Microsoft Explains Why It's Hard to Add More Backward Compatible Games to Xbox

186 20/05/2022

The Xbox Series X director of project management Jason Ronald gives fans insight on why adding more backwards compatibility to Xbox is a challenge.Microsoft Explains Why It's Hard to Add More Backward Compatible Games to Xbox

One of the defining features of the current generation of consoles is their backwards compatibility, allowing players on Xbox Series X to play games from Xbox One and before. While there is a huge amount of Xbox One games that are currently playable on the new hardware, the selection of Xbox 360 and Xbox games is still somewhat limited. The Xbox Series X director of project management, Jason Ronald, likely gets asked about this a lot, but recently he gave fans a solid answer about why adding backwards compatibility for older games can be so challenging.

At the time of writing, 477 games from the Xbox 360's catalog are available for backwards compatibility on the Xbox Series X, while the original Xbox features even less options with only 38 currently available. While this is still very impressive all things considered, there are plenty of popular games that are missing from the list of compatible titles. Now Ronald has opened up and given a few reasons as to why that might be.

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First and foremost, Ronald explains that sometimes making an older game run properly on the Xbox Series X is not technically possible. There are major differences between the original Xbox and the Xbox Series X thanks to the 19 years between them, so this does make sense. Most fans already knew that this issue existed, as it has been the primary reason why backwards compatibility has been excluded from consoles in the past. That said, Ronald goes on to give another reason that many fans may not have thought of before this.

According to Ronald, many of the games that people want to be backwards compatible are being blocked by other things. He continues to say that "in some cases, these developers or the publishers don't even exist anymore," making it harder to make backwards compatibility a reality. It could also have something to do with licensing agreements or a developer's future plans for a franchise. In other words, the situation is a lot more complicated than it may seem to be from the outside.

The takeaway from all this is that backwards compatibility is only getting harder as time moves on. Despite this, Ronald reassures fans that Microsoft hears the feedback being given by fans about which titles they'd like to see and is working hard to try and make those things a reality. Naturally, he doesn't make any promises about timing or name any specific games, but it does seem to be an important matter for Xbox.

The Xbox Series Xis available now.

MORE: Xbox Series X Boosting Frame Rates for Backward Compatible Games

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