One of the Xbox One's biggest selling points is backwards compatibility. It's the ability to play specified Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. While Sony has derided any possibility of PS4 backwards compatibility, citing that it rather focus on new games, Microsoft has continued to invest in making older games playable on newer hardware. And it seems to have paid off if a recent statement from the company is to be believed.
"We’re thrilled with the continued excitement for Xbox One Backward Compatibility—the community has played more than 840 million hours of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. Compatibility is important to Xbox, to developers and their games, and our community," wrote Bill Stillwell, Lead Program Manager, Xbox Platform on the official Xbox website. He went on to wax eloquent on Microsoft's adherence to video game preservation.
"Preserving the art form of video games is part of our DNA, which is why Xbox One is the only console designed to play the best games of the past, present and future. We’re excited to continue to deliver on our vision of compatibility and grow our current Backward Compatible library, which includes more than 460 Xbox 360 games, 11 Xbox One X Enhanced Xbox 360 titles, and 13 Original Xbox games."
Stillwell's comments essentially mean that, according to the eagle-eyed readers on popular gaming forum ResetEra, each Xbox One user has played at least 24 hours of backwards compatible content. This is of course, assuming the last reported Xbox One sales figure of around 35 million.
These figures should come as no surprise. Even in nascent markets like India it appears to be a tremendous differentiator.
“I can very clearly tell you is the trend is the time spent is increasing," said Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Country General Manager, Consumer and Devices Sales at Microsoft India to Gadgets 360.
"It's a curve, which is not just a linear curve with the new consoles coming in, it's becoming a bit of a logarithmic curve, and that really is sort of vindicating the strategy that we have looked at, and more importantly also the reason why it [the Xbox One X launch] is happening.” he opines before explaining that despite the forward-looking nature of the Xbox One audience in India, features like backwards compatibility are also a part of the appeal due to the value they bring to the table.
“They can decide whether they want to be on the Xbox One," adds Mohapatra. "They want to move to the One S, or they want to move to the Xbox One X platform by the way whenever they decide, all the investment is protected. Nothing goes waste. I think that's being one of the strongest differentiator for us.”