Is the Xbox One’s Backwards Compatibility going to kill remakes and remasters?

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X1BC

Yesterday, the Xbox One was updated to include backwards compatibility – and it, well, it just works. It’s almost magical, really. While I’ve not tried a disc-based game yet, the games from my digital library have been downloaded the old Bone, and they run perfectly. Xbox One gamers can even go toe-to-toe against Xbox 360 owners in multiplayer games that have BC support, as well as take easy-peasy screenshots and the like.

It’s made playing some, games from the last generation a breeze, and I may even give the excellent Shadow Complex another go. Will Backwards Compatibility slow down the tide of recent remasters and re-releases though? Should it?

A few industry analysts spoke to Examiner.com about the feature, and how much effect they believe it will have on the deluge of remasters and remakes.

“The real answer depends on what you do with the remastering. It’s not a simple yes or no. If you’re just going to remaster Xbox 360 games and call it a collector’s edition and it’s just the same game, yes I would argue it kills that kind of remastering. However, if you’re actually creating something that is a better experience for the user, then I think remastering is a viable business. It depends on what you do with it is the answer,” Strategy Analytics’ Michael Goodman said.

And that’s hard to argue with. The recent remake of Gears of War, as the Ultimate Edition on the Xbox One, and the frankly astounding Rare Replay are some of the most high-effort re-releases I’ve had the privilege of playing – but it’s countered by some truly terrible ones, like the Prototype collection, which barely increases resolution or frame rate.

“I don’t think backwards compatibility will kill re-mastered games as re-masters are partly about playing older games, but they are also about playing older games in a higher definition or sometimes with enhanced gameplay features. For example, sales of Halo CE: Anniversary edition were positive despite the fact that you could play the original Halo CE on the 360 through backwards compatibility,” NPD’s Analyst Liam Callahan said.

It seems that analysts believe that backwards compatibility is more of a value proposition, a marketing and PR move more than anything else.

“One of the big things I took away from the update Microsoft is doing, whether it’s UI or Backwards Compatibility, is they are trying to improve the value proposition of the Xbox One without having to lower the price point. Backwards Compatibility is a big step in that direction. There are still more people who haven’t bought an Xbox One or PS4 but plan to do so, than have bought one. We still have a long way to go in terms of the sales cycle in this generation of video game consoles.

“Adding Backwards Compatibility with no cost to consumers will be perceived as a significant value add to prospective buyers, even if they wind up never using it. There is a large number of people out there who have libraries of 360 titles, Backwards Compatibility makes the Xbox One more attractive to them. Some people may think that ‘hey I can buy a console, but now I don’t have to go out and buy a ton of Xbox One games right away’. It changes how, at least some consumers, are going to evaluate the respective consoles,” Goodman said.

And that’s something I agree with. While backwards compatibility is nice to have, I don’t really see myself using it very much – and I don’t think very many consumers will either, beyond using it as a novelty. But as a value proposition? As a carrot to entice new buyers? It’s worth its weight in digital gold.

Read  Ni No Kuni 2 might be coming to Xbox One

Last Updated: November 13, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Dutch Matrix

    Jason. On the Fable cover above Halo on the far right.

  • WitWolfy

    Geoffrey what games did you get to work? I could only download games I purchased via my browser.. Like Dirt 3 or Ms splosion man.. The disc games dont work.. Assassins Creed 2 still tells me not compatible.. Which is weird..

    • N+, alien hominid, shadow complex. I havent tried any disc-based stuff yet.

      • WitWolfy

        Funny thing is most of the digital games I try to download just mostly say “Bundle” when browsing them via the Xbox.

    • miaau

      Mass Effect downloaded last night, but I did not play it. That was disk based. I had to sleep, weak excuse I know.

      • Hammersteyn

        Very weak. For shame 😛

        • miaau

          🙁 I know.

          No pizza for me for supper…..

      • WitWolfy

        Mass Effect has been up since the preview dash. Downloaded it months ago…

        • miaau

          yeah, but you tried to get me on the preview and then MS closed off new membership in the same week.

          Still disk based game.

          • WitWolfy

            Nevermind my wife got it working.. She ejected the disc and reinserted it and then it magically started downloading.. All is good in the world!

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  • Ir0nseraph

    If it doesn’t kill remasters; I hope it at least kills shitty remasters.

    • WitWolfy

      God knows I wont be getting anymore remasters after the UC collection anyways. But I got it for like R500. Was a good deal!

      • Ir0nseraph

        It was , playing the last one now.

  • 40 Insane Frogs

    No, nothing can stop corporate greed.

  • Pieter Kruger

    BC works fantastic!???????????? I really hope it kills Remasters, then those developers can focus 100% on new games/IP’s! I have a huge 360 library so the value proposition for me is huge! Free backwards compatibility on Xbox One while Sony asks for subscription and rental $ to stream old games……they never should’ve bought Gaikai and rather should’ve spend that money to fix and improve their own PSN servers(as initially promised when they started charging for PSN)

  • Madcatgamer

    Crazy Taxi. A loved game for me, and I’ve been playing it since it hit the Xbox one backwards compatibility list. It’s a game I spent playing countless hours on the 360 playing with my nieces and nephews. This feature on the Xbox one gives me at least a few dozen new games to stream that I was previously unable to do. And it cuts out the middle man in having to purchase a capture card.

  • Jeddy Khan

    Retaining the followers and enabling them to continue playing their favourite games has its own value. Many players bought games at the time when the previous console was going to be replaced, which would be a complete waste of money if they did not have the right console to play with. Playstation 2 was popular because Playstation 1 players could play their game on it. Playstation 2 had a huge following – to reject them by having non-backwardly compatible console is a bad move

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