Will backwards compatibility win the console war for Microsoft

One of the more surprising announcements at Microsoft’s E3 press conference, was that backwards compatibility is coming to Xbox One. While Playstation 4 allows you to play PS3 games via Playstation Now, it’s a rental service not a backwards compatibility system. Microsoft offering the option for you to play your old Xbox 360 games on Xbox One does give them an edge when people are deciding which new console to buy, but will it be enough to catch up on the lead that Sony already has?

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sammarshall1021292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

Backwards compatibility is an amazing feature

I can play titles I missed out on last gen and buy them for dirt cheap

I'm waiting for Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, Lost Odyssey, Gears of War 2

johndoe112111292d ago

They didn't ask if it was a good feature, they asked if it will win the console war for microsoft and the answer to that question is a resounding NO.

Hellsvacancy1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

It is a really obvious answer, the PS3 didn't have BC last gen and it ended the gen on top

BiggerBoss1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

@hellsvacancy technically, the Ps3 did have BC at first. And the Wii (which had BC) ended the gen on top sales-wise.

However, BC will NOT cause the XB1 to magically overcome a 2-1 sales gap.

Neonridr1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

@Hellsvacancy - technically Nintendo ended up on top in terms of sales. And it did have BC...

and now I read BiggerBoss's comment.. lol (fail)

Hands Up For Games1292d ago


Haha hah

1. The PS3 DID have backwards compatibility in the console until Sony decided to take it out to cut down on production costs.

2. The PS3 did not end up on top, it trailed badly to the Wii - the 360 and PS3 were so close in terms of sales that most people call it pretty much level. If you have a link to somewhere with irrefutable facts about how many consoles were sold last gen, I'm all ears . . .

3. BC is not going to 'win' the 'console war' for MS but what it might do is persuade current 360 owners to make the jump and upgrade to the One and take there library with them.

Don't worry, I'm sure Sony will still 'win' this gen and you can continue your crusade, knowing you picked the 'right' side :)

1292d ago
Hellsvacancy1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

Hands Up For Games.... I didn't pick a side, I chose what I wanted, if I really thought there was a better console I would buy one

And you don't need to list things for me buddy, think I don't know this stuff myself?

MY (two) PS3s DIDN'T have BC, it was a feature Sony thought we could do without, and they were right

Neonridr, last gen the console war was between the PS3 and X360, just like it is this gen

XanderZane1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

It's a simple "No". It will help sell more game consoles, especially in the U.S., but I don't see the XB1 catching the PS4 worldwide unless Sony goes bankrupt. I think they will win the U.S. back eventually before this gen is over. So it's definitely will be a plus for the XB1.

The Wii ended the gen on top, not the PS3. The Wii did have B/C with the Gamecube. It even had B/C with the GC controllers. The war was against the Wii, 360 and PS3. You can't omit a game console, just because it beat your favorite. LOL!! Don't be such a fanboy.

Hands Up For Games1292d ago


You said:

"And you don't need to list things for me buddy, think I don't know this stuff myself?"

By adding a question mark to the end of your sentence, I think I was right to list things - do you know your stuff :)

As for BC and the PS3 taking it out, Sony didn't do that because they thought you didn't want it, they took it out to save money.

As for the "Console War" its only applicable to soldiers and to be honest, im a pacifist. Im here for the games :)

Septic1292d ago

BC us a wicked feature but you will need A LOT more to dethrone Sony. I just don't see it happening ; well sales wise anyway.

Crimzon1292d ago


"MY (two) PS3s DIDN'T have BC, it was a feature Sony thought we could do without, and they were right"

If Sony were right about this, why did they spend $380 million buying Gaikai so that people could play PS3 games on PS4? Why did they also go to all the trouble of hiring studios to port PS3 games such as The Last of Us, Uncharted Trilogy, God of War 3, Beyond: Two Souls etc. to PS4, if nobody cares about it?

I mean backwards compatibility is just a way of playing last gen games on current gen hardware. You can say, "Oh, nobody cares about that" but Sony evidently cares from how much they're trying to profit off peoples desire to play PS3 games on PS4. In fact, I'm willing to bet that you have at least one remaster for your PS4 at the very least, along with many other people.

Seeing people on this website suddenly pretend that backwards compatibility doesn't matter just because Microsoft is offering a free solution doesn't make sense, because it's contradictory to both Sony's business decisions and the purchasing habits of the PS4 userbase.

Oh no, nobody cares about backwards compatibility at all. Now just let me fire up The Last of Us for PS4 now. Gee, can't wait for the Uncharted Trilogy later this year...

