Xbox boss Phil Spencer suggests that Microsoft could look into bringing some of the original Xbox games library to the Xbox One via backward compatibility.
It would be an understatement to sum up the last few months for the Xbox One as just improved sales. Although the Xbox One is continuing to outsell the PS4 after years of Sony dominance, the console has also looked healthier in terms of the quality of its ever-expanding games library, with releases like Gears of War 4 going a long way to improving the system’s first party selection. It’s safe to say that as of this writing, the Xbox One stands atop the current-gen console offerings, an accolade that means a lot heading into the 2016 holiday sales season.
Although it was heralded as a market-changing move at the time, the Xbox One’s backward compatibility feature has exceeded even those lofty expectations, bolstering the consoles sales while offering gamers a chance to play titles they had long since sold off or lost. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently took to Twitter to suggest that he doesn’t want the nostalgia to stop at just the Xbox 360, though:
@James1o1o We haven't ruled it out but we aren't working on it right now. I'd like to find the time to do it.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) October 12, 2016
Spencer’s statement is a response to a fan question, so it isn’t an unprompted announcement that Microsoft and Xbox are exploring ways to bring the original Xbox to the Xbox One. The fact that this backward compatibility feature hasn’t been ruled out yet, however, is an encouraging sign that it is something Microsoft believes it can implement – the company just doesn’t see it as a priority, which is why Spencer says he’d “like to find the time to do it”. That’s likely a concession to Spencer having many other Xbox projects he’s working on first.
There’s certainly a question of just how beneficial a potential original Xbox backward compatibility function would be to Microsoft’s Xbox One. New games are coming out at a faster rate than ever before, and many fans struggle to keep up with each year’s best releases. It’s possible that many people wouldn’t have time to explore a back catalogue of the original Xbox’s admittedly stellar games, a scenario that Microsoft is surely aware of.
Still, the success of the Xbox Play Anywhere program suggests that at least some gamers are certainly willing to play the same title twice if they enjoy it enough. Even the busiest fans in the world would likely make a few exceptions should the Xbox One provide backward compatibility services for the original Xbox, too – it would be difficult to resist the allure of playing old school favorites like Crimson Skies and Jade Empire one last time.