Microsoft: 'If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards'

Xbox business head Don Mattrick says only 5 percent of consumers play past-gen games on new systems.

Head of Microsoft's Xbox division Don Mattrick has spoken out to say the Xbox One not featuring backwards compatibility is not much of an issue.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Mattrick said only 5 percent of gamers play past-generation titles on new machines.

Thus, it would not make sense to invest time and resources into creating technology to allow gamers to play older games on the Xbox One, he said.

"If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards," he said.

The Xbox One will not support Xbox 360 games and Xbox Live Arcade titles players have purchased over the years will not be compatible on the next-generation platform.

The PlayStation 4 is not backwards compatible with physical PlayStation 3 discs or PlayStation Network games, though Sony's partnership with Gaikai will allow users to stream older titles on the new system.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

3776 comments
Challak
Challak

I have a massive library of previous gen games, most (about 60%) I haven't had a chance to play yet. While the new console has some attractive features, it's not enough to convince me to switch right at the start. I'll keep myself busy with an amazing library until a significant price drop happens to justify having three generations of the same system on my entertainment center shelves. 

If they said the latest console was backwards compatible? Would have bought it at or very near launch. Honestly.


As is, I'm slowly moving over to the (almost) EVER backward compatible world of PC. I made the switch largely because of the news that yet another console wouldn't let me play my current library along with the new. If you'd asked me this time last year PC or Console? I would have said Console. I might not be alone in this, but I think this whole line of thinking put forward by this Mr. Mattrick is bogus. Just my thoughts based on personal experience and the sentiment I've picked up from a lot of other gamers around me.

Jak-25
Jak-25

I guess I am in the 5%( I hugly doubt only 5 ( I really doubt this is true), I love backwards compatibility and I really think it's a very underrated feature. I really wish the PS4 was fully backwards compatible with PS1, PS2 and PS3 games. I know these companies and the fanboys hate backwards compatibility. but I think it should be standard now, We had it before and not including it is going backwards to me. I would prefer to have 1 console that can do more rather than multiple consoles that do less.


This is why I think PC is superior to consoles, your games always transfer to your new PC while with consoles, it's not the case. Once your console dies it's games die along with it. But I guess fanboys don't care, but I do!

senjutsu
senjutsu

What a lame stupid thing to say: "only 5 percent of gamers play past-generation titles on new machines". Dah, we CANNOT. Tell me only 5 percent WOULD LOVE TO do it and I'll say he knows somethings. Now we simply know he's an imbecile...

Disconap
Disconap

It's only backwards if you don't plan to sell any systems to the larger market within the first two years. Stats are great years after release, but I bet if that stat read anything involving the first 2-3 years of the last gen releases, that number would be closer to 30-40%. I tend to wait about 2 years into a system cycle at this point, and the only exception was the ps3, because despite the few titles at launch, the backward compatibility and blu-ray made it worth the purchase, since I could watch blu rays and DVDs AND had a decade old game library to compliment the few available at launch. So keep that attitude, ms, it's done wonders in your battles with Apple, who gain market share from you every year.This is the same short sighted business acumen we've grown to expect from Microsoft, who don't seem to believe that the desire of their market should have anything to do with their development, and it's ultimately insulting.

StratosTygo
StratosTygo

When I heard him say that "you're really backwards" I wanted to smash his head with the Xboned

bionickraken49
bionickraken49

Nintendo can easily take over the video game market. The Wii U is already out. The PS4 isn't out yet and neither is the Xbox One, which everyone hates already. All Nintendo has to do is release a lot of great games for the Wii U and 3DS before or when the other systems come out, and they win.

jark888
jark888

"5 percent of consumers play past-gen games on new systems" sounds like bullshit to me.

CharlesBurns
CharlesBurns

The PS4 is potentially backwards compatible all the way to the original Playstation with their streaming partnership with Gaiku.

I doubt I'd use it but it's nice to have.

Grizzly-99
Grizzly-99

So It´s like  a mobile phone filld with stuff I won´t need.

It seems that gaming on consoles is dying.

I want a gaming system not a whell wathever it is going to be.

So what will happen if my X-box 360 suddenly dies? I have over 100 games for the 360.

Please listen to what your custumers want!

Is it really that hard to make a console backwards compatible?

And what about DlC for the 360? I need to be online to play some DLC.

What happens when ( if ) the ervers for the old system shuts down?


