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Xbox head Phil Spencer says backwards compatibility is about preserving the art of games

Xbox E3
Xbox E3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Speaking to Time, Xbox head Phil Spencer discussed a range of subjects, including the brand new Xbox One X, Windows Mixed Reality, and more.

One comment that really struck me, however, was this one about Spencer's motivation for pushing backwards compatibility across the Xbox One ecosystem.

Phil Spencer referenced PlayStation's marketing chief Jim Ryan, who was recently quoted downplaying backwards compatibility, stating that older Gran Turismo games "looked ancient," following it up with "why would anyone want to play this?" For Spencer, it's less to do with business opportunities, and more to do with the preservation of the artistic medium of video games.

"I look at video games as an art form. I'll go back and I'll watch Gone with the Wind, Citizen Kane. I'll read The Lord of the Rings, I'll listen to early Rolling Stones or Zeppelin albums. I think it's important that art media lives with us, and we learn from it, and I think games are the same. Not every game, just like not every album, is a perfect work of art. But the fact that these games are still playable and are foundational to a lot of what we play today I think is a good thing for us to keep close as an industry and to learn from.""Things like Tetris. Should people be able to play Tetris? Absolutely. These was something kind of magical about what that was, and people still play that game. Minecraft was first launched in 2009 and here we are eight years later and it's bigger than it's ever been. I don't think it's a good thing when games become unplayable for technical reasons. It doesn't mean everybody should go back and play every game, but I want those games to be accessible."

Indeed, not every game added to the Xbox's backwards compatible line-up sees a huge amount of traction, every now and then though, games like Red Dead Redemption and Black Ops II come along, re-entering sales charts as players flock to get their nostalgia fix. The important thing is that future generations will be able to take a look at the past and see how we got to where we are today, particularly when Microsoft brings the OG Xbox into the fold as announced at E3 2017.

What games are you still hoping for on Xbox backwards compatibility? Hit the comments.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

105 Comments
  • I like his thinking. Few spring to mind, but I know others enjoy the nostalgia. The Battlefield ones are good to see. Give my left leg for a decent combat racer to play with the kids, also some local couch co-op titles.
  • Yeah I don't see how people can down play backwords compability. Look at pc gamers people still play games like quake & doom online and I think it's something Microsoft want to being into console gaming going forward and with the Xbox now becoming an upgraded system rather than a new gen every 5 or so years Microsoft will get that type of gaming pc gamers have.
  • You can down play it because it's not like BC is the only way to play old games...if your not cheap and just keep your old console when upgrading to the next, you can play all the games. I still have my NES, gameboy, Genesis, Dreamcast and playstations 1-4. If i want to play Mario, i bust out the NES. If i want to play Jet Moto, i bust out the ps2. But you know what? I never go back and play old games cuz they look like **** and no longer interest me lol
  • So your comment isn't exactly right. Just keeping your old console isn't always an option, and assuming it's just because someone is cheap is pretty ignorant to boot. 
  • So my comment may be ignorant, but it's not not right. If keeping your old console is not an option for whatever reason, you could still buy a used one again, or download a pc emulator...There's always an option dude..
  • First of all, relying on old hardware to play old games might be fun as a hobby, but it's not a very good long term strategy for preserving games for the future, because eventually, no matter how careful you are, old consoles WILL break down.
    As for emulators, besides the fact that there aren't emulators for every platform (let's assume there are), the average person doesn't want to or even know how to go about installing something like that. You need to visit some obscure website to download the right emulator, then find compatible rom files and set everything up. Sure, it's not that hard, and it might be a suitable option for a lot of people, but dissing this new, more convenient alternative is IMO pretty pointless.
  • No to mention that technically speaking downloading a rom for a game you do not own is coughillegalcough
  • True.
  • I'm not dissing it, I'm just saying it's not the only method to play old games. BC is also used by less than 5% of the user base, so in summary, I'm just saying it's really not that big a deal in terms of needing it to play old games, nor in terms of usage data.
