360 to One: Why do we care about backwards compatibility?

One of Microsoft’s big wins at E3 recently has been their announcement that the Xbox One is now – to a certain extent – backwards compatible. This has been widely regarded as a good move and made a lot of people very happy. Indeed, our very own Ash had many fair and impartial things to say about this as he applauded the move.

I’m somewhat less enamoured by the news.

The Xbox One was released on November 22nd 2013 – a full 577 days ago. Now fair enough, if you’re releasing a console backwards compatibility is a great thing to include. People are sat on titles which they are playing currently and the library of the old console is always going to be richer than the new. Backwards compatibility helps soften the blow of upgrading.

However once I bought my One I – perhaps unsurprisingly – sold my 360. It no longer had any use because I had a shiny new machine that is far more capable. At least that’s the theory.

To me, this move smacks of something which the current gen is struggling with: a lack of decent titles. There are very few big games which aren’t available on the older generation hardware as well as the new. A lot of this is driven by the fact that the One and the PS4 are not that impressive a jump from their older brothers.

Ideally, this backwards compatibility announcement from Xbox should have been greeted by a big ‘who cares’ because there’s already plenty of great content out there. The reaction we did see is telling.

Hey, at least Gears Of War 4 is coming.

Source: Xbox.com


James Oliver

I have a keen interest in anything from the original Star Wars trilogy through to the Star Wars Expanded Universe – as well as everything that encompasses. Mostly interested in things which fly or make noise (ideally both), I like playing with new gadgets and buying phones on a whim.

5 thoughts on “360 to One: Why do we care about backwards compatibility?

  • 24th June 2015 at 10:24

    I’d have to say, if you can’t see the jump from Previous to current Gen gaming quality that’s got to be down to the Xbone as the difference on the PS4 is clear and Mesmerising.

    Infamous: Second Son is the only game i’ve played that has made my wife stop what she’s doing, sit down and watch me play just for the look of the graphics ‘my god, you can see every crease in his trousers’ she said. the difference in quality is also clearly obvious in the two releases of GTAV.

    I do agree with you that the current content catalogue is poor on both consoles and hopefully this will be addressed soon, the lack of backwards compatibility on PS4 is frustrating but being a playstation plus subscriber i get half a dozen ‘free’ games a month, more than enough to keep me interested while i wait for the next big title to come out.

    • 24th June 2015 at 10:27

      When your wife starts paying close attention to what’s in the trousers of a videogame character it’s time to be worried. Next thing you know she’ll have left you for a mustachioed plumber.

    • 24th June 2015 at 11:22

      It’s not across the board. I’ve played GTA V on both gens and it’s clearly better on the One.

      What I’m saying is that the jump is not night and day. The actual games are not utilising all they could from the consoles, too. I’ve not seen the MS Cloud stuff they spoke about at console launch really implemented, for example.

  • 25th June 2015 at 11:30

    It’s all about going forward, don’t go backward, foo!!!!!!!!!! PS4TW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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