I bougth the 360 at launch but this time if and that is a big if I buy it I will wait untill I see if it is worth it or if Sony makes a better console.


So I am ending this with a quote from  Michael Jackson.

All I wanna say is that They don't really care about us

/Grizzly-84



demonicwinner
demonicwinner

Insulting your customers is a good way to lose them, I've put a decent amount of hours into original xbox titles, like the splinter cell series,fable and more, and on ps3 I've re-beaten the older MGS series at least 10+ times ontop of the 8+ times I already beat them on ps2 and playstation 1, games like these are story-rich and someone who plays a game for more than just graphics will turn to older games, cause back then they relied on a deep story cause they didn't have the technology they do today, and if you want to experience that story again you have to play that backwards-compatible game, it's not like game devs are re-making original games with new graphics. It's VERY ignorant for anyone to arrogantly say that anyone who plays older or backwards-compatible games is "backwards", MS also said their target age group is 21 - lmao I'm 21 and because over 200+arcade games I've bought won't transfer and the new xbox isn't backwards compatible I'll skip the new xbox and go with a ps4. I've had XBL and org xbox since first release I was only around 12 then and have been a devoted member, they're losing my money now, at one point or another I've bought almost every single 360 game with over 83k gamerscore, all the money I'll be spending on games and consoles now goes to PS3/PS4.

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

5% plays backward compatible games, who cares?
10% of people aren't connected to internet, who cares?
10% of people are tinfoils worried of privacy, who cares?
5% of people import games, who cares?
5% of people oppose kinect requirement, who cares?
10% of people  don't want another tv, who cares?
30% of people buy consoles for games and nothing else, who cares?

Assuming there is no overlapping, they don't care about 75% of their customer base. Good luck with that goal of billion sales.

SoulxReaperx366
SoulxReaperx366

Maybe it's 5% because 360 was only backwards compatible with a select few games? Idiotic biased studies they show. How about you have a survey where you ask them if they would play those games on the new system?

daveyf03
daveyf03

So arrogant these days, just like Sony was in 06.

zisek
zisek

When MS used HDDVD everyone bitched about it and said Bluray was way better..... now obviously when MS switches to bluray the x1 wont be able to play HDDVD games anymore, and therefore everyone is bitching about this.....

bluespire1
bluespire1

I read the somewhere that many players trade in their old games for new one's  and trade in their old console for new one's  to me its not worth Gamestop  will sell you a game for 59.99 and then like 10 days later trade it in and they will buy it back for 9.00 and that's with thire stupid card its not worth it I still have all my old systems  the oldest I have is hre Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast. and keeping my current one because most systems are not backwards compatible anyway except the playstation 2 the best system 

 

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Microsoft really needs to stop having their executives and staff talk. Lately, they have REALLY been digging a hole for themselves with the gaming fanbase. First Adam Orth, now this clown.

amberpelt
amberpelt

Microsoft: Sorry Amberpelt, it seems we don't need or care about gamers anymore. You're going to have to go.

Amberpelt: But... but why. I had so many good times on your consoles. Please don't do this to me.

Microsoft: Amberpelt, Go... just go.

Amberpelt: Well, *Tears up a bit* I guess this is goodbye. *leaves*

(Brief interlude)

Sony: Well, hello Amberpelt. We've been expecting you.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

i really want to know how one can be so far removed from the situation and still be in positions of power and wealth.

Its as if these folks are from a completely other planet every time they open their mouths...

ryanPwnZzDoA
ryanPwnZzDoA

so "only" 5% which is 3,500,000, does anyone else realize that more than the total system sold of xbox 360's in the period of 5 months of  it release!, and total systems sold about 70,000,000 million! worldwide to date

RedLegZeff
RedLegZeff

Hmm, I hate to sound like a jerk, but that's one of the reasons I like pc's. If a game does get too out of date to work properly, someone makes a patch, and sometimes an hd pack, and crazy mods. Well, sticking seperate hardware in just to play old games, which creates heat, creates more to go wrong, and costs more, just isn't a great idea. I still bust out my old systems from time to time. Hmm, where is my snes?

mokalid
mokalid

backwards!?  microsoft is really backwards these days

brok
brok

Of course only 5% play old games on new systems. New systems have such poor BC capabilities that for most people it's not really even worth it. The problem is the lack of proper BC support- the numbers wanting BC are most definitely there.

