Recently, during a developer’s conference, Microsoft’s Frank Savage may have hinted at considering the possibility of allowing Xbox 360 games to be played on the Xbox One. Sources say that there are plans in motion to allow for reverse compatibility on Microsoft’s newest system, however due to the differences in the operating systems, there is some difficulty in the implementation. The company offered no word on whether gamers would need to purchase emulation copies of the previous console’s games, or if simply inserting the disc into the newer console would suffice for the reverse compatibility to take hold. Either way, if Microsoft decides to go through with it, there is likely to be a large update for XBox One in the future.
Reverse compatibility has been a somewhat hot button issue within the gaming community. Xbox 360 offered limited reverse compatibility with the preliminary Xbox titles, however, the console supported a very large and impressive library of games to keep gamers more entertained. Sony’s Playstation 3’s initial release supported full backwards compatibility with both Playstation and Playstation 2 games. This release is still sought after today, as Sony gamers likely have a large backlog of Playstation games from generations past, and seek to have a console capable of playing them. Also with Playstation’s new feature, Playstation Now, game streaming of older titles will hopefully become a reality on the new console, although the service currently only supports titles from the Playstation 3. This is likely going be huge for those who subscribe to this service, as Sony plans for games from the entire Playstation catalog to be available to stream on Playstation 4 as well as other devices. Microsoft, however, seemingly only touched on the notion of considering Xbox 360 games being played on the Xbox One, and said nothing about original Xbox titles being included.
If that is the case then why even bother? Given the overall rampant “fanboyism” that tends to persist throughout the gaming community, one can logically draw the conclusion that most (if not all) Xbox One owners probably own Xbox 360 as well. On top of this, there is still a considerably large number of games that are going to be released on Xbox 360 this year. Not to mention games like Assassin’s Creed IV, Titanfall, and Destiny that are all huge titles that will be available on all consoles. With all this in mind it does not really seem worth the effort for Microsoft to consider implementing Xbox 360 gameplay on the Xbox One.
On the other hand, this might be a good move to gain more interest in Microsoft’s new console. It is no secret that the XBox One has been trailing behind the Playstation 4 in the latest generation of console wars, however, managing to properly implement reverse compatibility could give the console a bit of an edge, as players may not be ready to upgrade due to the scarce number of games available for the newest generation of consoles. On top of this, the capability of the system can offer enhanced performance on the older games. Microsoft can consider the possibility of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, but the company will either need to gain more exclusive titles or find something more than brand loyalty to get ahead of its competition.
Opinion by Michael Foster