Microsoft Exec: "If You're Backwards Compatible, You're Really Backwards"

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this guy obviously hasnt seen the success of psone n ps2 classics on the playstation store....even if the backwards compatible games were downloadable lots of people would still love to play current generation classics on their xbox one

Maybe there's some statistical evidence to back up his statement.

Doesn't make the guy any less of a cunt though.

Grey Carter:
Microsoft Exec: "If You're Backwards Compatible, You're Really Backwards"

mattrick with the xbone

Microsoft's Don Mattrick reckons only five percent of customers play games from previous generations on their new consoles.

The Xbox One, or "Xbone" as it has now been dubbed by the public, won't be natively backwards compatible with 360 games, disc-based or otherwise. This is a great disappointment to some, especially given that yesterday's announcement event was light on anything even resembling an actual game, but Microsoft's Head of Interactive Entertainment Business, Don Mattrick (whose ruggedly handsome countenance can be seen to the right), isn't bothered.

"If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards," he told the Wall Street Journal.

After dropping that incendiary comment, Mattrick got into the numbers. According to him, only five percent of customers play previous-generation games on new gaming systems. Since the Xbone uses a CPU fundamentally different from the one in the 360, backwards compatibility would require either software emulation (as with the later PS3 models), or a separate set of last-gen hardware in the Xbone box (as with the earlier PS3 models). Given that price is likely to be a huge factor in the coming race, it's easy to see why Microsoft elected to drop backwards compatibility. It's worth noting that Sony has apparently done the same with the upcoming PS4.

So, is backwards compatibility such a huge deal? From a raw, money-driven perspective, it doesn't seem to be. Social media research firm, Fizziology, claims its surveys of potential Xbone customers indicates only 12% would be put off by a lack of backwards compatibility. A greater concern is whether or not we'll be able to play current-gen games a decade or two down the line. The consoles of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras have survived to date mostly because they're solid slabs of circuitry. At consoles get more and more complex, their failure rates have gone up exponentially. The original 360 model is certainly proof of that.

Source: Wall Street Journal


Their numbers are running off of last generation's console, which if memory serves, did not constantly break down, shit themselves, or explode, like the PS3 and 360-mostly the 360-often do. Unlike my PS2, I know I cannot count on the 360 to stick around for years upon years to come, and therefore, yes, I would definitely play last generation's games on a backwards compatible console, because chances are the console I play them on currently will cease to function properly in the following few years, and then all of my current 360 gaming library will be worth nothing to me but taking up space on my shelf.

Hats off to Microsoft for trying to pretend their systems don't have a track record of dying an early death due to faulty craftsmanship.

If he's talking about original Xbox games being downloadable from the Arcade, that's just lunacy. You cannot base numbers of downloads for old games if, like me, people don't want to fork over money to re-buy an old game they already own. I wouldn't download a PS2 game on the Playstation Network just to play it on the PS3 because I have two working PS2's and already have a physical, working copy of the game. If my PS2's both suddenly died, I might buy the PS3 download of it...

...Wait a minute.

Oh, shit, that's Microsoft's plan. They're going to wait awhile, then throw up Platinum Xbox360 Hits on Xbone Live when everyone's 360's finally break down. You sly bastards.

Orks da best:
Ok I can understand why some gamers are having a fuss, (this is the group that think mass effect is there IP after all...)

But honesty why is this a problem, out side of the really old games and old consoles?

Its not like the Xbox 360 will be pema shut off or crumble to dust once the Xbox 1 comes out.

No it will be still there and still working, unless you got a faulty model or take poor care of it.

So in order to play your old games, wait for digital versions to come out or play it on the old console.

Note that I am not saying anything about Sony or the Wii, since I don't have those consoles.

But, why is this such a big deal, no consoles new hardware means that older games have problems running, if at all. How many games on the Xbox 360 will be able to run perfectly on the new Xbox 1? I doubt a good amount, nor many from the original Xbox.

