Xbox Scarlett Will Be Backwards Compatible All The Way Back To The Original Xbox
During its E3 press conference, Microsoft gave its most detailed overview of the next generation of Xbox consoles yet. While that still didn't include a look at the new machine or a firm release date, it did include a statement about Microsoft's plans for backwards compatibility.
"We thought about our design for Project Scarlett we definitely wanted to make sure that we were compatible across all the generations," Phil Spencer said on stage. "Not just with the games, but the accessories... For us it's really [about] respecting the purchases that our gamers have made on our platform."
Now, whether that means you can just insert an old Xbox game's disc into the new console and it will work as intended is unclear. It might be that you need to verify your game online and then can download a version of it to your next gen console.
"Our focus is on reaching the broadest set of players with our games and empowering our partners to do the same," Microsoft said to USGamer in a statement. "Nothing further to announce today. We'll have more to share on Project Scarlett in the future."
When the Xbox One launched originally it didn't feature backwards compatibility but Microsoft has made a big push in the last generation to bring as many original Xbox and Xbox 360 games forward into the current generation. That doesn't include every game released, as it required publisher permission to make games compatible on the Xbox One. And, recently, Microsoft announced that it has released its last wave of backwards compatibility updates. Going forward, it is focusing on the backwards compatibility capability of the Xbox Scarlett.
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The mention of hardware is also interesting - is Microsoft talking about Kinect cameras or does it also mean all peripherals, such as controllers, racing wheels, and headsets?
This is a strong statement of intent from Microsoft, because, while Sony has had patchy backwards compatibility on its consoles and it has re-released old games for digital purchase on newer consoles, it hasn't gone so far as to support all its previous consoles on its most recent hardware. However, Sony has already said that the next PlayStation will support PlayStation 4 games and PSVR headsets.
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft