Despite gamer excitement, Microsoft has a very short window to pump out highly-desired games for Xbox One backward compatibility, or risk losing gamer interest.
When I first learned Microsoft was bringing backward compatibility to Xbox One, I was ecstatic. I was (and still am) so excited to finally get a shot at some of the games I never got to play on last generation consoles.
You see, I sold my PlayStation 3 to aid my purchase of an Xbox One a year and a half ago. At the time, I had over a dozen games on my list to play on PlayStation 3, and came to terms with the fact that I would probably never get a chance to play them, unless I shelled out the cash for another console somewhere down the road (a plan my wife has shot down on multiple occasions). But thanks to Xbox One’s backward compatibility, I finally can… well, kind of.
Like many Xbox owners, I was impressed by Microsoft’s claim of over 100 Xbox 360 games coming to backward compatibility when it launched this month. However, I always had a suspicion the first 100 games would be less-than stellar options. Fortunately, not all the games that arrived with backward compatibility were a bust. The list includes the Gears of War series, Just Cause 2, Fallout 3, Mass Effect, and Borderlands. All fantastic games.
That said, there are still quite a few titles myself. and likely many others, are hoping will make it to Xbox One backward compatibility. And in all honesty, they need to come quickly, or this whole backward compatibility thing may just fade away as a noble idea.
Ultimately, Microsoft helped create a huge expectation among gamers for backward compatibility, and at the moment are holding the line. However, many of the games Xbox fans voted for backward compatibility aren’t yet available. In fact, none of the top four games players requested are planned, and only half of the games from the front page of the voting page are in progress.
From a marketing perspective, I believe Microsoft is off to a good start. But in order to maintain interest and keep gamers happy, the gaming giant will need to keep the flow of beloved games continuously pouring into the backward compatible market. Gamers can be fickle, and despite their excitement today, can easily turn on Microsoft quickly if they don’t feel they’re being heard.
If Microsoft can continue to negotiate major Xbox 360 titles – and especially if they can get the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Black Ops is currently marked as “in-progress”), Red Dead Redemption, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Left 4 Dead 2, and Grand Theft Auto 4 – then I believe backward compatibility will continue to be successful. It’s a sad but true fact in the gaming industry: companies have a short window for success or they losing the interest (and money) of potential customers.
Plus, that list of mine I mentioned above includes Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, and Left 4 Dead 2, so I’m personally invested in this one.
Do you believe Microsoft needs to keep putting out big titles for backward compatibility to stay relevant, or do you think backward compatibility will be big no matter what? Let me know your thoughts!