Digital Foundry vs Xbox One backwards compatibility

Digital Foundry:
Right now, as you might expect from early preview code, the virtual machine works and the fact that it does work is simply astonishing. However, as impressive as that is, there are a number of issues. Looking at Mass Effect in particular, we can't help but wonder whether the current CPU virtualisation is as fast as it should be. Clearly there is more work to do, but with a full release due later this year, the engineers still have plenty of time to polish things up. Even considering its current flaws, the state of the virtual machine's capabilities is remarkable: those precious few moments when performance actually exceeds the Xbox 360 gives us just a bit of hope that in the long run, we may actually end up with an improved experience in some games. While we don't know to what extent the current virtual machine can be improved, we'll keep an eye on the progress of this remarkable new feature and report back with our findings in the future.

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Genuine-User1215d ago (Edited 1215d ago )

As expected, some games run worse and some on par/slightly better.

Mass Effect drops as low as 16fps on the Xbox One. However, screen-tearing has been eliminated and real-time cut-scenes run smoother.

I'll be keeping my Xbox 360.

jackanderson19851215d ago

they have mentioned that it is a known bug that's doing this (and to perfect dark) and they're hoping it'll be fixed by full launch.... that'd explain the reason it's in "preview"

ProjectVulcan1215d ago (Edited 1215d ago )

Pretty much any emulation ever is always work in progress. Stability and performance is the aim.

It'll just keep getting more and more refined if Microsoft keep working on it and spending time with it. They have indicated they do indeed have every intention of having a full time team on this.

Give it 18 months and most games will probably work and work pretty well.

lemoncake1215d ago

Yeah some of comments here are crazy, casting judgement on a feature that's in beta and still months from launch, then picking out one bug and trying to condemn it entirely as if this is the norm. If it makes them happy believing what they type and justifys them buying a ps4 instead of X1 then good for them I suppose but in reality it's not the case.

Nirvana315911215d ago

2 reasons why Backwards compatibility failed on the 360

1) emulation always has issues and there is no work around it

2) they need permission from publishers to allow a game to be backwards compatible

Xbox one seems to have the same two issues as evident by the video and the fact that only 22 games are compatible now while they hope to add more around fall.

In short, keep your expectations very low.

4Sh0w1215d ago (Edited 1215d ago )

FIRST its in beta and it already works damm well since I've tried it for myself. SECOND Who would expect perfection from X1's emulation when Mass Effect itself has always had a bit of framerate issues to begin with on Xbox 360???

THIRD I suspect in it's final release BC will work *better but *never perfect; still I'd say as DF attested to even in beta form NOW this emulation works remarkably well= be thankful for something that is really an outstanding FREE addition to a existing game platform.

FOURTH I'm not one of those that's going to bash Sony every chance I get for not having this BC too(already sick of the articles about it, ps4 doesn't have it, move on), #1 it was never promised and #2 I imagine it's very difficult/expensive to do but then every time I see some psfanboy try to knock X1 BC, I smile and lol because it just reminds me of just how huge this new BC from Microsoft REALLY IS compared to the less desirable streaming service that is p$now.

AndrewLB1215d ago (Edited 1214d ago )

Exactly. It's all a matter of optimization, and with Microsoft's resources I doubt it will be an issue. I've seen open source emulators for systems like PS2, Wii, and PSP make enormous jumps in performance in only a matter of weeks... and their development is being done by people in their spare time. A dedicated development team will likely have few problems.


Nonsense. The ideal way to play older games is to use an emulator on PC because you can run super high resolutions with downsampling, proper anti-aliasing, mod with higher quality textures, and much more.

Recently I decided to borrow my brothers Xenoblade Chronicles Wii disc to run it using Dolphin, and here is what it looked like.

And for comparison... standard Wii garbage:

Septic1214d ago (Edited 1214d ago )

You can tell some people are 'genuinely' ready to pounce on this, hoping that it has some problems. The fact that its working like this is pretty impressive, with it actually improving on its predecessors as well, even more so, so forgive me for not taking the concerns seriously.

