Xbox Exec Criticizes Sony's Backward Compatibility Stance

Xbox exec on Sony backwards compatibility

An Xbox executive, Mike Ybarra, takes to social media to criticize Sony's stance on backward compatibility. Earlier in the week, Sony executive Shawn Layden explained why there are no plans to bring backward compatibility to PS4, as PS1 and PS2 games look "ancient" and he doesn't understand why anybody would want to play them.

On Twitter, Mike Ybarra, the corporate vice president of the Xbox and Windows gaming platform at Microsoft, said that he "disagreed" with Sony's point of view. The executive wrote that "[Microsoft wants] gamers to play the best games of the past, current, and future," also noting that Xbox backwards compatibility is "what gamers asked for."

However, although many fans have indeed asked for the feature, according to new data, very few Xbox One users actually play Xbox 360 games. When a Twitter follower pointed out this data to the Xbox executive, Ybarra hit back at the report, saying, "Scraping some data off servers gives an inaccurate view of what people do."

It is in Microsoft's best interests to defend its backward compatibility feature and to fight back at critics who would suggest that people aren't using it, but Ybarra's reply has divided fans. Some argue that the data does not represent the full picture, while others say that this entire debate could be put to rest if Microsoft just released usage figures. Xbox boss Phil Spencer previously revealed that almost 50% of Xbox One users have played backward compatible games, but up-to-date usage figures that include minutes-played have not been disclosed by the company.

As Microsoft keeps this data under wraps, it seems that this argument will rage on for now. It also seems quite likely that this could be the next battleground for the company, alongside PS4 Pro versus the power of Xbox Project Scorpio. It's easy to see how Microsoft, with the knowledge that PlayStation fans are desperate to play older games on PS4 in an affordable way, will promote backward compatibility as a key selling point of its own console.

Microsoft has previously made huge backwards compatibility announcements at E3, including the confirmation that Fallout 4 pre-orders would get a download code for (Xbox 360 game) Fallout 3. As the company looks to capitalize on the controversy, could fans be in store for similar announcements during the Microsoft E3 2017 press conference? Only time will tell.

Microsoft's Xbox E3 2017 press conference starts on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM PT.

Source: Mike Ybarra - Twitter

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