Spotie1292d ago

If Gaikai's acquisition- and its use through PS Now- was only about backwards compatibility, then why can you use the service through Samsung TVs? Does it even count as BC if you don't even need a console for the games? Hell, you don't even need a Sony device, meaning it can't possibly be BC in any fashion.

It'd be really nice if you guys stopped equating a streaming game to Sony's answer to BC when it's obviously not that.

AngelicIceDiamond1292d ago

This article is ridiculous. BC is great but it won't "win the console war." MS still has loads of work to do.

Crimzon1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )


Playing old games on new hardware seems like the very definition of backwards compatibility to me.

Kingthrash3601292d ago

Long answer no.
A few overlooked things come to mind when Xbox ones BC comes up is...the 360 doesn't have much in its backlog as far as blockbusters are concerned halo has the mcc so halo is out then gears has anniversary it mostly leaves just 3rd party games which is cool, but it all depends on what games will be allowed. With ea and its service on Xbox will it allow BC free on its games? Capcom has said they are focusing on remakes so will they allow their games? Is assassins creed a game you want to go through again? How many games are going to be allowed by publishers? Will they be games you want to play? ....I'm just saying that true BC would be all the last ten games the wii ....which honestly I didn't use. Not many want a new console for old this a great deal....yes it's free so obviously it's a great deal...but BC has never pushed a system to success. It's just a sad question to ask if BC will win a console never has. The wii won because of wii bowling grabbing non gamers and bringing hardcore games like Mario and didn't win that war with its BC it won't with its attraction to casual gamers...

_-EDMIX-_1292d ago

@HellsV- Agreed. Though PS3 had BC from PS2 early on and PS1 BC the whole gen, I can't say that factored into them winning or sell a lot as it was for about less then a year that they even had PS2 full BC.

The reality is, at $600, it was clear it wasn't worth the feature.

Saving someone $80 on a used console won't some how win a gen, lol, that just makes no sense. What will win any gen is purely based off of what is offered during that gen, not what is offered from last gen.

Consider Wii sold almost 100 million....the Wii U HAS A Wii IN IT NATIVE!

Why isn't Wii U selling better then both? Consider its the only one that has native BC and the only one that has had BC since launch and from a system like the Wii that did near 100 million. I mean...that sorta answers just how important BC is to gamers.

Its a nice feature, but I don't see systems jumping off shelves for it.

Some features are nice to have, but the value of it isn't as much as folks would like to think.

Something valued is something someone feels is worth the money to buy, if I can get a PS3, 360 etc because I feel its worth the value to play those older games, then I'll buy it along with a PS4, XONE etc.

Why is it that we don't see that with PS4 and XONE? Its because its NOT worth the real value, ie its a NICE feature, its not a feature clearly folks want enough to go out and spend an extra $100, $200 etc just to have.

Again, Wii U very much says hello to that strange concept.

Death1292d ago


MY (one) PS3 DID have BC, it was a feature Sony thought we couldn't do without, and they were right


We can argue the definition to backwards compatibility or we can acknowledge that Sony sees a definite value to their back catalog of games from the PS3. Gaikai/PSNow is the way Sony is giving access to these games for a fee.

Microsoft also sees value in their back catalog of games on the 360. They seem to understand that customers don't want to pay more than once for the games they own too. That is one of the reasons why they developed an emulator to play 360 games on the Xbox One. They will also offer these games for purchase since they still have value.

I guess as a fan it sucks to not be able to claim the Xbox is selling better than the PS4, but it also makes Microsoft try much harder to make customers happy. Sony doesn't have to try to make people happy since they are buying PS4's anyway. I have both so I make out either way, but if I had to choose I would probably give up bragging rights for more features and benefits.

donthate1292d ago

I think very few features will "win" a console war assuming you mean win is to sell more console than any of your competition.

However, it will help. I would argue it is one of the most important features to get gamers to switch to your console early in the generation, which we still are.

I kicked myself many times for not getting a PS3 phat with BC, but instead ended up with the non-BC PS3 phat with the metal gear solid 4 gunmetal grey. Wish I had both!

Professor_K1292d ago

He was trying to imply that No it doesnt mmatter because BC is an Amazing feature and this article is pointless

umair_s511292d ago

@johndoe It is in no way a resounding "no", adding features such as backwards compatibility do add up towards changing customer perception and bringing in sales

kreate1292d ago

Its gotta be a fully backwards compatibility. Even than its just a good feature.

360 lacks games in the late life cycle. While ps3 games are still coming out.

Ps4 needs BC more than the x1.

Spotie1292d ago

No one has ever referred to playing old games on a capable PC as backward compatibility. Those little things you can get from the dollar store with a dozen old arcade games you can plug right into your TV? NOT BC.

Yet a service that allows you to play older games on whatever supported hardware is BC because the games are old?