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

Yeah, according to their business model it makes sense, because they assume the decisions they made for the consumers are right. This is also what they did with Windows 8. And they expect customers to follow. And back-ward compatibility isn't the only problem. Maybe they'll wake up, because as it stands Sony will crush them.

Atombomb1981
Atombomb1981

Yeah, it's really nice to periodically add additional consoles to your collection and plug/unplug the corresponding console according to the selected game. Even better, throw away the past versions and keep the latest one. Forget about all the games you own or, if you are lucky enough, re-buy them, in case new versions ("compatible" with the new console) are re-released. That really makes sense for the consumers.

videogamer008
videogamer008

i am guess i am in the 5% catagory, i guess but i will buy the newest gaming consoles because i LOVE SONY and Mircrosoft

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

"If you're really backwards you won't be backwards compatible"

rodier3
rodier3

That is lie.. Im working in game shop and we sell lots of games on ps2. But yes,  only 5% people play on old xbox, because it was rubbish :-D 

senjutsu
senjutsu

@bionickraken49 LOL, just no. The WiiU is already doomed. Lots of compagnies already said they stopped working on any new games for the system. And since it's the same price as the PS4... I don't even see the point.

zeus9860
zeus9860

@bionickraken49


Dumbest reply i read in this website. Implying that releasing many good games is going to change things that much, lol... Quick hide yourself before things get even dumber around here!


If nintendo was to take over the market, they would have to release a console with something unique, which is what they are good witg, making unique experiences with their systems, the games are really awfull and the console can't express the same feeling as other systems of the same generation if the specs used in it aren't that good. It's like saying that most people will love to play low video quality games over high quality games, and we know that ain't the truth these days.

senjutsu
senjutsu

@jark888 He said "play", not "would love to play". lol. He's pretty much laughing at us. In fact, we're not playing much older games because we can't. I play lots of PS1 games (always the same in fact), but I'd LOVE to play PS2 games, but I can't... 

Disconap
Disconap

I just replayed Parasite Eve last week. That's a Playstation 1 title, in case you're not familiar with it...

jimmyt1988
jimmyt1988

@Grizzly-99 Unfortunately it is quite difficult to make a system backwards compatible.. and it also jeopradises the current iteration of the system.


Backwards compatible requires DirectX 9.0. DirectX 9.0 needs to be updated with the new hardware in the XboxOne, this in itself is a huge huge investment to the hardware manufacturers who build the device drivers and to Microsoft who will need to continue support for it.

Secondly, adding such a library to the XboxOne would mean everyone who doesn't want to play backwards compatible... will still have this stuff in their console.

Thirdly, an emulation of an old game still requires updates of DirectX 9.0 to the new hardware.. that would require the same amount of effort as problem 1.

This is why at this very moment, Microsoft are concentrated on the new market rather than straight away investing time and money in updating old crap.

Perhaps in due course, they will write drivers to interact with DX9.. but at the moment.. it's not such a big deal considering you can still buy XboX360 and play your games on there. <shrugs>

skittzo_s
skittzo_s

@zisek The xbox 360 has a standard DVD player not a HDDVD player, the HDDVD player was an add on for movies which they were competing against the Blu-Ray. 

fourclawrider
fourclawrider

@rodier3you're not reading the title right "...only 5 percent of consumers play past-gen games ON NEW SYSTEMS" meaning while there may still be a large number of people playing past-gen games, they do so on their respective past-gen consoles instead of playing them on current gen consoles - which is kind of logical since most consoles aren't backwards compatible to begin with making Mattrick's statement kind of hollow.

bionickraken49
bionickraken49

@zeus9860 @bionickraken49 Yeah, you're right. Releasing a lot of good GAMES on a video GAME system that was invented for the sake of playing GAMES will do nothing. But a TV will surely help.

jark888
jark888

@senjutsu @jark888Microsoft: "If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards." Before the latest Xbox launched, many of us assumed it would call Xbox 720 because it came after Xbox 360. But, instead, it called Xbox 180 (its new nick name after their policies reversal). What an irony.

jark888
jark888

@Disconap I know this one; the 3rd birthday on PSP is the latest one in the serie.

senjutsu
senjutsu

@christrules0041 @CharlesBurns They bought Gaikaï (not Gaiku), and for 380M$, not 1B$. But it's still not confirmed as how this will work. Will you have to buy them again on PSN to stream them? Or you'll be able to put the disc in the PS4 to authenticate, then you can stream the game? Hard to say.