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The Xbox One and (Lack of) Backwards Compatibility

May 29, 2013

I wish the Xbox One had at least some form of backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360.

The lack of back compat won’t prevent me from buying one on Day 1, but It does mean that

  • I will probably buy just one rather than the four I would need to replace all my Xbox 360s.
  • I will not be buying any new games between now and the time the Xbox One comes out.

The first point could change if it turns out that the Xbox One is actually a Windows Media Center client or can be used as an extender, but I am not holding my breath.

The second point is slightly counterintuitive in that I won’t buy games that I would likely “finish playing” before the Xbox One comes out. Why? Because I like having games in a collection that I could play at any time. This is especially true of Xbox Live Arcade titles that I don’t need to put a disc in to play. Do I play the 75+ Xbox Live Arcade Titles I own regularly? Not many, but I like knowing that I could. The Xbox One takes away that capability and that is enough to make me stop buying games.

Interestingly this view of games makes me the hero of the games publishing industry. Rarely will I resell a game I have finished because then it would be gone from my collection. I could start reselling games, but that is more work that just not buying any more for a while.

Besides this will give me time to actually revisit various aspects (including multiplayer) of many of the Xbox 360 titles in my collection. And revisit some excellent XBLA titles I have acquired over the years.

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