Microsoft has said that nearly half of Xbox One owners have taken advantage of the machine's backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games.
Now over 300 back compat titles,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer tweeted. Nearly 50% of XB1 owners playing BC games is great to see. Thanks for supporting the program.”
The success seemingly disproves the conventional theory that backwards compatibility, while a heavily requested feature among those looking to buy a new console, is actually quite rarely used in the wild, and soon forgotten about once users get stuck into a console's more modern titles.
Indeed, Sony said as much in June 2015 when PlayStation Europe boss Jim Ryan told MCV of Microsoft's backwards compatibility announcement: It is an entirely legitimate approach, and if you are seeking to upgrade 360 owners to Xbox One, it is a very logical approach to take. We are just taking a different path.
Unfortunately there are just not sufficient enough software engineers in the world for everyone to do everything. Each platform holder has to make their choices, we made one and they made another. We have experience of backwards compatibility. The earliest PS3 model was backwards compatible with PS2, and it is a much requested feature… but actually it's not so greatly used.”
However, Xbox One's decision to go this way has had a very real effect, with older titles seeing a boost in sales when backwards compatibility is announced. There are now over 300 Xbox 360 games that work on Xbox One – that's both physically and digitally, too.
Sony does offer some options in this area, with some older titles getting digital releases. There is also its PlayStation now streaming service, which is also available on PC.