  • I agree, it's certainly not the only way you can play these games, and it's probably true that, as a feature, it's not central to the Xbox business. However, while I'm sure Microsoft has financial reasons for developing this technology (PR, marketing, game sales) I think it's a really good initiative in the sense that Phil Spencer is talking about, which is making old games easily available for new generations to enjoy (and for older folks to rediscover).
  • Not cheap? Ok then... Where do you work where you can afford a house, two cars, insurance, bills, and every single console as soon as they are released along with a new 4k TV? I would love to have a job where I could do that. I'm not cheap, I'm realistic
  • You get peanuts when you trade in your old system which you've already paid for in full. If you can't afford all that, and to buy every single console when it first comes out, then don't; that would be normal adult behaviour. Have your priorities in check and wait until you can afford it. I dont understand the confusion. Personally, I dont see the point of trading in my old system and all the games and accessories which I spent well over $1000 on for a measly $100 tops, I would rather keep the system, and then I can go back and play whatever I want without hoping/expecting MS/Sony to implement BC because I didint want to hold onto my old system. To me, thats being a little cheap when you expect MS/Sony to bail you out because you decided to trade in your system for next to nothing, because you couldnt wait till you could save enough (like $500 which anyone should be able to save in a few months) to just buy it outright. But I do recognize that there are pople who never owned an older xbox or whatever so BC is like an added bonus to them
  • Most people I know don't "trade" their old system in. You get ripped off for it. Most often it is selling it on eBay, Amazon, wherever. And also this statement "$500 which anyone should be able to save in a few months" is false. When you are at the end of paying for every bill, buying food, and all of your other needs are met and you have $10 leftover until the next month.... I don't think you are going to be saving $500 very quickly. You sound like you have a wonderful job that pays you amazing dollars. And because you do not have any issues with money then nobody does. Take off your blinders and look around you. Look at what people are struggling with and then maybe not so many people will be "cheap" to you. It's not about confusion. There is zero confusion. People are calling you out on the fact that you think $500 or $100 is a measly amount. That is a pretty selfish thing to say when most people are struggling to even get by. And you are still arguing with it and refusing to even look beyond yourself. You are the one in confusion.
  • I know it likely won't be feasible, or cost effective. But I would love to see achievements added to Xbox games
  • They already said they won't be adding achievements to them.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • From the original interview, Phil said "Xbox Live is on iOS, it's on Android, we talked about cross-play with Switch, and it's obviously on PC and Xbox." RIP Windows phones. Windows Mobile has turned into Kinect; Microsoft refuses to publicly say the name anymore. Ouch.
  • Jesus, does every article have to have something to do with your dead phone OS?
  • Absolutely. As a shareholder, I will criticize them with fervor for their myopic decision to retrench in mobile. They may never recover from that gaffe. Mobile is the future of computing and IoT and they have no presence there now because they decided to toss away the $7.5 billion in acquisition costs of Nokia's mobile unit, and the countless dollars and years it took them to build up market share from nothing to more than 5% globally, with the Number 2 slot in dozens of countries ahead of iOS. The fact that Windows Mobile still exists today, has Xbox achievements, and a major Microsoft executive won't even mention that but will mention its competitors is ludicrous. 
  • They exist in mobile....in software. 
  • A software that no hardware company wants to use
  • A valid point...
  • Shut up you are not a shareholder.... Otherwise you wouldn't be whining, MS financial state is doing Amazing and as a shareholder I don't give a flying eff if they terminate windows or office as long as they keep doing as well as they are doing right now....
  • As i shareholder, i care about their performance, but as a consumer and enthusiast, i do care about how they do it. I'm happy their stock is doing well but i fear their neglect in mobile will come back to haunt them as the mobile device you have in your hand will heavily influence your future hardware and software purchases.
  • Yeah, for *now*. Looks like you suffer from the same myopia that plagues Satya. Now let's see what it's like in 10 years when Windows has contracted to the #3 OS position and IoT is completely dominated by Android and iOS.
  • You realize windows and office are like two of three main cash cows for MS right? You'd be a terrible shareholder..
  • Because that what 90% people here care about.
