Phil Spencer wants to extend Xbox backwards compatibility to PC

Ben Parfitt
Phil Spencer wants to extend Xbox backwards compatibility to PC

The prospect of official emulation of original Xbox games on PC looks like it could be a realistic one.

Microsoft announced this week that it is adding backwards compatibility with original Xbox games to the existing Xbox 360 compatibility already available on Xbox One.

When asked by PC Gamer whether this could also extend to PC, Xbox boss Phil Spencer suggested this could well be the case.

"I want people to be able to play games," he explained. "[Emulation] is hard. Xbox 360 specifically is a PowerPC chip, emulated to x86, which is difficult. It's a little bit easier when you have a fixed spec, when you think about Xbox, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. And you think of the variable specs of the PC space, so you're taking a fixed-spec PowerPC emulator and then moving it over to run on PC, so there's a lot of work there.

"The original Xbox is a little bit easier, because that was an x86 chip it was running on. Obviously when we think about UWP and the ability for games to run across console and PC, we're getting closer. I want developers to be able to build portable applications, which is why we've been focusing on UWP for games and even apps that want to run on multiple devices.

"So I think we've got work to go do there, but I think it's in our future."

Spencer also confirmed that he would very much like to bring Microsoft's Xbox subscription service Game Pass to PC, adding: "We don't have the deep catalog of games on PC that we do on console, so I've had some pushback from the marketing team that, well it wouldn't necessarily be the best feature right now, because we won't have enough games, but I just want to start.

So I'm putting a lot of pressure on the team to go get enough content lined up to do something on the PC, and then make sure we have a long-term commitment to build."

GET EMAIL UPDATES

Subscribe