At some point, you guys have to stop reaching. You can twist reality only so far before it becomes just your own delusion.

+ Show (18) more repliesLast reply 1292d ago
brettnll1292d ago

Alan Wake, that is all.

Neonridr1292d ago

No it won't, but it's a great feature. Especially for those 360 users who haven't upgraded yet.

Nosred1292d ago

BC alone does not, but great games coming the same as this year and next and more great LIVE support will make the stay very close to the victory.

fermcr1292d ago

"Will backwards compatibility win the console war for Microsoft"

Great feature to have but NO, it will not win them the console war.
If it was presented and introduced at the beginning of this gen, It might have been a deciding factor... but now, it's too late.

FoxyGotGame1292d ago

Yeah exactly, it is a great feature, but it is silly to think BC could turn the tide. If X1 were to overtake PS4, it'll take a serious screw up by Sony, and hit after hit of excellent 1st party exclusive X1 games.

But, in spite of what I just typed, I don't believe in the whole 'Console War' thing. Just good games.

URtheWalrus1292d ago

And I totally agree with you. I am straight up an Xbox guy and I will admit that Xbox will not overtake Playstation worldwide.....with that being said, I am more than happy with Xbox keeping the #2 spot especially if it drives them to give customers more and more!

Eonjay1292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

Nintendo stands in utter amazement.

But even if we completely ignore the Wii U's backwards compatibility, The answer is still no.

Sora_19941292d ago

Seriously Nintendo is probably sitting there ready all these articles like -_-...hello we would have been on top since 2012

Bigpappy1292d ago

The Wii-u BC is irrelevant to this conversation, only because the Wii was aimed at a totally different demographic. Most core games did not make it to the Wii last gen, so most people who had no interest in the Wii catalog then aren't going to suddenly garner interest. The Wii sold on the back of motion control with Wii-sports, Just Dance and Mario.

360 and PS3 is were the core games were release and were highly popular. 360 in particular was hugely popular in NA and UK which cause it to dominate PS3 in the west, both in hardware and software sales. So BC on PS4 and X1 are vastly different from BC on the Wii-u. Using that to gage the importance of BC on X1 is comparison and wholly irrelevant.

Having made that point, NO... BC alone will no make X1 catch PS4 sales lead. I would be shocked if that were to happen this gen. But why X1 needs to outsell PS4 to be relevant eludes me. They are both doing very well, and I think being behind has been great for those who own an X1 or is looking into getting one.

Godmars2901292d ago

Is it going to be more than a PR point that offers more than a trickle of seemingly random titles? Purposely have gaps in it because IP holders wont want an old game to be played?

SkippyPaccino1292d ago

I feel in some ways it hurts Microsoft. On the one hand it's a great feature (well when they have a good library) on the other it will most likely put a wedge between them and some developers. I don't like the way they are handling it "vote for the game you want us to emulate" now if the developer doesn't want them to emulate it, it makes them look like the azzholes for no reason except that they don't want Microsoft to emulate their game.

I feel they'll use it more as a pr stunt than an actual feature since in a year nobody will even care.

Godmars2901292d ago (Edited 1292d ago )

What makes it "Not All That" is that its more advertisement than honest feature. That it more "We did this thing, you need to celebrate us", rather than "We did this thing, you're welcome, now have fun with it".

It should have been something done day one instead of near two years after the system's release in the wake of DRM plans, which this very likely was a apart of only instead of being free with IP holder having the option to op in, gamers would be paying to play old games which they owned in order to entice IP owners to agree to it. With MS taking a nice cut.

And some people want to say this will save the console...

Death1292d ago


You are focusing on a single possible negative aspects of b/c and holding it like it is real. You think third parties are going to decline b/c since it will cost them money if they want to make a remaster. It doesn't sound like a bad point if you ignore the fact third parties will also be able to sell these games on the Live Marketplace to people that don't have a physical copy. It's more a question of devs wanting to spend money on a remaster and hope sales justify development or if they want to allow Microsoft to sell an existing product for a small fee. We are already seeing some third parties bundle older games as sales incentives.

So far everything we have seen has been a positive response and in every article it seems you are doing the equivalent of saying the sky is falling. Until we see something even remotely negative from a third party, maybe we can just take b/c for what it is and enjoy this free feature.

Godmars2901292d ago

There's positive, then there's thinking that a piecemeal function that introduced only to be discontinued in the last generation isn't going to be discontinued again. Much less become a major system-seller feather.

At best, if MS follows through this time, it will get people who bought a 360 last gen and still have games, which they didn't sell to buy a PS4, to buy an XB0 when they bought a PS4 instead. Maybe get some to sell their PS4s to buy a XB0.