Backwards-compatibility has been a part of gaming for a number of years now. For instance, the Xbox 360 could play select original Xbox titles. The PS3 could play games from the PS2 and PS1. The Wii had full support for GameCube titles and controllers, and the Wii U did the same for the Wii. Those are just a few examples. The point is, backwards-compatibility has been enjoyed throughout the years, but it’s been a popular topic of debate in the last few weeks.
Sony’s Jim Ryan kicked up a storm when he went on record saying that while BC is something that many customers asked for, it’s not a feature that is used quite often. He even went on to say that he doesn’t understand why people want to play older games because of how bad they look by today’s standards. Those comments created a firestorm within the gaming community with some folks agreeing with him, but many others calling him out for being “ignorant”. One company that believes very much backwards-compatibility is Microsoft.
Microsoft just announced recently at its E3 2017 Media Briefing that the Xbox One family of systems will soon be gaining support for original Xbox titles, even to the point where the discs will be compatible. While Sony may be against the feature, Microsoft is embracing it.
Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox, talked about backwards-compatibility during a recent interview with TIME. He highlighted how the Xbox team has designed the Xbox One S and the upcoming X models to enhance older titles from a hardware level, without the developers having to implement changes themselves:
“What I would say, is that on Xbox One S and on Xbox One X, we are applying the performance capability of the hardware to the older games. So without the developer having to touch anything, we’re finding that those games on either Xbox One S or Xbox One X, run at a better frame rate. And frankly due to both TVs today, better black levels and other things, you’re getting a higher fidelity scene.”
Xbox 360 BC was made avaliable over two years ago, and the collection of supported games have continued to grow as the weeks go on.