  • Which is ridiculous because both are great products. I'm a little biased though. It is a little frustrating watching Kinect functionality steadily be less reliable over time. Especially on Xbox One. Kinect used to respond to my voice commands near flawlessly, now it's the rare occasion that it works properly. Also, in before someone claims it is my setup, my individual Kinect or the like. I spent years on Xbox teams, including volunteering to help briefly with Kinect back in the Project Natal days...while I was on a different Xbox team. It just seems like MS is doing so well in certain areas, but really fumbling in the consumer market again. *sighs* One of these days I might feel like going back and seeing what I can do to improve the situation, but to be honest I'm sort of burned out on management there being a bunch of mid-level hacks with a few bright shining stars.
  • The Kinect experience when Xbox One launched in Nov. 2013 was superb. For two years I controlled my entire entertainment system with only gesture navigation and voice commands, and it worked wondrously. Anyone that says it didn't work simply wasn't skilled in using it--like learning to ride a bike for the first time, falling off, and then proclaiming that "bikes are stupid and don't work".
  • Exactly. Someone downvoted you so I made sure to at least get you back to neutral.
  • Much appreciated.
  • If you anger someone on here too much then they just go through every article looking for your name and downvote you. I have at least 2 people that do it to me. When I see it happening I usually try to get people back to neutral as well
  • The kinect did work really well, and the gesture stuff was great. I do think the gaming side of things is better than ever on Xbox but it's a shame about Kinect from both a gaming and a general input mechanism. Have you at least tried disabling Cortana and going back to the old "Xbox" commands (if we can still do that) to get faster performance for voice commands until Cortana is improved?
  • I've done that. Cortana on Xbox One is atrocious which is a shame. I don't see how they screwed that up. They need to move base logic to the console. Not every request should go to the cloud.
  • This happens on mobile too. Not sure why there cannot be a local logic for it. It would really help with performance for Cortana
  • I still use Kinect today and it's still very reliable. You just have to recaliber it once a year to keep the best recognition possible.
    It understand me very well, connect to my account in just 2-3 seconds and I can still use it for some games like Just Dance, Dance Central Spotlight, Forza Horizon (yes, Anna works great and is faster than going to the map and choosing something yourself). It's just a shame that Xbox Fitness is offline now... :/ With the new Xbox Interface, some gestures are killed but all voice commands are still there and for some like me, living in a country where Cortana is not supported on Xbox, you don't have the choice and must still use "Xbox, ..." instead of "Cortana, ...".
    Yes, living in Belgium, the "capital" of Europe gives you the opportunity to choose whether or not you want Cortana on your phone and computer (when you receive your phone or computer, it's off and you must choose French (France) in order to be able to use it) but not on Xbox.
  • I wish Xbox Fitness wasn't killed. Wife and I were trying it out a month before the cancellation was announced.
  • I'm referring to the Cortana integration on Xbox which behaves very differently than the old 'Xbox...' command method. I do re-calibrate every so often when I move or rearrange items or the like. Trust me I know how this works. :)
  • @Random Thoughts, at least for voice control for me, I think it's the best now it's been since I got my original Xbox One its first Christmas on the market. I agree with you and @coip that MS has let Kinect users down, but on speech recognition, I think the Cortana integration has actually been a significant improvement. It also still sees everyone in my family and says hello when they are in the room.
  • Results vary here and there. I have a couple friends where it seems to work well for them, but alas not in my case. I'm considering doing a full console/Kinect swap here soon though. I still have a few months on my extended warranty and I haven't yet tried doing a full swap, just on the original Kinect unit. I doubt it's the console, or two bad Kinect units in a row...but anything is possible.
  • You should sue.
  • This sounds like more Spencer BS.
    Sorry, but all of these companies (including Sony and Nintendo) aren't doing this for the good of gaming. They are doing it for money. First of all, MS and their fans love saying that XB1 is BC. It's actually partial BC since it's around 33% of XB360 and mostly arcade games that are BC. So far there are just 2 XB games BC. It will be less than what they are doing with the 360. Next, for MS, this is a big selling point in trying to sell XB1. But not just that, this is a chance for them to make more money out of these old games. But it's not just that. This gives MS a great chance of bringing a new "exciting" service where people can rent many of these games. Yes, more ways of making money out of these games. And finally, we all know that MS have been making very few announcements of new major games in the last few years. MS doesn't seem to be too interested in investing in new games, but to make up for that they just keep announcing these few (mostly arcade) games are becoming BC. In other words, the focus is no longer on making these new gen AAA games...
