Microsoft has done a bang-up job in terms of game preservation and backward compatibility this generation.
The Xbox Series X is a powerhouse of a console in terms of cross-generation preservation, letting people play a large swath of games across the entire lifecycle of the Xbox ecosystem. The program expanded even further recently as Microsoft explained that backward compatibility support was headed to the cloud, with “classic Xbox and Xbox 360 games” available on mobile devices.
Responding to a fan on Twitter, Microsoft reiterated their commitment to the past. Here’s the full statement from Microsoft’s Xbox team: “As time goes on, it becomes more important than ever that we ensure gaming icons and classics are preserved for new and old players alike. Whether your first time playing Morrowind is from 2002 on your Xbox or 2021 on your phone, we’re excited to share these experiences with you!”
Having played Morrowind in 2002, that statement is wild to think about. While I figured games would proliferate on as many devices as possible in the future, I never thought it would be a shared ecosystem like this; with pushes from cross-play and cross-progression.
I’ve said this many times, but Sony’s “this is how you trade games” PSA is coming back to bite them now. Microsoft could have made that video ten times over this generation with all of their advancements, like the aforementioned backward compatibility push, as well as things like save and upgrade license transferring through “Smart Delivery.” Oh, and last generation: cross-play, when Sony was the last big holdout.
How times have changed!