Skip to main content

Xbox head Phil Spencer hopes for industry-wide game preservation

Phil Spencer Xbox 20 Celebration
Phil Spencer Xbox 20 Celebration (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, wants better game preservation across the industry, per Axios.
  • Spencer wants to see legal emulation, allowing players to access any older games.
  • Microsoft recently added 70 games to its backward compatible program, while noting this will be the last batch of games added due to legal constraints.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer wants to see industry-wide game preservation, per a report from Axios. "I think we can learn from the history of how we got here through the creative," Spencer told Axios. "I love it in music. I love it in movies and TV, and there's positive reasons for gaming to want to follow."

Spencer also indicates that the main roadblock is legal issues, but hopes to see companies work together. "My hope (and I think I have to present it that way as of now) is as an industry we'd work on legal emulation that allowed modern hardware to run any (within reason) older executable allowing someone to play any game," Spencer explained.

Spencer has spoken years before about the art of gaming, and how backward compatibility is a huge part of preserving that art. During the 20th anniversary celebration of Xbox, Microsoft announced 70 new additions to the backward compatibility program, including titles such as Binary Domain and the Max Payne trilogy.

Several games, both new additions and existing titles, also received 60 FPS enhancements through Xbox FPS Boost. Xbox FPS Boost allows Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S owners to run games at twice (or in rare cases, four times) the original framerate. Microsoft also noted that this is the last batch of games being added to the service, as the team has hit walls with "licensing, legal and technical constraints."

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • I think this will require a complete overhaul of the way licensing works in video games. Why can you have music in a movie and it be sold forever yet games get delisted?
  • " Licensing, legal and tecnical contrainst" , this is not if anyelse ask to you money, new game gratis, or percentage of your value.
    Not possible to see that for Xbox Studios game as Forza Motorsport 7.
    No one have do as Microssoft for retrocompatibility.
    It's hurt with stores games, buy Gamestop where physical discs and others brands are welcome ? (with arcade, story ...).
    Maybe you could sold Surface Duo, Phil.
  • Racing games are subject to licenses from the car makers. Those licenses run out. Car companies are almost as hard to deal with as music labels over licensing.
  • We have difficulty to keep old games ?
    You needs partnerships for this (emulation must have physical copy to pay), and bought Atari, Sega, licence of 80, 90 ...
    Difficult, ridicule, and producers want have property of games as trophy of personnality.
    It's good reflexion, i not sure you find easily movies of years 1930, and there aren't Star Wars Saga in Uhd Ultra Blu Ray.
  • It's many idealism for time and this peoples.(money glory)
    A "monopole de tutelle" too, you not want ?
  • It's funny hearing him say that when the Xbox consoles themselves have DRM, Sony quietly fixed the issue, Microsoft should do the same.
  • Phil propose now in interview to legalize emulation.
    Have some reasons for that, money ? vision of videogames industry ?