    While their competition keeps getting news of new current gen games, they stayed in the spotlight or their focus is mostly due to hardware or BC news. When you see a 2012 COD game gets in the top 10 of NPD thanks to BS, but gets 0 actual current gent exclusive in the top 20, while PS4 and Switch both have multiple games in the chart, it's really sad for XB1 gamers. Great for MS investors though... This works out perfect for them as this allows them to not invest much into new games... 
  • Lots of folks who work at MS truly believe in the preservation of games as art. I know Phil. This is a truly held belief, not posturing on his part. Also the folks in Xbox can chew gum and walk at the same time. Back compat work doesn't hurt new games.
  • I don't know about that. Having trouble running Bulletstorm in Games for Windows Live, a program Microsoft stopped updating a while back. Getting some .dll error.  It is my sincere belief that the BC wasn't done to preseve "art." Far from it. I'd wager that was a very business centric decision.  Not saying it's bad, but companies, especially publicly traded like Microsoft aren't your buddy. They, like you, are looking out for their best interest.
  • So you know more than someone who spent years working in Xbox with these folks? Interesting. Here I thought that me actually knowing all of these folks meant something. Guess you know more. 😉
  • is it possible to do both? BC once the initial engineering work is done, is a way for MS (and the game pubs / devs) to make money from old rope.  Sure from the MS side there is actually a lot of work required (legal, testing and some engineering tuning) ... But if it wasn't profitable, they wouldn't do it.  If people (public)didn't want it, they wouldn't do it.  If the higher-ups at Microsoft didn't want it, they wouldn't do it. For MS, it has a financial, image and goodwill benefit. They didn't have to do it, but the fact they did brought tonnes of positive press for a console that had nothing but scorn since the TV, TV, TV, Call of Duty, TV, TV reveal. 
  • Also, if it was purely financial from Microsoft, they would have charged for BC games you already own. 
  • Dude, Microsoft had a 2-1 lead last generation in the biggest gaming market. If they had begun the new era with that, they wouldn't have added all these benefits.  If you recall when they started, there was no Games with Gold and you had to pay the Xbox live fee to use regular apps on the Xbox One.  C'mon, there's no way you're going to risk having all those people on Xbox 360 move to Sony. If they wanted to do that, they would've done it from the get go. But they did it as a reaction to the market. 
  • How would they have immediately done Games with Gold for Xbox One? That program can only work once there is a library of games that can be given away. Did you expect them to make a brand new game to give you every month? What a bunch of nonsense.
  • PlayStation did. Why couldn't MICROSOFT? 
  • Exactly
  • Over in the playstation camp, we've been getting free games with ps plus from day one. Ive had rocket league for free for at least 2 solid years now..probably closer to 3..
  • @poddie Bunch of nonsense? Like other said. the PS4 has been getting these games since day one.You really should look it up.
  • @TechKnow_IE, yes! Any good business idea only works because it appeals to people. The fact that Microsoft has people who are passionate about gaming running their Xbox division should not be a surprise to anyone. A gaming group run by people who have disdain or apathy for gamers is not likely to survive long at all. But everything that takes investment also needs to pass some business muster -- "In the long run, will this make us better or worse off, as a business?" The answer to that question involves increasing sales, sure, but also player/customer loyalty, engagement (ongoing use), and maybe even things like support for other parts of the business. This can definitely both be because they care about preserving games (I would -- I used to play games on my old Apple ][+ computer that I would love to be able to see again today) and because they have concluded that it's good business, especially given their larger prior-generation install base and tougher fight with Sony this generation.
  • Bingo and believe me there's a ton of passion in many of the folks. There's still some people who work there just for the paycheck, but many of us are very passionate about gaming, and follow that passion. 😊
  • @Random Thoughts, thanks for the passion!
