An Xbox executive refuted a report that Xbox One gamers are barely using the console’s backward compatibility feature.
The feature, which is only available on the Xbox One and not on its rival console PlayStation 4, was recently brought into the spotlight after controversial comments made by a Sony executive.
Xbox One Backward Compatibility Ignored?
A recently published report by Ars Technica featured an in-depth look at the gameplay habits of Xbox Live users on the Xbox One and Xbox 360.
One of the most notable findings of the report is that the backward compatibility feature of the Xbox One, which allows players to fire up Xbox 360 games on the current-generation console, is apparently unpopular.
According to a sample of nearly 1 million active Xbox One accounts acquired by Ars Technica, only 1.5 percent of more than 1.65 billion minutes of playing time on the console was spent using the backward compatibility feature.
The finding, however, has been refuted by Xbox chief marketing officer Mike Nichols. In a tweet, Nichols revealed that about 50 percent of Xbox One owners have used backward compatibility on their console, with more than 508 million total hours logged of gamers playing Xbox 360 titles on the Xbox One.
The total number of hours logged by the feature, which was launched in November 2015, is a significant increase from the 210 million hours reported in November 2016. This is due to the massively popular release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II as a backward compatible title in April, with the Xbox 360 game actually landing in NPD’s top 10 chart for the month afterward.
It is worth noting that Ars Technica’s data does not stretch to April. Xbox head Phil Spencer followed Nichols’s tweet by adding that there are usually one or two titles in the daily top played games on the Xbox One that are backward compatible titles.
The Popularity Of Backward Compatibility
Whatever the truth may be behind the backward compatibility feature on the Xbox One, the fact remains that an Xbox 360 game breaking into NPD’s monthly top 10 when Call of Duty: Black Ops II received backward compatibility is not an easy feat.
At the very least, Xbox One owners have the option, whereas PlayStation 4 owners will likely never get to enjoy the feature.
A controversial comment made by Sony global sales head Jim Ryan on how bad old games looked compared to modern ones means that PlayStation 4 backward compatibility may never happen.
“Why would anybody play this?” Ryan said when he looked at PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games being played at a recent Gran Turismo event.
Xbox corporate VP Mike Ybarra has since expressed his thoughts on the matter, disagreeing with Sony’s point of view on the feature.
“[Microsoft wants] gamers to play the best games of the past, current, and future,” Ybarra tweeted. In response to Ars Technica’s report, he claimed that acquiring data from game servers is not an accurate way of finding out what gamers do on their Xbox One consoles.
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