"Even considering its current flaws, the state of the virtual machine's capabilities is remarkable"

Let it actually launch first as well.

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TheGreatGamer1215d ago

Hold up, you do realize this isn't final code don't you? Hence why it's in a testing phase and ergo only avaliable to preview members

Eterna1Ice1215d ago

Actually, any non-preview members can try it out as long as they have a friend who is a preview member.

Dario_DC1215d ago

Why do people disagree with you???
Keeping your old consoles is the real awnser to play older games the way it should be played!
Having this feature is nice but it runs really bad. I've seen 10fps at one point... The performance need to be fixed and no ammount of excuses/damage control will change that.

Julion07151214d ago

So you looked at your screen and it said 10fps or you jus assuming some bullshit

Dario_DC1214d ago

@Julion- at 03.53 it drops to 10fps!! 7fps less than the original!! You better get some glasses fanboy...
I know the truth hurts but there it is young man, you better pray that MS fixes this or it's gonna end up like the 360 version of the original Xbox backwards compatibility.
Still remember how crappy it was and how fast they droped it? Do you? Guess you don't if you have faith on this...
Keep your old consoles to play your old games.

Sm00thNinja1215d ago

That makes sense lets cast judgement and write off on a product before it's even released to the general public.

Genuine-User1215d ago

Am I not allowed to make a judgement in its current state?
My decision might change in the future, but as of now, I rather have all my games playable, not a selected few and for that reason I'll be keeping my 360.

LexHazard791215d ago

@genuine user, you're entitled to whatever you want. keep your xbox 360 then and let the rest of us enjoy the feature even with its flaws.

MasterCornholio1215d ago

Its done via emulation so there's bound to be some issues with it. People should keep their 360s just in case the XB1s BC doesn't work correctly with the games that they own.

But at least the console is getting BC even though it isn't perfect.

carlosjrix1215d ago

only available in preview program, too early to judge.

christocolus1215d ago (Edited 1215d ago )


There is a reason it's still in preview, to sort out issues like these before launch. lol. "We'll see come launch"?? You make it sound like there wont be any difference between the preview and the final thing and that's why some users here seem surprised by your comment.

Genuine-User1215d ago

"There is a reason it's still in preview, to sort out issues like these before launch."

And that is why I said; we'll see come launch.

I'm not insinuating that we wont see a difference, but I'm keeping my expectations in check.

Bigpappy1214d ago

This is working fine already. Some people want to spin this into DF saying it doesn't work when they have not said that. Games now work on par with 360 for the most part. The improved performance isn't consistent, but it is in beta and is just software which can always be patched and improved. Even as is, it is a far better option than PSnow.

JasonKCK1215d ago

You're reaching pretty far in the bottom of that barrel. Mass Effect drops even lower on 360. It literally drops to about 5fps on a Rachni mission forcing you to fast travel back to the ship. That was the reason why I got it on PC. So 16fps is an improvement.

uth111215d ago

Frame rate was almost always lower during gameplay sequences on Xbox one in their video, hitting 10 fps at one point.

Cut scenes were as good or occasionally better

Spid3r61215d ago

"Looking at Mass Effect in particular, we can't help but wonder whether the current CPU virtualisation is as fast as it should be. Clearly there is more work to do, but with a full release due later this year, the engineers still have plenty of time to polish things up. Even considering its current flaws, the state of the virtual machine's capabilities is remarkable: those precious few moments when performance actually exceeds the Xbox 360 gives us just a bit of hope that in the long run, we may actually END UP WITH IMPROVED EXPERIENCES in some games" BTW I am on the preview program and I have sent MS some feed back on this but is very minimal from what I can catch. Overall the experience is pretty smooth and its only going to get better. MS engineers are Geniuses!!!

dumahim1214d ago

16? They said they hit 10.