  • There maybe people who believe that, no doubt. But MS is not a charity and I don't belive they are doing it for the good of gaming.  Also I don't believe much that's coming out of Spencer's mouth. For me, it's just communication and I've written why this works out very well for investors... BC shouldn't hurt new games, but there has been a lack of new games and more so since they announced BC in 2015. Constant communication on hardware and BC helps shift focus away from the need to communicate on new games. When they didn't have BC, they had to commnicate on news of new games. 
  • Obviously you are a fanboy. PS4 and Nintendo? Maybe Magical Master Race PC? Come on if its such a big of a deal do something else as a hobby oh wait it costs money and the company makes money who would of thought.
  • Do you have anything else to say besides calling people names? Why don't you comment on the gaming points made and reply with gaming stuff? Yes, they are doing it for money, not for "the good of gaming". That's my point. Spencer with is usual bs. Thanks for agreeing with me...
     
  • The Xbox 360 had a bunch of XBOX BC games. I assume they're gonna go that route. Basically emulated games on an emulated 360 on Xbox One.
  • I would highly doubt they'd go that route. It would be super inefficient. They usually like to engineer something simple, but complex, if that's not too much of a riddle. Essentially they like to find the easiest way to do hard things, rather than overengineer. The original Xbox was a hybrid Intel CPU that was essentially a Pentium III...so a full x86 CPU, and an nVidia-based graphics solution. So essentially very similar to a traditional PC of the era. That's similar to how the Xbox One is architected in many regards, but more advanced [obviously :)] and using custom AMD chips. Still very similar to modern CPUs in almost all regards including the basic instruction sets. You might already know all this, so pardon me if I sound pedantic here. :) So I wouldn't imagine the team would want to have to account for emulating the Xbox 360 PowerPC (think over 10 year old Apple pre-Intel change hardware) just to then load that consoles emulation of a title native to the original x86-based Xbox. To me it would seem far simpler for them to do something similar to the 360 emulation, but with a couple differences. There would likely be no need to emulate hardware. I can see 3 likely, IMO, options. 1. They would create a full game image to download ala current BC that emulates the OG Xbox environment. 2. They run games directly from disc, only downloading shims to redirect game calls to the correct AMD hardware paths instead of the old Intel/nVidia paths. 3. They do some combination of the above 2 options like doing a full image download that is patched with shims or the like to call the correct hardware. Of course that's purely my speculation and thoughts based on the mindset I used to work with there. No idea of current thoughts or directions internally at MS. :)
  • They confirmed it would be how the Xbox One handles 360 games right now (downloading a separate version when you put the disc in). This means they need publisher approval, which will be difficult for 15+ year old games. Some of the publishers don't even exist anymore!
  • I hadn't looked deep into it to see. The last Xbox project I worked on had to do with a concept that's been partially realized and related to the discussion, but that was a few years ago. I shifted to a different role in 2014, and then left last year. So thanks for clarifying that they confirmed the image download. In that case then I think it likely it would be a modified image with code shims downloaded as opposed to full emulation, but again that's just my working mindset from 3 years ago.
  • Exclusive games are the worst deal possible for the consumer.. Stop defending it.
  • Indeed. While having some first party banner stuff like Mario, Halo, Uncharted, etc. is ok (at least to me) I prefer most franchises titles get the widest release they can handle. Games are meant to be fun and accessible to everyone (ratings and style notwithstanding).
  • @Random Thoughts Can't believe you guys are trying to defend what MS are doing. A console maker is investing money making new games for their customers.  The story is clear, they are investing money to make games so that their console is more attractive. You would prefer a console maker to not invest in making enw games for their consumers? You prefer them to invest money on cheaper deals to delay 3rd party games for other platform owner? How does that make your platform more attractive? Ultimately, it's best for companies to invest on making new games. It's not great if they don't, or just make timed deals and they try to mislead consumers into thinking they are "exclusives".
  • Nice strawnman.
  • @Random Thoughts wow great comeback. So many great arguments... LOL You are agreeing to the guy saying a company investing on making exclusive game is the most anti-consumer deal for us.
    We know that platform invest to make games for their platform. That's how it is and how it's always been. Nintendo makes games for their consoles, Sony does the same and so does MS. So what's the alternative to them investing in making games?
