This is a huge week for the gaming industry as several major games are launching and for Xbox One gamers, this Thursday is a landmark moment. The New Xbox One Experience, as Microsoft has dubbed it, will be launching and with it will bring backwards compatibility for the Xbox One.
Yesterday, Microsoft revealed the Xbox 360 games that will be coming to backwards compatibility on Xbox One and those total 104 titles right off the bat. As big of a feature as backwards compatibility is for Microsoft, it wasn’t always clear that it would be possible for the system to execute this function.
The Xbox One launched back in November 2013 and if you would’ve asked folks at Microsoft then if it was possible to make the Xbox One backwards compatible, they wouldn’t have been able to say yes right then. Mike Ybarra, who is the director of program management for Xbox, talked about the initial uncertainty of backwards compatibility and how they accomplished it.
“I would say, you’re right – when we originally released the Xbox One the idea of us doing backward compatibility was something we didn’t believe could happen. We were fortunate enough to have the right set of engineers. To Phil Spencer’s credit, he pushes the teams. He knows that all engineers love to be challenged with something someone says is impossible, and then told to make it happen.
“When we opened up the user feedback site, backwards compatibility was number one by a large margin and it was something we didn’t want to just ignore. We took on the challenge; we solved a lot of the engineering problems that existed, and frankly surprised ourselves in some ways,” Ybarra told Windows Central.
Part of what may have helped Microsoft push to make backwards compatibility work is the fact that they have been behind Sony in sales and needed to find a feature that they couldn’t match. Backwards compatibility is that feature for the time being, and from the sounds of what Sony has said, they don’t plan on bringing that function to the PS4.
This feature provides Xbox One gamers with a newfound pool of value, especially for people who invested in the previous-generation of Xbox, that being the Xbox 360. Being able to experience games from a generation ago is a big deal for a lot of people and it’ll be interesting to see how gamers adjust to their purchasing habits as a result of backwards compatibility.
Microsoft had a stellar season once more with a slew of excellent Xbox One exclusive titles launching. Those included Halo 5 Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6 and a few others. It has been a great year for gamers and surely 2016 will be even better.