Only 28% of Xbox One titles are backwards compatible |

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Only 28% of Xbox One backwards compatible games are boxed titles

The first line-up of backwards compatible Xbox One games has been revealed, but the included titles suggest Microsoft has misunderstood why fans were so excited about the feature.

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Key Findings

  • 104 backwards compatible Xbox 360 games which can run on Xbox One available at launch
  • 28% are “Boxed Copy” games
  • 72% are Live Arcade downloadable games
  • 36% of the Live Arcade Games are remakes from previous generations

When Microsoft revealed the backwards compatibility feature for Xbox One, which allows selected Xbox 360 titles to be played on the newer console, many imagined it would be an opportunity to revisit that pile of shame — or at least dust off a classic and enjoy it a second time. Yet of the 104 titles revealed as part of Microsoft’s launch of the backwards compatibility feature, there are only 29 that even came in “box copy” form – that’s just 28%! And while subjective, it’s fair to say not all of those are of a quality that can see them supersede a newly released title.

We recently ran this analysis to show which games were displayed on the marketing material for Backwards Compatibility, but not announced as part of the initial 104 games. Hopefully we will start to see some of them emerge sooner rather than later.

Here is a breakdown of the currently announced titles for you;

A Kingdom for KeflingsDownloadNew
A World of KeflingsDownloadNew
Alien Hominid HDDownloadRemake
Assassin’s Creed IIBox CopyNew
Asteroids DeluxeDownloadRemake
Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & BoltsDownloadNew
BattleBlock TheaterDownloadNew
Bejeweled 2DownloadNew
Bellator: MMA OnslaughtDownloadNew
Beyond Good & Evil HDDownloadRemake
Blood of the WerewolfDownloadNew
BloodRayne: BetrayalDownloadNew
BorderlandsBox CopyNew
Call of Juarez GunslingerBox CopyNew
Castle CrashersDownloadNew
Centipede & MillipedeDownloadRemake
Condemned: Criminal OriginsBox CopyNew
Crazy TaxiDownloadRemake
Deadliest Warrior: LegendsDownloadNew
Defense Grid: The AwakeningDownloadNew
DiRT 3Box CopyNew
DiRT ShowdownBox CopyNew
Discs of TronDownloadNew
Doom IIDownloadRemake
Dungeon Siege IIIBox CopyNew
Earthworm Jim HDDownloadRemake
Fable IIBox CopyNew
Fallout 3Box CopyNew
Feeding FrenzyDownloadNew
Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck ShowdownDownloadNew
Gears of WarBox CopyNew
Gears of War 2Box CopyNew
Gears of War 3Box CopyNew
Gears of War: JudgmentBox CopyNew
Golden AxeDownloadRemake
Halo: Spartan AssaultDownloadNew
Hardwood BackgammonDownloadNew
Hardwood HeartsDownloadNew
Hardwood SpadesDownloadNew
Heavy WeaponDownloadNew
Hexic HDDownloadRemake
Ikaruga Toy Soldiers: Cold WarDownloadNew
Jetpac RefuelledDownloadNew
Joy Ride TurboDownloadNew
Just Cause 2Box CopyNew
Kameo: Elements of PowerBox CopyNew
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video GameBox CopyNew
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete SagaBox CopyNew
Lode RunnerDownloadNew
Mass EffectBox CopyNew
Metal Slug 3DownloadRemake
Metal Slug XXDownloadNew
Might & Magic Clash of HeroesDownloadNew
Mirror’s EdgeBox CopyNew
Missile CommandDownloadRemake
Monday Night CombatDownloadNew
Monkey Island 2: Special EditionDownloadRemake
Monkey Island: Special EditionDownloadRemake
Ms. Splosion ManDownloadNew
Mutant Blobs Attack!!!DownloadNew
NBA JAM: On Fire EditionBox CopyNew
NiGHTS into dreamsDownloadRemake
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon RisingBox CopyNew
Pac-Man: Championship EditionDownloadNew
Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+DownloadNew
Perfect DarkDownloadRemake
Perfect Dark ZeroBox CopyNew
Phantom Breaker:Battle GroundsDownloadNew
Pinball FXDownloadNew
Plants vs. ZombiesDownloadNew
Prince of PersiaBox CopyNew
Putty SquadDownloadNew
Rayman 3 HDDownloadRemake
R-Type DimensionsDownloadNew
Sacred CitadelDownloadNew
Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.DownloadRemake
Sega Vintage Collection: Golden AxeDownloadRemake
Sega Vintage Collection: Monster WorldDownloadRemake
Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of RageDownloadRemake
Shadow ComplexDownloadNew
Sonic CDDownloadRemake
Sonic The HedgehogDownloadRemake
Sonic The Hedgehog 2DownloadRemake
Sonic The Hedgehog 3DownloadRemake
South Park: The Stick of TruthBox CopyNew
Super Meat BoyDownloadNew
Supreme Commander 2DownloadNew
Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix VegasBox CopyNew
Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix Vegas 2Box CopyNew
Toy SoldiersDownloadNew
Toy Soldiers: Cold WarDownloadNew
Tron: EvolutionBox CopyNew
Ugly Americans: ApocalypsegeddonDownloadNew
Viva PiñataBox CopyNew
Viva Piñata: Trouble In ParadiseBox CopyNew
Wolfenstein 3DDownloadRemake

Bottom line

Microsoft has arguably missed the point on backwards compatibility. Rather than wowing us with a list of games filled with classic pile of shame entrants or hall of famers worthy of a replay, 72% of the catalogue is comprised of downloadable throwaways. And of those, 27 games (36% of the launch group) are actually re-releases of games from even older generations.

To be fair to Microsoft, there may well be be sound technical reasons for taking this approach. Perhaps stability or quality concerns meant the company didn’t want to bite off more than it could chew in the initial weeks and months? Perhaps emulating and testing a smaller downloadable titles is just a lot easier and more will be passed fit for sale in time? Perhaps the bigger publishers were too focused on their pre-Christmas rosters to expend resources on a backwards compatible game?

All of these could and should be considered in this debate, but on face value, it’s hard not feel a little flat about the first announcement after all the hoopla leading in – especially when most of the key big budget titles (Gears of War series, Rainbow Six Vegas series, Fallout 3, Dirt 3, Just Cause 2) were already announced.

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