Released to the public on November 12th 2015, Xbox Backwards Compatibility is a pretty wonderful thing. It allows gamers the option to play a select number of Xbox 360 and Xbox Original games on their modern Xbox console. The number of playable games started at 104 Xbox 360 games, but more were added periodically over the next few years.
Play old games, today!
As a person deeply invested in old dusty video games, I adore the idea of being able to pop my old games into my Xbox series X and firing up the original Gears of War or Alan Wake. Hell, I discovered my love for Beyond Good And Evil HD thanks to it.
It was a smart business move by Microsoft and I’m glad they decided to implement the feature. I confess that I’ve spent no small sum of money during my time on the Xbox 360. I’m glad I haven’t lost all access to the games I bought. Plus, nostalgia is a powerful thing, and they will be able to harness that going forward.
Of course, Xbox Backwards Compatibility isn’t a completely new concept, not even for consoles. Historically, original PlayStation games could be played on the PlayStation 2. Nintendo have also fared extremely well when it comes to allowing players to play older games on the next generation of consoles. Notable examples include being able to play GameCube games on the Wii, and Game Boy games on the Game Boy advance.
Many games aren’t available to play
As outlined in this study, about 87% of classic games are currently described as being out-of-print. That is, unable to be played on a modern platform. Which is pretty sad. The rich history of video games, mostly unavailable to be experienced. That is one of the reasons why I commend Microsoft in preserving important parts of their history.
And for all the raging between which platform to play on is better, to me, it doesn’t matter. I play games for the fun of it, and the more games I can experience and enjoy the better. Xbox Backwards Compatibility is just one of the many options I have. Every so often I log onto my Xbox Series X and fire up a great little gem from a decade or more ago. It’s like Christmas but all presents were bought by a past version of myself. It’s great!