And lastly, I think this is what he means by backwards. If you play older games and not the newer ones, then why do you need the new console if you have a working current one? And why are you continue to player the older games repeatable instead of trying out newer games? Its simply a matter of playing older games on a new console instead of using the new console for new games and the old console for old games.

And its not like consoles are that hard to use. Plug in or swap out for different generations to play different games

Can we stop all this bitching please? It getting old and ridiculous.

Alright from the top of the list:

Shut off instantly? No. But slowly servers will go down, support will go down, and games will stop being released for it.

Seeing as you are talking about a 360 it is pretty bold to claim it will be perfectly fine unless you treat it like crap

"Wait to buy it again" is what you really said there. And what happens if your old consoles stops working? What happens if you need to trade it in because you are on a budget and just can't quite afford the new one without it?

From a hardware perspective it is NOT that difficult. Well not as much as they are claiming anyway. The whole "the technology is too different" is just an excuse, as they can emulate it. Computers have been doing it for quite a few years. The PS2 had full compatibility. The Wii U does it. The 3DS does it. Computers even emulate pretty much every last gen system and earlier.

And lastly why am I playing older games on a new console? Because believe it or not there's some really good games out. Not every game gets a sequel on the new console, and not every sequel is better. I own Shogun 2 and still like to launch up Rome, Medieval 2, and Empire. So am I backwards for enjoying the differences in them? Or am I backwards for playing the new ones since I enjoy the old ones? Maybe I'm backwards because I think a game console should focus on games, and not my freaking T.V. I already have a cable box.


It'd also make the system much more interesting for people switching from the other consoles or even getting fresh into the whole console gaming thing. Take the WiiU for example and the mess it is currently in... backwards compatibility would have made the library problems much less severe. It'd allow customers to get instantly into franchises that might release a new game in 3 months, especially xbox exclusive ones.

But the WiiU DOES have backwards compatibility. The problem for them is that people don't even realize that it's a whole new console!

I don't really care if the next one is backwards compatible because they would probably fuck it up worse than they did with the Xbox 360 which made a lot of my games incompatible. In any case that is a catastrophically stupid thing for someone to say.

While I kind of disagree in the way the exec said it, I certainly fall into the large majority mentioned. Once I get a shiny, new toy, my old toys seem less shiny. I had a backwards compatible PS3. You know how many PS2 games I played on it? Zero.

Is backwards compatibility a neat feature? Sure, but it's far from a deal-breaker for me if the system is without it.

Do you know how many Playstation 2 games I would have played if I'd had a backwards-compatible PS3?

All of them.

Oh this is just wonderful. Keep going...

That statement was so incredibly inane, idiotic, and so hopelessly out of touch with reality, I don't know what else to say.

Except that someone's probably going to be joining Adam Orth very soon...

this is bolshizm when the ps3 cam out i only played ps2 and 1 games on it for about a year and a half because there were very few good games on launch and i was still waiting for my bank account to catch up to the price of the new generations games.
additionally. there is nothing wrong with the old games whats wrong is this idea that we need to upgrade to somehting different every five years. a PC is still a PC ten years down the line you can make it better but you dont need a new product.
this allong with the HDTV being nessisary means i'll skip this noise

Like, seriously, I could be a better spokes person for games companies than what people at Nintendo, MS and Sony hire. I'm in the wrong job.

Honestly, why would you think of saying that without knowing full well it's not going to go down well with the public?

On a console it doesn't bother me, since I can buy an old gen console on the cheap. But someone out there has very limited space for multiple consoles, & it will give him a limp Xboner. (I know...I shouldn't have...but I couldn't resist).

However, the backwards compatibility of the Nintendo 3DS was a serious boon for me. Think about it...You have backwards compatibility, you can continue to sell & make profit off of old games.


Congratulations Mr. Mattrick, you just kicked up a hornet's nest.

This should be an interesting show.

I mean how much of dumb-a** can some one be??

"If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards."

Not pictured: Don Mattrick high-fiving himself.

These guys seem to think that their customers actually work for employees. That whatever bullshit they want to drizzle down our collective throats, we have to! After all, what are you going to do? *Not* get it?

