Microsoft’s Don Mattrick Says Backwards Compatibility is “Backwards”

It’s a day after the Xbox One announcement and the reception around the interwebs has been…. less than great. The bloggers have ruled, and their expressions of disappointment range from mild to downright indignant. Sony’s stock has shot up while Microsoft’s is down. Now the head honcho of the Xbox division has his foot planted firmly in his mouth after comments he made about backwards compatibility.

Microsoft Interactive Entertainment head, Don Mattrick gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal today where he dismissed the idea of backwards compatibility outright.

“If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards,” he said.

Mr. Mattrick, them’s fightin’ words!

One of the most disappointing things about both the Xbox One and the PS4 is their lack of backwards compatibility. Gamers who’ve spent this generation amassing huge libraries of games are getting the shaft, and it they’ll be much less likely to be early adopters of the new hardware.

However, both consoles will be powered by x86 chips, a completely different architecture than the Power PC based consoles of the current generation. So backwards compatibility isn’t really an option.

But Don Mattrick’s comments don’t reflect this. According to the WSJ, he “says he doesn’t think compatibility is really a problem. He said only 5% of customers play older games on a new video game system anyway, so spending time and money to develop technology to allow them to play older games isn’t worth it.”

It’s one thing to say, “Ok guys, we appreciate all the money you’ve spent on our hardware and games this past generation. We can’t offer backwards compatibility but we’ll be working on an emulation solution.” Or even, “sorry”.

But Mattrick’s flippant comments show little concern for the hardcore gamers that made the 360 such a colossal success. That attitude was echoed in yesterday’s reveal, with its focus on everything but the games.

[Via: Wall Street Journal]

  • Metallinatus

    That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever ‘heard’…
    If you really believe that so release Windows Blue with compatibility to RT apps only, I mean, RT is completely outselling WIndows 8, right?

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