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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 Keflings Download New
A World of Keflings Download New
Alien Hominid HD Download Remake
Assassin’s Creed II Box Copy New
Asteroids Deluxe Download Remake
Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Download New
Banjo-Kazooie Download Remake
Banjo-Tooie Download Remake
BattleBlock Theater Download New
Bejeweled 2 Download New
Bellator: MMA Onslaught Download New
Beyond Good & Evil HD Download Remake
Blood of the Werewolf Download New
BloodRayne: Betrayal Download New
Borderlands Box Copy New
Call of Juarez Gunslinger Box Copy New
Castle Crashers Download New
CastleStorm Download New
Centipede & Millipede Download Remake
Condemned: Criminal Origins Box Copy New
Crazy Taxi Download Remake
Deadliest Warrior: Legends Download New
Defense Grid: The Awakening Download New
DiRT 3 Box Copy New
DiRT Showdown Box Copy New
Discs of Tron Download New
Doom Download Remake
Doom II Download Remake
Dungeon Siege III Box Copy New
Earthworm Jim HD Download Remake
Fable II Box Copy New
Fallout 3 Box Copy New
Feeding Frenzy Download New
Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown Download New
Gears of War Box Copy New
Gears of War 2 Box Copy New
Gears of War 3 Box Copy New
Gears of War: Judgment Box Copy New
Golden Axe Download Remake
Halo: Spartan Assault Download New
Hardwood Backgammon Download New
Hardwood Hearts Download New
Hardwood Spades Download New
Heavy Weapon Download New
Hexic HD Download Remake
Ikaruga Toy Soldiers: Cold War Download New
Jetpac Refuelled Download New
Joy Ride Turbo Download New
Just Cause 2 Box Copy New
Kameo: Elements of Power Box Copy New
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game Box Copy New
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Box Copy New
Lode Runner Download New
LUMINES LIVE! Download New
Mass Effect Box Copy New
Metal Slug 3 Download Remake
Metal Slug XX Download New
Might & Magic Clash of Heroes Download New
Mirror’s Edge Box Copy New
Missile Command Download Remake
Monday Night Combat Download New
Monkey Island 2: Special Edition Download Remake
Monkey Island: Special Edition Download Remake
Ms. Splosion Man Download New
Mutant Blobs Attack!!! Download New
N+ Download New
NBA JAM: On Fire Edition Box Copy New
NiGHTS into dreams Download Remake
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Box Copy New
Pac-Man: Championship Edition Download New
Pac-Man: Championship Edition DX+ Download New
Perfect Dark Download Remake
Perfect Dark Zero Box Copy New
Phantom Breaker:Battle Grounds Download New
Pinball FX Download New
Plants vs. Zombies Download New
Prince of Persia Box Copy New
Putty Squad Download New
Rayman 3 HD Download Remake
R-Type Dimensions Download New
Sacred Citadel Download New
Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co. Download Remake
Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe Download Remake
Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World Download Remake
Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage Download Remake
Shadow Complex Download New
Sonic CD Download Remake
Sonic The Hedgehog Download Remake
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Download Remake
Sonic The Hedgehog 3 Download Remake
South Park: The Stick of Truth Box Copy New
Super Meat Boy Download New
Supreme Commander 2 Download New
Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix Vegas Box Copy New
Tom Clancy’s RainbowSix Vegas 2 Box Copy New
Torchlight Download New
Toy Soldiers Download New
Toy Soldiers: Cold War Download New
Tron: Evolution Box Copy New
Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon Download New
Viva Piñata Box Copy New
Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise Box Copy New
Wolfenstein 3D Download Remake
Zuma Download New

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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