Yeah, no one plays old games. That must be why went out of business and Nintendo never developed that whole Virtual Console idea and Sega hasn't made any money on those collections of old Genesis games.

As long as we're indulging in inflammatory spin to try to make people feel insecure for wanting things the product you're selling doesn't have, Mattrick, howzabout this: The console you're selling will be a piece of outdated crap in five years when you and yours try to sell us another one. Assuming there's no red-ring-of-death equivalent to make that lifespan overly optimistic.

So, hey, why bother? Let's just wait for XBox 2, when they'll try even harder to convince you you're hopelessly out of touch for wanting features they don't offer and insecure and entitled for being angry that it wants to be sure your DNA matches before turning on.

Short form:


I can't understand why oh why an MS executive would ever come up with an approach like this? It isn't even a matter of whether or not the console is backwards compatable. But please treat your customers like adults, or at the very least intelligent people.

When faced with the same exact question, SONY put forth a perfectly valid answer. They politely explained that while they would have liked to be able to do that, the change in core architecture made emulation problematic. They explained why Cell Processor games would have issues on the x86 console. We might not have liked the fact that we could not play our PS3 games on the PS4, but SONY at least treated us respectfully. They told us exactly why in an intelligent adult manner. We can respect that.

But this? Dear gods? Why not try simply urinating on your customers? MS basically called us all backwards losers. It's not hip to want to play your old games once your 360 RROD's for the last time. Come give us more money. No don't ask that question! Only 5% of LOSERS ask that question.

Is SONY actually paying these MS execs under the table? I mean they can't actually be this stupid could they? someone has to be bribing them?

Yeah guys, if you want to play our prior (and huge) library of VIDEO GAMES on this VIDEO GAME CONSOLE, you must be really backwards!


Now, see how you can play TV on your xbox now!!!! TV!! ...COLOR TV!!! CABLE TV!!!!

Microsoft has some of the most intellectual staff i have ever seen,i bet if they wrote a philosophy book it would be deeper than the final level of Dig Dug

I think Microsoft just made me change my views on life,now,instead of playing the Ds Castlevanias on my 3ds,i'm going to get the newer Castlevania that has quicktime events and no jump kicks,and instead of using my Vita almost exclusively to play the psp version of Guilty Gear XX^C+,i'm going to download the vita version that has a smaller screen and no net play!

Was the full version of Mirror of Fate good?,i tried out the demo and didn't like it

Man, this has been a problem that hardware manufacturers simply cannot and will not accepts since 1982 and the Atari 5200. Not having backwards compatibility is like saying to your customers, "Know that library of games you bought for the previous Xbox because you are a loyal Microsoft customer? Well, fuck you. Maybe if you're good we'll release them as a download so you can buy that game again."

They can make all the pretty speeches and arguments and excuses they want. This is what it feels like on the receiving end. If they don't at least acknowledge this, they don't deserve anymore customers.

We're also eight years INTO this console generation.
I don't play games from 2004 often, because I have more recent games. And those old ones? I have a PC for that.

...he could've just come out and said:

"Providing backwards compatibility will add a significant initial cost to the console for the consumers and we're not seeing the numbers to support a potentially purchase-deciding risk".

I can understand why they're making some of these decisions but... c'mon! Do they not have any PR writers on staff? What the hell is wrong with these people?
Has their only dictionary seen better days and the page with "goodwill" disappeared years ago?
Have they been asking their most avid CoD players for tips on how to get their message across?
Is an evil wizard plaguing them with douche-bag ventriloquism?

Why are they being massive dickheads about their luxury product?

Yeah guys, if you want to play our prior (and huge) library of VIDEO GAMES on this VIDEO GAME CONSOLE, you must be really backwards!


Now, see how you can play TV on your xbox now!!!! TV!! ...COLOR TV!!! CABLE TV!!!!

This, no backwards compatibility is a deal breaker for me - let alone the rest of the bad decisions they've made. But for an exec to actually turn around and insult your loyal customers says a lot about how those decisions got made.

Frankly, they should give Orth his job back, he was honestly representing the company.

