Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, etc.

      If Sony want to win me over further, they can remaster then (again). That’s fine! Just don’t punish my PlayStation library of games. Hell, offer a discount to “upgrade” to the remastered version if you have the existing (old) version. :)

      • Yep, there are a few gems like that but i still wouldn’t play them very often – and after a certain time has passed remasters can be much, much gentler on your nostalgia. And a discount for purchasers of the original version would be nice, probably more ‘workable’ in the digital age too.

      • I half agree. It’s about options. Without decent backwards compatibility, we have very few options (if at all).

      • Your reasoning also requires them to actually remaster the ones you like. No guarantee there. Not by a long shot.

      • I’m all for decent BC as an option but anyone feeling nostalgic for certain 360 games might still find themselves out of luck with XB1 BC.

  4. With so many PS4 games being remasters, you have to wonder if Sony considered this in their decision to not do BC. They’d supported remasters in the PS3 era, so maybe suspected/knew it would be a big part of the future and BC would damage sales?

    • You know they do BC right? PS1, PS2 and Ps3 titles are in the store and on PSNow.

  5. Considering the retail price for popular games goes high when they become BC, and the vocal demand for those popular titles, it’s not hugely surprising that it is being adopted a lot.

    It can be a special gem of a game, or the chance to experience the before-story to a current gen game. It’s lovely to have the option and seamless operation.

  6. See I was one of the crazy people that actually supported hd remasters. So the PS3/PS4 not being BC never bothered me. I’d rather play prettier versions of my favourite old games with trophies :D

  7. But “half of all XBox One owners” is too small a number to draw any statistically significant conclusions from, surely? ;)

    And what would have happened if Sony had done it for the PS4? With the weird architecture of the PS3, would that have required extra hardware for backwards compatibility? Adding extra expense for something that only half the owners would use? And even less would use more than just once to see how it works? Could have wiped out the early price advantage the PS4 had and Sony would be where they were with the PS3 and only sell more than the competition after several years.

    • That’s funny. Have they not done that same thing with PS Now? They’ve invested a ton load of money into it, have to maintain it, and worst still ask a premium to keep it going.

      I don’t see the investment MS made as affecting any early price advantage, and it’s far far away from the contributing factor in the One’s sales figures. If anything, the emulation coding is there now. All they have to do is keep the flow of games coming much like Sony is doing with PS Now. The difference is, MS don’t ask for a premium.

      It would have been likely better for Sony to have BC native to the PS4 console, but clearly it’s too much of a kerfuffle with the old architecture. It’s not particularly bad business, it is what it is.

      There’s a demand for BC, otherwise I doubt we’d have PS Now, PS2 BC, and 360 BC.

      • The difference is, the PS3 was a bit of a weird thing, and adding BC for it to the PS4 would quite possibly have involved extra hardware. Which would have put the price up and hurt the early PS4 sales. And I suspect most people would rather have a cheaper PS4 than play PS3 games on it.

        PS Now obviously involved a lot of work and money to get up and running (and it really does work surprisingly well), but it’s only the people using it that have to pay. They’re not charging everyone for it, no matter if they use it or not.

        I think keeping the price of the PS4 down by not adding something most people won’t be using regularly was the right decision. Pricing of Sony’s BC solution (PS Now) is another matter altogether.

      • Mony spent by Sony on PsNow is far smarter

        It’s not extra component cost per console, its sever space per paying g user. It also means BC comes for free in future generations too.

        I really lie PSNow, I think the charging model needs to change (charged by the used gaming hours, not subscription duration. It would be far easier to swallow at say £1/hour and then getting cheaper the bigger book of hourly gaming tokens you buy…

        Right now buying it for 30 days and not knowing how much use your are going to squeeze in that month is a barrier.

      • IIRC, the early PS3’s actually had PS2 hardware inside, just to support BC, although it was replaced by software emulation pretty quickly due to cost..

  8. And that same half regret selling their collections. I know I do with the PS2 and all of my PS2 games. Ok, probably 10% of it was good but that 10%, i regret getting rid of.

    I think most folks don’t care about having backwards capablity nowadays apart from a select few titles. And Remasters have that covered. That and assuming that half of that 50% also own PCs, they may elect to get BC titles on PC.

    That said, it would have been fecking good to have BC in both consoles from the start. Since when did the idea of being able to playthrough one’s entire collection on the next iteration of console become obselete? This is what is causing me to lean towards PC gaming.

  9. why wouldn’t they?
    all it takes is to stick the disc in and away you go.
    you’re not forced to rebuy games you already own, though there is the option to buy games you don’t.

    i want to see ms doing a video like that, how do you trade games, video sony did.
    titled “how do you play 360 games on xbox one”, and just show somebody putting a disc in the console.

    • But that’s not exactly how it works is it? You put the disc in and either:

      -The game is supported AND you then have to download the recoded game.
      -The game is not supported (300 games sounds like the minority to me, so more than likely the game is unsupported).

      It’s a great feature though of course, especially for me as I didn’t have a 360, I can play some of the exclusives that I missed.

  10. Being able to play Ikaruga is ace

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