Microsoft has made a big deal about the fact that Backwards Compatibility has arrived on the Xbox One today, among the other features the November update is bringing, and for a lot of gamers, it is a big deal. One of the questions that’s worth asking is does this move matter at all to Sony and its PS4?
Sony’s current model for Backwards Compatibility is for gamers to pay for it, by way of an additional subscription or fees. Microsoft’s model contrasts that as its free to Xbox One gamers, so when you compared the two like this, it’s clear which one offers gamers more value.
That said, it will be interesting to see what Sony does or doesn’t do as a response to Xbox One Backwards Compatibility. Will this in any way shape the firm’s thinking about how they handle Backwards Compatibility?
“The only way this matters to Sony is if sales numbers were to flip and I don’t see that happening. Sony has got a different model. They have Backwards Compatibility, they’re just monetizing the Backwards Compatibility, whereas Microsoft is taking a different market approach with it. When you are #2 and playing catch-up you have to do thing differently.
“If Microsoft followed the Sony model, I could almost see the articles being written that it’s Microsoft being Microsoft again. I could just see those comments and their would almost certainly be push back from the gamer community. By following this path, Microsoft is creating a lot of goodwill with Backwards Compatibility,” Strategy Analytics’ Michael Goodman told atombash.com.
It’s a funny thing to think about: how would gamers have reacted if Microsoft decided to charge for Backwards Compatibility on Xbox One? Odds are, there would have been resentment and anger from the gaming community. However, Sony employs that model currently and there isn’t much of a response in that regard, not much at all. Hypocrisy can be funny sometimes.
Goodwill is something Microsoft did not have in large stock at the beginning of the Xbox One’s launch, but ever since then, they have done an admirable job of earning that goodwill or trust back with gamers. Backwards Compatibility is certainly another positive for a company that has been making beneficial business decisions since the Xbox One’s release.
Sony previously spoke about Backwards Compatibility and Jim Ryan was quoted saying: “I know a big thing was made about [backwards compatibility] at E3. It’s a feature – we go through this when we launch a new console – it’s a feature that gets much talked about. But it’s a feature that’s not used that much. People move on very quickly.”
Goodman spoke about whether or not Sony is correct about their Backwards Compatibility assertion. “‘Backwards Compatibility is more about perceived value than necessary providing real value.’ Sony maybe right that people don’t use Backwards Compatibility, but Microsoft is giving gamers the ability to do so at no addition cost. Whether they actually use this capability is secondary to the fact that the capability is there at no additional cost.
“Microsoft has a number of titles from the Xbox 360 that we know people love to play, whether it’s Halo or Gears of War, a lot of people are still playing those older games. A video game today costs $60. If you have 10 Xbox One titles in your library, that’s $600, and frankly, it takes time to build up that library. Backwards Compatibility gives gamers more games to play early on while they build up a library of current-gen titles, I feel that makes the console more valuable,” Goodman said.