In a shocking bout of “it’s about goddamn time” the head of X-Box, Phil Spencer, announced that X-Box One will will be backward compatible with X-Box 360 games. Throughout the years you’d sometimes hear Playstation implying it might go backward compatible, and for a minute the Playstation 3 had backward compatibility but it did not last and absolutely no console has done it until now. What makes this trend a steaming load of BS is that you buy all these games and suddenly a new console comes out and you’re stuck with games that are no longer supported and eventually can’t do a thing with but get a dollar for each of them from Gamestop. So Microsoft gets a huge round of applause from this write for finally doing what game consoles should have done 20 years ago.
With the exception of the change from cartridges to disks, which arguably made a lot of sense because this is where technology was going. However since the Playstation 2 and eventually the X-Box we’re had console changes with no real effort to help gamers out by making sure the new version could play old games. Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony World Wide Studios said that Sony has no plans to follow Microsoft in this trend. In and interview with Eurogamer Yoshida said, “There must be lots of engineering effort. They talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don’t know.”
Okay, let’s be clear on something right now. The decision not to make newer consoles backward compatible is a design decision, not an engineering miracle. If any company decides to do it from the design stage than it can be done. Yoshida’s comments to Eurogame represents a corporation idea that people are just too stupid to see the obvious. We’re talking about a machine being able to read data off a disk. For instance a computer being able to play the same blu ray disks as a blu ray player or Mac & PC being able to read the same kind of image or video files. When Apple decided not to support Flash, because of totally BS rationale, they simply designed their products not to be able to read Flash video. I promise you that the design for an Apple tablet has just as many design complications as a video game console. So don’t try to tell us that somehow experience video game companies are suddenly flummoxed by how to make their console read older games.
So kudos to XBox head, Phil Spencer, for having the balls to break a trend that needed to stop since the Playstation 2. And XBox is doing it using a method Torrent creators have been using since it replaced PSP programs – making the games downloadable. Microsoft is saying that if you own an XBox 360 game you will be able to download it to the XBox One and play it. Unfortunately this is going to make game disks useless, but at least if you’re going to lose your game disks at least it because of a upgrade that does not only benefit the gaming company’s pockets.