Xbox One users ‘ignore’ backward compatible Xbox 360 games, according to new data. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One backwards compatibility feature at E3 2015 to huge applause, but it seems that users may not be so enthusiastic about actually playing the games.
[UPDATE – Microsoft has issued a statement calling the data in the report ‘grossly inaccurate.’ Read more about that here.]
Using a third-party API, Ars Technica randomly sampled usage data from almost one million active Xbox One Gamertags. Looking at the data across a five month period (beginning last September), the publication discovered that out of 1.65 billion minutes spent on Xbox One usage, just 1.5% of that was spent playing backward compatible Xbox 360 games. This works out at 23.9 minutes spent playing backward compatible Xbox 360 games out of 1,526 minutes per active Xbox One user.
Some will be quick to point out that Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that almost 50% of Xbox One users had used the backward compatibility feature. However, that statistic and this new data can co-exist. Together, the two sets of data mean that although many Xbox One users have sniffed at the feature, not a lot of them continue to use it and even if they do return to it, they don’t use it for a particularly lengthy amount of time. It could suggest that the feature just has no longevity.
Some may also point out that the backward compatible feature is not entirely bad news, as Xbox 360 game sales have increased due to its existence. Sales of Red Dead Redemption increased by almost 6000%, as fans were so keen to relive the open-world cowboy adventure on their new console.
But the publication’s data also notes that just one backward compatible game is in the list of the 100 most popular Xbox One apps (in terms of unique users) and that’s Call of Duty: Black Ops. As backwards compatibility uses discs (which may already be owned by the player) or a paid-for download, it’s unclear how much money Microsoft is making from the feature. The company may actually be losing money due to the resources required in making a game backward compatible.
The data also puts recent comments from Sony into perspective. In a recent interview, the PS4 platform-holder revealed that when it has tried its hand at backwards compatibility, players just don’t use it and that this is why it has not introduced the feature. For all of the interest around backwards compatibility, the data suggests that Sony may be right after all, despite the very loud demands from players to make the feature a reality.
Source: Ars Technica