I'm probably going to skip a console generation for the first time since the 1980s, and get a pc/steambox for the living room instead. At least then the digital content I buy will be cheaper and last more than five years.

****True Story****

I have a LARGE ps2 collection. I have the controllers, but not the memory cards. I love many of the games I have on the ps2 but cannot fit it on my entertainment spot since my room is pretty small and at the moment fits only my satellite receiver, Wii-U and PS3. Even though I have the ps3, it is not the backwards compatible one. So at the moment I have many rpg's and action/adventure games that I cannot play because I don't have the memory cards to play them anymore. "So" some of these Xbone fanboys want me to keep my wires and controllers from 3 generations of game consoles and want me to be greatful? The many hateful words I wanna use right about now to such stupid train of thought.

...he could've just come out and said:

"Providing backwards compatibility will add a significant initial cost to the console for the consumers and we're not seeing the numbers to support a potentially purchase-deciding risk".

Well they did manage to scrounge together nearly half a billion dollars for the NFL (of no interest to anyone outside the USA). And they're forcing ads and kinect down every users throat. And of course the XBL subscription. So I think they could've managed backwards compatibility.

Personally I think immediate access to hundreds of titles on a brand new console, instead of a dozen, would've given it a distinct edge over Sony (it's not like they wouldn't continue to make money selling XBLA games). Instead it's starting from scratch again, and doing nothing to reward customer loyalty - it's a jumping off point.

Do these people even talk to gamers?


They should hire one of us. We would make them tons of cash.

I glad that this is a thing, everyone was really reaching to find things to complain about the PS4 launch. This is the sort of that that the entire Internet was looking forward to.

Looks like I'm keeping my 360 for a while. Then I'll buy another one when it fails. I guess being 19 I'm too old for your hip ass crowd, microsoft.

By the way, anyone see any cheap copies of ocarina of time and super mario 64? I'd really like both. Because my 64 seems to be immortal.

Hmm. So apparently, to work at Microsoft, you must first graduate from the University of being a complete Jackass. This and Windows 8 are the top two reasons that I'm considering committing arson.

I don't think this deserves the fuss it's raising.

See, Xbox 360 AND PS3 were not backwards compatible and people still bought them to play newer games anyway.

Eventually, nobody truely skips buying one for these reasons. Maybe it has a bit of a delay, but that's it. I dare say less then 1% eventually doesn't buy one. Having to raise the cost of the machine by over 10% just because of <1% of the customers, losing more other customers because of the pricing (maybe even for multiple generations, as they might as well buy a PS4 then), is not the better option.

I can understand their reasoning.

Seems this guy has forgotten that Microsoft has been a champion of backwards compatibility for decades in the form of Microsoft Windows.

Considering that Microsoft have taken about 359 steps backwards since their last console, I find this rather ironic....

The real kicker for me is the snub at everyone who ever bought a digital XBL game.

I can, kind of, almost accept old discs not being playable. But totally digital purchases? And this jackasses answer is "hang onto your old console?" Sony just shitcanned the best selling console of all time, you dickhead, and of the many things the 360 is known for, stability and reliability are not among them. They won't last. Right now you're telling people their digital purchases have been glorified rentals.

I think MS shined up their jackboots one gen too early. This has to be a huge practical joke. You don't get to be this evil while also being this stupid unless you're in a Mel Brooks film or something.


According to him, only five percent of customers play previous-generation games on new gaming systems.

... That's because the current gen doesn't allow you to play many of them.

Yes, there are some that work, and yes there were some crappy HD remakes, but the vast majority of Xbox games didn't work on the 360, and the PS3 ironed out backwards compatibility in later versions.

If the entire Xbox library had been available on the 360, I am certain that the number would be more than 5%.

To be fair, there wasn't much on the original XBox, so there's not much to be backwards compatible for. (Halos, the good Fable, and... Blinx the time sweeper?)
The 360 on the other hand has a huge library of great games to warrant backwards compatibility.

pc can and sometimes will emulate all old console games without people having to pay boatloads of cash or listen to stupid execs that don't realize the potential of nostalgia.

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