Why I Don’t Give a Heck about Backward Compatibility for Xbox One

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.


5 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Give a Heck about Backward Compatibility for Xbox One

  1. Gamers get excited too easily, now. There’s a lot to be happy about, but why are people freaking out over backwards compatibility? That’s something my Playstation 2 does, with EVERY SINGLE PS1 GAME! As someone who plays on older consoles, I often wonder why people get excited over the gaming news that’s coming out. New games I can understand, but the gimmicks are what leave me puzzled. Backwards compatibility should be standard, Amiibos are just $15 toys that serve the same function as memory cards from the 90s (except they do a lot less), and developers are psychologically manipulating simple-minded people into spending their money on useless DLC by taking advantage of out brains’ reward systems. THANKS, OBAMA!!!

    But seriously, I agree… The announcement of backwards compatibility on the Xbox One for SOME Xbox 360 games does absolutely nothing for me. However, if Sony announced backwards compatibility for Playstation 1 and 2 games, I might need that if my PS2 kicks the bucket.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha, I listen to Co-Optional podcast a lot and they’re always putting amiibos on blast. I haven’t regularly used a Nintendo system since I had a certain limerence for the Wii a few years back, so I’m not really a part of the amiibo hype, but nonetheless I’m glad I’m not. Mandatory plastic DLC all seems very strange to me, I hope I won’t have to actually buy a plastic coin from Tesco now every time I want to by 500 FIFA points for my Xbox One.

    Sony have always been very good with implementing virtual console games onto the PS store; I played the original Metal Gear Solid on my PS3 and it was great, bearing in mind that this was the original and not the Twin Snakes remake. I don’t mind downloading PS1 and PS2 games because usually they usually take a fraction of the storage space that modern games do, I think Metal Gear Solid was less than 1GB.



  3. Well, Microsoft isn’t selling us our own games. I think it’s more like a re-launch of Xbox One.
    As the time goes by, people who didn’t play most or any Xbox Exclusives find few reasons to buy an Xbox 360 and then an Xbox One, so they could try them.
    With this free feature, some Xbox 360 games they own or that they could buy and the opportunity to play them on the same console they’ll use to play new Xbox games is an incentive. The Xbox One sales is having some problems in some countries.
    I understand your point, as I imagine you’re an Xbox player, but the reason why Sony doesn’t feel the need to follow this path is simply because most players who bought the PS4 have a PS3, they’re releasing a lot of remakes and they have PlayStation Now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a fair point, and I hear that Playstation Now has a major streaming issue that makes it quite unattractive to those with reasonable internet. Perhaps now is the best time to equal Xbox’s measures in terms of backward compatibility.

      Liked by 1 person

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