Backward compatibility is in doubt . This is demonstrated by the recent statements of Jim Ryan , Sales Director Sony and Ars Technica web . The former rejected backcompatibility as being of interest to the PS4 market, while the latter has compiled a survey of 930,000 Xbox One users about the console. And in both cases the same answer has been reached: retrocompatibility does not matter. Or if?
Retrocompatibility: a desired and used service
Backwards compatibility is a service that users have always been asking for, not just for Xbox One. Thanks to backward compatibility, PS2 gamers have been able to enjoy jewelery like Silent Hill (PS1) or Wii users from such acclaimed games as Eternal Darkness GameCube). Thanks to backward compatibility, those who have bought a Nintendo 3DS have been able to play real wonders like Chrono Trigger, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow or The World Ends With You.
The possibility of playing in a new console to games of other generations not only has been something requested, but until, not long ago, was habitual. There was no need to request retrocompatibility, because it was something that companies directly offered.However, with the last generations this has changed.
Phil Spencer announced the desired backward compatibility of Xbox One with Xbox 360 during E3 2015. Something that no doubt users thanked at the time and continue to thank, because the list has not stopped growing . To be able to enjoy titles like Dead Space, Alan Wake, Tekken 6, Halo: Reach or Gears of War is a luxury for the users .
«Since the launch of Xbox One we have listened to you, the community of Xbox players and thank you for your continuous feedback. However, there is a request that has always been the most requested. And even if we did not think it was possible, today I’m happy to announce the backward compatibility of Xbox One. « Phil Spencer, E3 2015.
In Spencer’s own words, backward compatibility has always been at the forefront of requests from users; That’s precisely why they brought it back. And it is impossible to believe that the backward compatibility, so used throughout the history of video games, from one day to another has lost all interest for consumers.
A Misleading Interpretation of Data
As we discussed today , the discord chart shows, literally, the «estimated time of users on Xbox One content», not «percentage of users using backward compatibility.»These are two different ideas. The chart tells us how much time these users spend on what games, but not how many of them use backward compatibility .
Therefore, of the 930,000 users interviewed, it is perfectly possible for each and every one of them to enjoy backward compatibility, even for a limited time. And that 930,000 users use (hypothetically) backward compatibility in a small percentage has much more value than if they enjoy it alone, for 24 hours a day.
On the other hand, it should be emphasized that the dates of the interviews (from September 26, 2016 to February 17, 2017) exclude new models that have emerged at this time. Like Xbox Game Pass . According to Phil Spencer’s words, Xbox Game Pass has been very well received by users . However, that graph does not pick it up because it is outdated. Therefore , perhaps the ideal would be to make today a more updated graph, that reflects the data of consumers of present form .
Also keep in mind that the period in which this survey was conducted is a very strong time in terms of video game releases. The Christmas campaign almost after summer and only from September to December of 2016 they were released titles like FIFA 17, Forza Horizon 3, Mafia III, Gears of War 4, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 or Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare . Undoubtedly this is a stretch of the year in which backward compatibility is relegated to the background, in favor of the most powerful releases.
The increase of 8000% in sales is not synonymous with «little interest»
The list of games backward compatible with Xbox One has not stopped growing since it was announced. The return of some of them has been celebrated with all the height and the sales have collected it.
As we told you a while ago, Red Dead Redemption and GTA IV fired their sales on Amazon by announcing their backward compatibility with Xbox One. And saying they shot maybe be short, because sales of GTA IV reached a scandalous increase of 7.696%, surpassing the 6000% of the game starring John Marston.
However, these have not been the only cases. Lost Odyssey also experienced an important sales breakthrough by announcing itself as retrocompatible. However, the most likely case is that of Call of Duty: Black Ops, whose return catapulted it into the sales charts , outperforming leading titles such as DOOM or Uncharted 4.
It is not true that everyone uses backward compatibility, far from it. However, we can understand that a title whose sales soar when advertised as retrocompatible is not a game that lacks interest, as mentioned by Ryan.
Jim Ryan: backward compatibility, yes, but payment
The declarations of Jim Ryan have not been quite well either to users or managers of Xbox One. Mike Ybarra himself was soon to answer them, noting that users will always want to enjoy good games. However, the most curious thing about the Sony sales director is that he completely forgets to mention that PS4 does have backward compatibility, though not free .
PS Now offers a system very similar to the Xbox Game Pass. Paying an amount per month, users can enjoy a catalog of games on their PS4. However, it also has major differences from the Xbox system. First PS Now is, right now, the only possibility to enjoy PS3 games on PS4, because Sony has rejected the backward compatibility of their titles.
For its part, Xbox Game Pass and backward compatibility are complementary services;We can enjoy backward compatibility without enjoying Xbox Game Pass and vice versa. However, PS Now mixes both concepts and offers a unique possibility to enjoy PS3 games.
Second and perhaps most importantly, Xbox backwards compatibility is completely free . You will only have to pay for that game if you want to play it and you do not already have it. However, PS Now is only available for € 44.99 / month. The fact that it is only available in the United States and Canada greatly hinders access to this payment backcompatibility.
Selective memory plays tricks
Jim Ryan has commented that backward compatibility was a demanded element, but little used in practice. According to him, today nobody wants to play games that look old.
«Backward compatibility is one of those elements that is asked a lot, but it is not used as much. I was in the last event of Gran Turismo, where there were games of PS1, PS4, PS3 and PS4. The PS1 and PS2 games were very old. Who would want to play something like that? «Commented the Head of Sales.
However, the most shocking of these statements is the meager memory that seems to show. First of all, the Head of Sales should know that one of the elements that most satisfy users of any console is that they can play old games without having to change platforms.
Second and perhaps most important, Ryan seems to forget that backward compatibility was one of the strengths of the PS3 presentation . Ken Kutaragi, manager of Sony at the time, was in charge of giving the news personally during the fair.
«We are pleased to announce that PlayStation 3 will have backward compatibility,» said Ken Kutaragi, a former Sony executive at E3 2005 (9:01 min).
The backward compatibility may not interest you now. But it is worth remembering and remembering that, precisely, PS4 backwards compatibility with PS3 was one of the most celebrated announcements of E3 2005. Therefore, perhaps that lack of interest is not so much.
This is what the players have asked for
The backward compatibility allows us to enjoy games that we already have and we want to play again, with the maximum amenities. We are not required to change platforms and the games come adapted to the new consoles. This service gives us the possibility of enjoying an immense catalog when we feel like it and as we like.
However, backward compatibility is not a favor made by companies. It is a basic element that we ask and they have to give us. Why? Because they are our games.Games for which we have already paid and which would be unfair not to enjoy again for a simple policy.
Jim Ryan forgets a very important detail, which we will not tire of repeating. The basis of the video game industry were, are and will be the users . Users are the starting point for any game, service or platform and end point. Everything is done by and for us, because we are the engine of this industry.
Therefore, if we ask for backward compatibility, there must be backward compatibility.Simply and simply because we have to be the favored sector. If for a company weighs more a payment policy than its users, then there is a very big problem .
In the words of Mike Ybarra himself, » we want users to play the best games of the past, present and future. It’s what they asked for . « In short, we are the most important. Do not forget us.