    Well, not investing in making games or investing in time deals. 
     
  • I would not accept exclusives in other markets forcing me in any way. Why should I do it in this market? We are not defending MS because they arent doing anything wrong. We are attacking paid exclusives which are just retarded and anti-consumer behavior.
  • @Giddora
    "We are not defending MS because they arent doing anything wrong."
    HAHAHA ofc they aren't doing anything wrong in the eyes of their fans. Company fans like yourself are hilarious... Even if we consider your point about exclusives, you're contradicting yourself because Halo 5 is not on PS4.  No one is forcing you to do ANYTHING. A company is investing THEIR OWN money to put games on THEIR OWN platform. Buy it if you want. Paid exclusives is money invested into making new games.  The alternative is not investing into making new games. MS are kinda doing this and investing money to delay 3rd party games. You guys are hilarious.
     
  • @Giddora What nonsense; A company investing and making games for it's consumers is anti-consumer?  So you prefer a company (MS) that doesn't invest in making new games? LOL You prefer a company(MS) to invest in delaying THIRD PARTY indie games for other gamers? LOL There is a limit to defending MS...
  • Here comes Debbie Downer.
  • Do you have anything else to say besides childish name calling? Why don't you comment on the gaming points made and reply with gaming stuff? Why don't you stop trolling?
  • Please stop talking. 
    Everyone knows you're the troll here. 
    There's a reason you are clocking in at negative 17 downvotes.
  • "Please stop talking. "
    I talk gaming and I'm talking about the news article. I've given my opinion on Spencer's comment and provided enough reasons and facts to support my opinion. You are just off-topic and using childish name calling with ZERO gaming argument.  If you don't like my opinion and facts why don't you try to counter them with gaming points. If you can't reply with gaming argument, why don't you just ignore it? If my posts upsets you, don't read them. :) Yes, there is a reason why I got so many down votes and so few people who actually replied with gaming arguments. There appear to be a lot of MS/XB fans here who obviously can't take any criticism their beloved MS gets.  If you think down votes and getting trolled by company fans calling me childish names will stop me from posting my opinions and facts about gaming then you're wrong. I don't really care if you are hurt when I criticise your beloved company. Sorry but I don't care about upsetting company fans, I care more about gaming... :)
  • What money it's all second hand... I haven't seen a brand new OG XB game in store for years... And they don't make money out of selling consoles, just like HP doesn't make money out of selling printers.... And only arcade games??? I have downloaded every single XB360 games on GwG and you have a ton of regular games... So you have pretty much no clue what you are talking about....
    Yeah sure MS is not a charity.. But they have been doing some great things that directly benefit us without really generating money directly for them.... But goodwill can be a big strength for them in the future... Today I have an XB with close to 200 games of which I payed full price maybe 3 and a 40 bucks XBL gold sub.... Tell me an other device with that much brownie points....
  • Yeah. Goodwill is actually a line item on the balance sheet. Loyalty has value. Doing good things for your customers is good business (provided it's not too expensive), because it encourages customers to come back to you again and again and positive word of mouth. Conversely, alienating or angering customers is bad business because you drive customers away, even if you have something they may otherwise have been willing to buy. But, I would also say that there is also specific business logic here -- if a gamer buys an Xbox One in part because of Backward Compatibility, that gamer is still much more likely to buy additional Xbox One new games than if that gamer instead only bought a PS4. Because Xbox has such a large user base, anything that encourages them to stick with Xbox as opposed to jumping over the Playstation is a strategically sound business move that will result in an aggregate increase in game and game license revenue. Of course, just because something makes a company money doesn't make it a bad thing! On the contrary, we should want the companies we like to make money so they can stay in business. We want them to make good profits so they can afford the R&D to grow and innovate, rather than just barely survive. I'm not sure where or how "profit" became a dirty word among the ignorant, but it shouldn't be. Most (admittedly not all) great advances in technology and standard of living over the course of human civilization have been driven or accelerated by entrepreneurs' pursuit of profit, whether his personal use of that profit took the form of a roof over his head, an extra cow in his field, better care for his family, or more money to spend with other entrepreneurs on buying their gaming technology.
