Xbox One won’t be backwards compatible, and it’s not like anyone was expecting it to be, really; however, according to Microsoft’s Don Mattrick, such thinking is “backwards” anyway.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Mattrick said only a “small percentage” of customers play older games, therefore, being backwards compatible isn’t fiscally prudent.
“We created something that understands how to be performant for all scenarios and all combinations,” says Mattrick. “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards.”
Sony tried it when PS3 was first released, before eventually removing the hardware chips and culling software emulation with the 40 and 80GB re-releases, the 160GB, and the 2009 slim version. However, before then, the system was backwards compatible with PS2 games.
Compatibility was removed once more developers created games for PS3, and market stauration reached 80-90% by it’s third year on the market. PlayStation 2 even supported PSone titles, and Xbox 360 supported select original Xbox titles.
Most companies – Nintendo and Sony – have switched over to the digital market where gamers can purchase older titles revamped for current-gen consoles.
Now, with next-gen on the horizon, the digital versions of older games purchased won’t work on the newer consoles, which means in order to play them, the consumer will have to hang on to their older consoles. Because progress.