Xbox One Backwards Compatibility

Don’t throw away your Xbox 360s or go treasure hunting through GameStop’s used Xbox 360 racks just yet! Microsoft dropped a golden egg during its press conference at E3 saying that it was going to be making the Xbox One a backwards compatible machine, but we don’t live in a perfect world where all games will be covered. Apparently, the discs you put in the machine will only work if the publisher has signed off on the title.

Microsoft, realizing that it will take a while to get the permissions and technical support for the games, will have to prioritize based on the most popular and the easiest to obtain. These will then be released in waves, and the first 18 have already been listed. Check them out below.

  • A Kingdom for Keflings
  • A World of Keflings
  • Alien Hominid HD
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Banjo-Tooie
  • BattleBlock Theater
  • Defense Grid
  • Geometry Wars Evolved
  • Hexic HD
  • Jetpac Refuelled
  • Kameo
  • Mass Effect
  • N+
  • Perfect Dark
  • Perfect Dark Zero
  • Small Arms
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War
  • Viva Piñata
  • Viva Piñata: TIP
  • Zuma

Well, it’s not a horrible list, I guess. I like Mass Effect and Super Meat Boy just as much now as I did when they released, so I won’t criticize the first wave. The thing is, we’ve been in this exact position before.

At the dawn of the previous console generation, many complained to Microsoft about the lack of backwards compatibility for original Xbox. It released patches slowly and covered a lot of games, but by the time it called it quits and said it did enough, it still had an oddball favorite or two like GunValkyrie, JSRF, and From Software’s Otogi games that was left behind. Almost perfect backwards compatibility, but not quite.

What it sounds like to me is that Microsoft has put its best foot forward with good intentions, and it is up to publishers to remain in stride. From there, we have plenty of obstacles to consider. Do publishers want to pay for old multiplayer servers to be up and running? Would publishers rather have players spending money on new games rather than playing old ones for free?

How about cult classics or dare I say bad games? Sometimes, I like to go digging through poorly received titles like The Last Remnant, which is criminally misunderstood, and Infinite Undiscovery. Does Square Enix see any benefit to having the legacies of these derided games linger on throughout another generation? Maybe, maybe not. It didn’t for Saga Frontier and Brave Fencer Musashi as PSOne Classics. That’s why its best to keep your Xbox 36o at hand. There is no guarantee a game you want to play will make the cut.

No guarantee that Earth Defense Force 2017 will let you blow away giant ants on your Xbox One.

I’ve been through this waiting process once, but I promise not to lose sleep over it twice. I’ll watch from afar to see how Microsoft does at sticking to the ideal plan, but this is in no way a perfect solution to carrying over your entire collection. It’s a nice gesture but not the centerpiece for my reasoning as to why I might buy an Xbox One this year. (That’s ReCore)