One of the biggest stories out of E3 2017 was that the Xbox One would soon be backward compatible with original Xbox games. The announcement was met with huge applause, despite the fact that Microsoft declined to reveal exactly how many games would be available through the program.
In a new interview, the company vaguely addresses how many original Xbox games will be backward compatible at launch. The head of Xbox operations Dave McCarthy says that it is just “too early to say” how many titles will be available, explaining that “We have multiple games up and running–we just decided to tease the first one[s].”
The Microsoft executive clarifies, by saying that “There will be a library of games available, for sure.” McCarthy’s comments follow a recent confirmation by Xbox boss Phil Spencer in which he stated that the original Xbox backward compatible line-up will not be as large as the Xbox 360 backward compatible line-up, which continues to grow.
Additionally, McCarthy says that backward compatible games will “play great across all our lineup.” But naturally, they will play better on the high-powered specs of the upcoming Xbox One X. The executive also explains that “It kind of fit the whole vibe that we were trying to get in terms of choice for our customers. It is going to be a big program for us.”
If Microsoft has high hopes for its original Xbox backward compatibility program then arguably, it would be better off if it did feature as many games as possible. As the Xbox 360 has more well-known ‘hits’ (such as Red Dead Redemption) it does make sense that the other current backward compatibility program is larger, but nostalgic fans will not be satisfied if Xbox short-changes them on original Xbox games.
As it gets closer to the official launch of the program, Microsoft will be able to address these concerns even more. The company has already confirmed that Xbox backward compatibility will use game discs and that digital licenses will carry over too, and these are key selling points for the feature. But its success really does hinge on the games that are available and with just two titles confirmed so far (Crimson Skies and Fuzion Frenzy), Microsoft will have to pull its socks up when it comes to convincing customers.