In recent weeks, there’s been some debate about the popularity of the Xbox One’s backward compatibility functionality — after a report was published that indicated not many users took advantage of the feature. Microsoft shot back, saying that the data was inaccurate. Now, the company has confirmed a major expansion of the program.
During today’s conference at E3 2017, Xbox head Phil Spencer confirmed that the company’s engineers are hard at work bringing original Xbox games to the Xbox One. Not many specifics were given in terms of the titles set to be made available, but Spencer did pledge that some of the community’s “favorite” games would make the cut.
The only game that was confirmed for Xbox backward compatibility was the cult favorite Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. The game is still appreciated for its stylized 1930s-inspired production design and engrossing arcade gameplay.
High Road to Revenge was an early Xbox Live hit, but it hasn’t been re-released since its debut in 2003. The fact that Microsoft chose to promote Xbox backward compatibility with this game might give an indication of its intentions — a focus on overlooked titles and diamonds in the rough.
This kind of strategy will appeal to hardcore gamers, especially those who have been with the Xbox brand since the beginning. We saw evidence of this when the long-gestating remake of Phantom Dust was released for free earlier this year.
Spencer confirmed that Xbox backward compatibility is coming to the Xbox One before the end of 2017, but he didn’t offer up a specific date at this time. We expect to hear more about which games are set for inclusion over the coming months — but fans will likely be preparing their wishlists already.