"During an explosive encounter during the train sequence in the first mission, we encountered dips as low as 10fps."

umair_s511214d ago

@Genuine-User See the comparision Mass Effect 360 has bad frame rate as well

iTechHeads1214d ago

I can't believe people actually disagreed with you.
Keeping your 360 is the absolute best thing to do if you actually care about playing your 360 games. Emulation is never perfect and XB1 will never get 100% of the 360s game library.

Genuine-User1214d ago (Edited 1214d ago )

Going by the disagrees, 53 people rather play a small selection of emulated games rather than keeping an Xbox 360 around.
Goes to show how unreasonable some of these people really are.

4Sh0w1214d ago (Edited 1214d ago )

Not its not unreasonable at all, not everyone can afford to buy games and systems so easy as many here. Also with over a 100 titles by this year that will come from a most popular voting list= may not be your favorite niche game but surely a large amount of your favorites will be there, plus its going to keep growing.

Ganers on a tight budget can trade in their 360. Hell even local games store allows 360/ps3 trade ins right now as long as its works for $80 towards a X1 or ps4, for some on a tight budget saving $$ while also being able to still to play their favorite 360 games IS HUGE incentive to get a X1. You forget alot of kids and casuals want to go next gen but buying a new console with no BC is like starting completely over for them and they dont want to play just 1 next gen game no matter how hood it is for the next 6months. Sure they could keep their 360's forever but #1 it wont last forever and #2 there is a bargain to be mass, lol you think a few fps from emulation matters to them? NO, not when they could get an X1 and that 1 next game theyve been saving for while also cutting costs -$$ trading in their 360's. Not only is this emulation great right now but it will be better in the fall s. for many looking to upgrade to a X1 but it was just a matter of when this is a no brainer.

medman1214d ago (Edited 1214d ago )

@genuine user

I'm with you...I don't get this backwards compatibility issue at all. I think it's a cool feature, and a nice bonus, but it's not that big a deal for most gamers, in my opinion. In fact, I don't think most gamers go back and play old games all that much, and certainly the many gamers I know don't, and I never really have, despite having multiple consoles over multiple years that I still own, all the way back to an nes. That's the whole point of buying a new console, for new experiences!! If you want to play old games, keep your old consoles...I sure did. And yet the only thing I use my ps3 for is blu ray or netflix, and the only run my 360 gets is the espn app for out of network sporting events, or netflix. Don't even talk about my Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo...I keep those boxed up to perhaps sell one day.

People are touting it as if it's some great coup...and I'm thinking...why are you buying a new console if you're so invested in the old one? If you're that invested, don't trade it in. Simple as that. And if you tell me you can't afford to not trade it in, maybe there are other things you should be spending your money on if you're that hard up for cash.

Azzanation1214d ago

To eliminate screen tearing takes up a lot of system performance and I would gladly choose a game with no screen tearing with a little more slow downs then one that does.

Its no surprise that the X1 slows down more if it eliminates screen tearing.

Games that screen tear are broken games in my opinion. No game should screen tear period.

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Father__Merrin1215d ago

mass effect came out aeons ago, why would I buy an xbox1 to play it?

Booost1215d ago

well amazingly the xbox one can play other games too

Booost1215d ago

and just because the game is old doesnt mean its bad

Spid3r61215d ago

In case you missed it like me...I never got the chance to play it and went to buy it this week since I am on the preview program. I have to say I cant believe I missed this. Have you ever missed a game you have always wanted to play. No only did I miss the whole Mass Effect series but I missed Bioshock, Boderlands,Hitman,Dead Space, Fallout, Just Cause, Halo Reach, Gears of War and Red Faction. I mean the list goes on. I am glad I will get to play Fallout from the very beginning. Also I was told that I would get Rainbow 6 vegas and Vegas 2 with the purchase of Rainbow 6 siege in which the multiplayer will work which I am pretty stoked about.

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