After you’ve waited a little bit for the edge on that title to sink in, do hear me out. First of all, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I was excited when this first was announced. Since owning my Xbox One I have become somewhat of a Halo aficionado, I’ve played all from Combat Evolved to the weird stepson of 3, 3: ODST, and have thoroughly enjoyed them all. The only piece of the puzzle missing is Reach, which some would call the best to date. So, naturally, I am pleased! Now I finally get to experience the entire saga, learn about the truth behind those ominous words on the walls, wrought in blood in ODST: ‘Remember Reach’.
But that’s it. Seriously… that is all I can do. I can play Reach. The only other 360 exclusives that I know of were Alan Wake, and Left 4 Dead (barring Gears of War which I suspect will be available for Xbox One), both of which don’t interest me. I played, and continue to play titles from the last generation on my PS3 perfectly fine. The conference made no indication that backward compatibility would provide graphical or framerate buffs, so I assume it would play just the same as if it were on the 360. Yes, I suppose it is convenient to have the option to play 360’s games without having to switch a simple HDMI cable, but other than that Backward Compatibility provides no other advantages in terms of features; Microsoft at no point alluded to the idea that game saves were transferable, so in this sense it is actually worse to emulate on your Xbox One. Backward compatibility is only a moderately pleasant convenience.
So why did almost every gamer friend I have experience some sort of divine euphoria when this was announced at E3? It scares me… it scares me that my friends are being excited by the notion that they can play their own games. Is this a sign that us gamers have been so desensitized by underwhelming E3 announcements and the subsequent disillusionment, that this is what we really get pumped about? Microsoft selling us our own games? I mean, it’s not bad, but it’s not Half Life 3. I find it hard to believe that this was a difficult feature to incorporate, since Blu-ray players have always been able to interpret DVD and HD-DVD disks, and to port over the 360 operating system would probably have been a simple task upon release, as it has been done countless generations before (Wii can read Gamecube, PS3 can read PS2, Xbox 360 can read Xbox etc).
That’s all, folks. Just wanted to express my confusion toward this unexpectedly cheery reaction for Backward Compatibility. Moral of the story, don’t get too excited about the idea that you can continue to play your own games at the exact same specs.