  • @GraniteStateColin "Profit" is not a dirty word. But when someone like Spencer is claiming that they are doing it for the good of gaming I guess we can think it's bs and marketing/ PR talk. The main thing is that if profit is made by making anti-gaming policies than it's not really great. It will just encourage more of these anti-gaming policies. As an example, if a company puts microtransactions and play to win in a $60-99 game and makes a profit doing it, then what stops him from taking it to the next level next time? If a company doesn't invest in making new games but rely on renting old games what's the use of the profit?
  • @Guest_aotf, I agree with your statement, "if profit is made by making anti-gaming policies than it's not really great. It will just encourage more of these anti-gaming policies." I also agree with you that the microtransaction example would be bad. However, I don't think those apply to Microsoft's Xbox policy. On the contrary, it's a pure win for customers that they're adding support for older games. The only downside I could see (and you did hint at something like this too), would be IF the rate of new game deveolpment dropped notably because of the backward compatability. Because the guys who write the games are not the same guys who work on the OS or backward compatibility, and because the vast majority of games are third party games anyway, there is no reason to believe that is the case. No, backward compatability just gives people whose old Xbox or Xbox 360 that died or is no longer connected to the TV (boxed up or sold for next to nothing on ebay or in a yard sale for being obsolete) a way to go back and play their old games again, mostly probably for nostalgia. As Sony rightly points in their attempt to bash backward compatibility -- for buying a new game, very few people are going to buy a 10-year old game. But that's a misdirection by Sony, because that's not their purpose.
  • "Because the guys who write the games are not the same guys who work on the OS or backward compatibility, and because the vast majority of games are third party games anyway, there is no reason to believe that is the case."
    True, people working on BC aren't the same making games, but that's not really what I was saying. I'm not trashing the feature. I've always said the partial BC is a plus for the XB1 vs the PS4. I thought it's a cool feature way back in 2015 when the announced it. I initially believed in Spencer. Like you said if the rate of new game development dropped because of BC. 
    The problem is that since that E3 there hasn't been many AAA announcements. The annual forza and Halo wars 2 at gamescom. Gamescom 2015
    Halo Wars 2  E3 2016
    Forza Horizon 3 Gamescom 2016
    - E3 2017
    Forza 7 So there is a dropped in major console exclusives compared to earlier. We can't say for sure if that's because of BC BUT the BC has help MS communicate or focus more on BC games and let them get away with not having many new games. When we actually list the announcements it's quite clear that there was a drop. That's the point...
     
  • Well, actually, I'm sure they get a cut when they sell an OG Xbox game through the Windows Store.
  • @JMV83
    "And they don't make money out of selling consoles, just like HP doesn't make money out of selling printers...."
    Do you have link to that? And in any case, you do know how the business model works?
    "And only arcade games???" 
    Can't you read? I said "mostly" not "only".
    "doing some great things that directly benefit us without really generating money directly for them"
    I don't think you read my post. I said it's win-win for them because they can avoid spending on making new games as a lot of the focus is shifted to ways of playing these old games.
    "Today I have an XB with close to 200 games of which I payed full price maybe 3 and a 40 bucks XBL gold sub.... Tell me an other device with that much brownie points...."
    I honestly don't understand what you meant by that. Sorry...
  • Agreed. And reports keep coming out that BC usage figures are single digit percentages. It's barely worth it. Plus people like me just keep the old hardware..
  • Reports keep coming? Last I checked those reports were thoroughly debunked.
  • You would be incorrect...
  • Oh I would be, would I? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha... That's hilarious.
  • how could they be debunked when they're straight usage data garnered from the console makers? Provide your sources....i will wait...
  • OMG aotf (what does that stand for again?) do you have nothing better to do with your time than troll articles on WC?
