Xbox One Backwards Compatibility

Before Jess and I received our Xbox One at Christmas, we had spent several months weighing the decision of whether or not we would purchase one. A big factor, especially for me, was what and how many games would be backwards compatible.

Many people and sites implied that a large number (but not all) of games will be compatible. However, what they really mean is that a large number of games will be compatible eventually.

Currently the number of titles available to play is only in the hundreds, with hundreds more to come in the coming months according to the Xbox site. An example of how this affects us personally is between a selected handful of our games of Skyrim, Minecraft, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect, only Mass Effect is available for backwards compatibility. Not even the recent release of Dragon Age: Inquisition is currently compatible – and damn do I want to play that game on our new One!

Although Xbox is definitely working towards making a large number of title available for compatibility, I can’t help but wonder how much of this is to encourage the user to splurge and purchase their favorite titles for the One. At least, those title which are already available in re-release for the One such as Inquisition and Minecraft.

There may be a few people out there who are wondering why I’m attempting to make a point of this. Wasn’t this made abundantly clear to me with my research before hand? No, no it wasn’t. And that is why I’m making a point to help others become informed of it.

I consider myself to be an almost-tech-savvy average consumer. I’m into gaming, I browse the internet, and a lot of information about games and games consoles flows into my face on a daily basis. Yet, I wasn’t aware of how slow Xbox would be when it came to making these backwards compatibility. I knew that there were only going to be a certain number of titles available – but in the huge world of available 360 titles, I expected it to stack up a bit more. Also, it’s been a year since the release of the One. In tech-time, a year is…a freaking long time. For Xbox to only have a few hundred titles available out of their thousands is cringe worthy for me. I feel cheated. And I feel the slight was intentional.

If I, an almost-tech-savvy average consumer, didn’t understand the facts behind Xbox’s facade then how would the less than average consumer – aka the older generation – catch it? Although I know many “older” people with an Xbox in their living room and many hours clocked in on it, those are not who I’m referring to. I’m referring to a generic parent archetype whose only awareness of a console is that their child doesn’t like to be away from it for more than five minutes. You know, they type who thinks of gaming as Candy Crush and thinks of surfing the web as Facebook groups. Their kid may try to win them over with an explanation of “backwards compatible” and they may hear “I won’t have to repurchase all of those damned discs”.

And they’ll be wrong. And broke. Because kids. And tech being intentionally slow.

If you’re interested in seeing which of your favorite 360 games are available on the One, head over to Xbox’s site and take a gander! You can even make requests for your favorite titles.


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