Xbox Exec Criticizes Sony's Backward Compatibility Stance

Posted June 08, 2017

Rather than pull out their old systems to play, gamers plead with execs to just let them play old games on their new systems.

In an interview with Time earlier this week, Sony Head of Global Marketing and Sales Jim Ryan said that "when we've dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much". "That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?" According to Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Xbox, players want backward compatibility and Microsoft wants the community to enjoy the best games of the past, present, and future.

Phil Spencer has also provided more details on how the backwards compatibility service would work on Project Scorpio as we get closer to launch.

A sample of nearly 1 million active Xbox One accounts obtained by Ars Technica showed that only 1.5 percent of the more than 1.65 billion minutes of Xbox One usage time was spent using backwards compatibility. This means that reports like the one conducted by Ars Technica are released and show that from a pool of almost a million Xbox Live users, only 1.5 percent of their collective time is spent revisiting old games.

Call of Duty: Black Ops was the most popular backward-compatible Xbox 360 game in Ars Technica's September to February sample, but only three out of every thousand Xbox One users plays it.

Check out the full "Xbox Unleashed" feature for a whole lot more data about console usage on both the Xbox One and Xbox 360, as well as analysis of what games people own on each system.

Mike Ybarra has shared a comment on Sony's statement over the backward compatibility feature. Ever since, a slow-drip of 360 games has migrated to the Xbox One's store each week.

As you can see, if Ryan is anything to go by, backwards compatibility isn't coming to the PS4 anytime soon.

Sony has also previously stated that part of the reason why they are so hesitant to offer backward compatibility is that it's actually incredibly hard to design or redesign a console to allow for that feature.