  • Can you stop going off-topic and try to troll me? Why don't you try talk gaming? You don't need to accuse me of trolling just because I criticise a company to you seem to like... I've given my opinion on Spencer's comment and provided enough reasons and facts to support my opinion. If you don't like my opinion and facts why don't you try to counter them with gaming points. If you can't why don't you just ignore it? If my comment/facts upset you, down vote me. Go on do it, if that makes you feel better. :) (Even though I feel like you already did LOL)
  • I think there is nothing to read too much into this. The backward compatibility is a great program for console. I for one have games that would love them to be able to run on the current generation PC or consoles.
  • How do game developers feel about this? Do they think it is a waste of time?
  • A lot of devs have been bringing back their old games. Even rockstar has brought back old GTA series in mobile. Developers will keep cashing in on their old games. Sega is an example of that. They'll put their games on any platform.
  • Phill is one of a kind.
  • He's actually one of the best Xbox ceo since Michael Moore, Robbie Bach and the short bald guy, i don't remember his name. Those guys really pushed Xbox out there and knew what gamers wanted. The idiot who ran Xbox one on the first year was a dumb ass.
  • J Allard, perhaps? To be honest I wish at times some more of the older top team was still around. Not bashing current folks, but adding someone like J back in the mix would be interesting.
  • Were they promoted or did they leave microsoft?  Michael Moore was my favorite.  Everyone in the gamign industry respected him.
  • J left after the Courier project was canceled. He runs a company based out of Portland now. I think he'd felt slapped in the face too many times over his projects being shelved/cancelled. I don't think he's ever stated that publicly...but I know how it feels to have people who can't see far enough ahead at MS wind up in a position of power over you. Mind you I also had many years of great experiences too.
  • I used to like, respect and believe him. Imo is true colours are starting to show. I don't think he is good for the brand and gaming. He has been in charge for more than 3 years now and the number of major first party games dried up. When I look back, he was truly part of the initial XB1 launch. I don't think he has done much to gaming/gamers as a whole...  
  • I really hope that the classic Tomb Raider games get backwards compatibility, to preserve them for players who don't like the reboot.
  • Pseudo-intellectual blah-blah
  • Xbox One X is on the way and it will be better than PS4 and we still talk about classic xbox games... Looks like the older games are a lot better and people want it more now. Microsoft may won the battle against PS4 on specs, but Microsoft forgot some things. Why somebody buy the Xbox One X? To play indie games, that their graphics have nothing to do with current era of video games? PS4 put first the VR support, and they have better AAA games and more exclusives. The biggest weapon of Xbox One is the backwards compatibility. Many friends of mine agree with it. Because you can play real backwards compatibility and not like in PS4 were not a physical disc is not playable from older consoles and you have to buy the game again. So Microsoft hope you won't kill this feature now or in the future. This is the last real exclusive staff on Xbox and people don't want to lose it.
  • Believe it when i see it.Cmon for Xbox One X due out soon,mega LoLz..🎮🕹
  • Well, I'm stll on the physical game train. When you stick in your Xbox 360 game, it downloads a Patch, or the whole game from Microsoft's servers.  This is completely emulation on the Xbox one. I did enought reading about it. Microsoft has the resources on their server side applications (virutal machines, server emulation, etc) to do this on the console. Now looking over the base hardware in the Xbox one (the orignal one), it far better in spec than the 10 year old Xbox 360.  This is why you didn't see this type of thing on the PS4, as Sony does not have the "built in" resorces at Sony. So the fact that this is just a well done emulation setup, If you have your old console, hold on to it. As when the Xbox X4 is out (3-4 from now), and the Xbox One's connection to Xbox live is no more supported. It's possable that you could never be able to play these games again. It's nice that someone at Microsoft sees games as Art. I have always felt the same about the subject. I started gaming on the Atari 2600 and almosdt every system from then.  There is not just the beauty of the game's graphics (and even in NES games there is a level that just fits the game), it's the story that it tells, and how you progress through the game in the story.  As well as the thought done for the detail on your multi-player games. There is so many aspects to games that you just cant get in a movie or music (other forms of digtal art). Anyway about it, nothing beats playing on the orginal system with the original controllers. It's what you remember about classics and it completes the feel of each game.
  • yes, thank fully bluray players are backward compatible with dvd
  • For the 1st gen Xbox: Project Gotham Racing 1 & 2, Midtown Madness