It has just been announced that the new Xbox One will not be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games. This is not a huge surprise, considering the Xbox 360 was using a different disc format and that the Xbox One uses a completely redone version of the operating system. However, what caught me off guard was to find out any purchased Xbox Live downloaded games will also not be compatible.
Marc Whitten, Xbox Live Vice President said about the situation, “The system is based on a different core architecture, so backwards-compatibility doesn’t really work from that perspective.” So it seems like it’s more of a hardware and software compatibility issue than anything else. Similar to how games designed for Windows can’t work on a Mac. This would also explain why they simply didn’t add an emulator to play the old Xbox Live games, as the system still wouldn’t be able to play them due to the hardware changes.
Microsoft is planning to take a step forward, but not stop completely with the Xbox 360. “Microsoft does, however, plan to keep selling the Xbox 360 alongside the new console for the foreseeable future,” Whitten added, “This isn’t about getting rid of the Xbox 360.”
Shouldn’t be too much of a problem, what’s one more console in the room when we already have half a dozen?