Head of Xbox division claims only five percent of gamers play older console games on current gen

Mattrick: Backwards compatibility is ‘backwards’

Backwards compatibility on new hardware is just plain backwards, says the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division Don Mattrick.

One of the more controversial aspects of the freshly unveiled Xbox One and Sony’s own PS4 is that neither console provides backwards compatibility for the previous generation of titles.

For Sony, this might be solved through the cloud gaming capabilities of its console, but, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, Mattrick said there isn’t a problem to begin with.

“If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards,” he said.

Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson noted that while some consumers might be initially less prone to buy a console without backwards compatibility due to negative sentiment, in the long run the move could help drive sales "as gamers rebuild their entire library for a new console".

While social research firm Fizziology found that 12 per cent of consumers would be unhappy if the console didn’t include backwards compatibility, Mattrick claimed only five per cent of users would play games from the previous console generation on new hardware.

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