50% Of Xbox One Owners Have Used Backwards Compatability Says Xbox CMO

508 hours of BC games played so far.

Yesterday we reported the results of a recent survey that claims just 1.5% of total Xbox One playtime is spent playing its 300+ catalogue of backwards compatible Xbox 360 titles.

Needless to say, it caused a fair amount of heated discussion. Microsoft’s commitment to supporting backwards compatibility has been a surprising boon for its newest home console with titles being added on a near-weekly basis.

However, others called into question just how worthwhile backwards compatibility is, echoing recent comments made by Sony’s Jim Ryan. Despite being one of the most requested features on PlayStation 4, he stated that BC would be underused.

In response to the survey, Xbox CMO Mike Nichols took to Twitter with some of his own findings surrounding the console’s backwards compatibility usage:

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, also chipped in with this:

It’s not exactly a comprehensive breakdown of usage statistics, though certainly paints 360 backwards compatibility in a more positive light. Spencer also pointed out how sales of games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Red Dead Redemption leapt after being added to the Xbox One’s BC library.

Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualShock at this point.

17 Comments

  1. Hilarious some of the tongue and cheek comments about this on Twitter. Almost certainly reactionary, but not far from the reality of the matter.

    *waits for relentless denial that BC is worthwhile*

  2. Personally, I love the idea of BC coming to PS4 but, in reality, it wouldn’t get much use from me.

    Games would need to be supported by Sony which could take a while. Then those said games would eat up space on my PS4 HDD. There’s also the issue of importing save data.

    Quite happy to keep switching from PS4 to PS3 when I get the urge to play some older games.

  3. I have to say i mainly play the old 360 games on my xbox one just because I can.
    I love having one box that plays both I purchased loads of 360 games in the sale recently just to play them again and have all the dlc’s i previously purchased work as well.
    Also with the Scorpio having the ability to supposedly make them look even better as well its a main purchase point for me I want to see them running in 4k and always be there to go back an play again.

  4. I have a PS3 sat just above my PS4 in my TV stand. It doesn’t get played. PS4 does.

  5. I’m sure over 80% of all PS+ users have played Drawn to Death as well. But only for about five seconds. Saying someone accessed something isn’t the same as they use it regularly, and MS own stats reveal this is true.

    508 million hours, divided by what is the best guestimate of Xbox One owners, around 32 million, means each player has played about 15.8 hours of backwards compatible games. Given that that are about 300 bc games, that works out at 0.052 hrs per game, seconds per title per user.

    Backwards compatibility is great, its a nice bonus feature and there are people who will use it. But most people prefer the quality of Xbox One games over something that is now a bit dated. If there was a Red Dead remaster then the BC version would be dead.

    • Your extrapolated stats seem a bit unfair TC. I realise I’m doing the same but for a bit of discussion let’s say only a fifth of XBox One owners want BC, because the rest never had a 360, are too young or don’t care. That’s then 80ish hours of BC play per user, who may have had 10-20 truly cherished games on the 360, so now we’re talking 4-8 hours per game, and at the 6 hour point we’re looking at legitimate play-throughs. I think with those numbers and the fact that a new game is doing well if it sells to a fifth of console owners BC is totally worth providing, not least because I want it and like to argue for it :)
      I honestly don’t mind being made to pay for it though, Steam often hid the nail on the head asking less than £3 for big games that are more than 10 years old, usually that’s in a sale but they happen consistently enough that we can plan for them and bloat our wishlists.
      Community voting, low prices and achievement/trophy integration would surely help make the investment in BC pay off?

    • Think that’s his point. You can spin the statistics in different ways. 508 million hours sound like a lot, but cut it up differently and it suddenly doesn’t.

      • Oh right, sorry TC good points then. And Tef, you truly are the voice of reason, like a TSA Towers Butros Butros Gali.

      • Yes. Stats can be made to sound like anything with a bit of maths :)

    • So you’re assuming every Xbox one owner owns all 300 odd of the bc 360 games?! Maybe go back to the drawing board with your theory!

  6. The data from yesterday was an average of 1526 minutes per Xbox One, and 23.9 minutes of that was BC games, on average.

    Which makes 430,701 hours in total for just over 1m users.

    So we can come to the conclusion that MS have sold over 1.1 billion XBones.

    Or possibly they’re lying.

    Or the method Ars Technica used is wildly inaccurate.

    Or maybe the numbers from MS are based on something weird, but we don’t know that because they just plucked a number out of nowhere and said “this is the real figure”.

    I suspect it’s that last option, really.

    • Or your maths is terrible.

      • Just checked all the numbers. My maths appears to be right. So if the MS claim of 508m hours is true, they must have sold 1.1 billion XBones. Which is obviously not the case.

        Or all the data Ars Technica obtained (from querying 1 million accounts, not asking the users) is wrong by several orders of magnitude. Which seems unlikely.

        It’s probably the whole “the XBox network is better than PSN because we found a mysterious way to say it is” thing all over again. (Those claims we quite obviously a mix of blatant lies and “things that won’t matter in most cases anyway”)

      • No MrYd, they haven’t SOLD 1.1 Billion consoles…

        They SHIPPED them ahahaha

        How awfully entertaining :D

    • Microsoft would never lie…. LOL biggest most arrogant lying scumbags on the planet…

      I trust the Are data as the way it was obtained was scientific and programmatic. So if we are to believe Microsoft , over 50% of Xbox one owners tried BC, but only 1.5% bothered to return. That’s an even worse statistic than just saying nothing and not responding…

  7. They should have reported the time played in minutes to make it seem even better :D

    508 Million is not a huge number. I could pull some stats out of my arse but there’s no point given the limited information available to us.

    15 hours a week is probably average for most gamers and I think that’s on the low side. I know people who spend 45 hours + a week (6-7 hours a day) playing games, which would account for tens of BILLIONS of hours accumulative game-time.

  8. A 100% of people have used the manual on switch button at one time or another on their console,doesn’t mean they still do.

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