Backwards Compatibility is dead, Microsoft.

image source: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/backward-compatibility?xr=shellnav

Stop telling us it’s backwards compatibility — or more specifically: stop telling us that Xbox binaries repackaged with emulators to be able to run on the Xbox One is “backwards compatibility”. The same thing happened back with the 7th generation of consoles where 6th gen games were finally re-released on the Xbox 360 on its games marketplace.

That was not called “backwards compatibility”, it shouldn’t be called that now.

True backwards compatibility will never be a thing ever again outside of emulation for games that have been made on consoles prior to the eighth-generation of consoles. The hardware and software has changed so dramatically that it’s more like asking whether a PS1 game would run natively on a Macintosh computer when you ask whether an Xbox original title will run natively on the Xbox One. The systems that those games ran on are completely and utterly different from each other in every possible way.

There was a time when backwards compatibility — or even cross-compatibility — was a frequently touted feature (and was in fact one of the reasons why the gaming industry nearly died altogether in the 80's), way back in the “cartridge-era” of console games. This trend continued, but was only supported by very few console manufacturers, until eventually it saw its support be phased out as it proved too costly, too inefficient and too prone to malfunction with the PS3 where Sony outright stopped supporting backwards compatibility for select PS2 and PS1 titles — opting instead to re-release them as repackaged binaries on the PSN games store.

Microsoft also did the same by taking classic Xbox original games and selling them once more on the Xbox Live marketplace for the Xbox 360 — but due to the immense hardware differences between the 7th and 6th gen brethren from the same family, you couldn’t expect to simply slam an Xbox original disc into the 360 and expect it to magically function.

Because it wouldn’t. The Xbox One is the same deal.

So, really, when you’re being advertised to be receiving “backwards compatibility”, that’s borderline false advertisement. You’re not getting true backwards compatibility. You’re getting a re-release of a game, repackaged in an emulator that was specifically tailored to function on the Xbox One.

It’s time that news media stopped telling you lies and half-truths.