Xbox One backward compatibility helps sell consoles, Microsoft says

Xbox's Phil Spencer: "I think backwards compatibility matters."

GameSpot staff
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GameSpot staff
2 min read

Xbox One sales in the United States rose 51 percent in June 2015 compared to June 2014, and jumped by an even healthier 79 percent during the week of E3. Was this big uptick in sales attributable to Microsoft's announcement of backward compatibility support for Xbox One?

It sounds like it at least played a part, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Asked that very question by a fan recently on Twitter, Spencer seemed to agree.

"June was a good month and I think backwards compatibility matters," he said. "Lots of Xbox 360 owners deciding when to make the jump; [Xbox One backward compatibility is a] big focus for us."


Spencer's comments match up with those from Microsoft CFO Amy Hood. Speaking during Microsoft's recent earnings presentation, she said the Xbox platform is "building momentum" thanks to backwards compatibility and the company's lineup of exclusive games for this holiday.

It's not just Microsoft that is looking forward to Xbox One backward compatibility. Major industry players GameStop and Ubisoft have both spoken out to praise Microsoft's decision to introduce the feature, which is currently in testing and will roll out to everyone this fall.

Backward compatibility, in theory at least, would help lessen the anxiety some people may feel if they are on the fence about upgrading from an Xbox 360 to an Xbox One. This, of course, only really works if the lineup of supported games is deep enough. Microsoft says there will be "hundreds" available later this year, though the current lineup is not that extensive.

For its part, Sony has said it has no plans to introduce backward compatibility for PlayStation 4.