Xbox’s Backward Compatibility Comes to an End

Posted on June 10, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Games, Xbox One with 24 Comments

Microsoft is bringing its Backward Compatibility program for Xbox to an end. The company today announced at E3 that it is moving away from Backward Compatibility, announcing what’s next for Xbox.

Microsoft is introducing some new Original Xbox classics, Xbox 360 titles, and Xbox One X enhanced titles for Backward Compatibility today. These are the last few titles that will be joining Backward Compatibility, bringing the program to an end. Microsoft says the company is looking towards the future of compatibility on Xbox after adding more than 600 titles to the Backward Compatibility catalog.

Microsoft is now focusing on making these titles work perfectly fine on Project Scarlett, it’s next-gen Xbox console. The company is focusing on allowing thousands of Xbox titles from all the four generations work on Scarlett. “As such, we have now shifted our focus to help make the games you love playing on Xbox One compatible with future Xbox hardware. After this week, we have no plans to add additional Original Xbox or Xbox 360 titles to the catalog on Xbox One, but we’re excited to continue our work on Xbox compatibility across platforms and devices, which remains a top priority,” Microsoft said.

So yes, Backward Compatibility is ending but Microsoft will continue to focus on compatibility and Original Xbox + Xbox 360 games that were playable on the Xbox One will work just fine on Scarlett.

Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (24)

24 responses to “Xbox’s Backward Compatibility Comes to an End”

  1. evox81

    So does this mean that Scarlett is not just another iteration of the Xbox One? If it were I would assume, like the One X, that everything would be inherently compatible.

    • IanYates82

      In reply to evox81:

      I thought so too.

      Probably to do with some hacks made to games expecting certain video card behaviour... The work was done to understand the quirks required game by game, so now they're going to use that knowledge to make sure the quirks are emulated properly with the new card (which is faster, newer drivers, etc)

      It's a shame we won't get some old favourites ever ported...

      • Riopato

        In reply to IanYates82:

        There's 2 types of emulation. Either tweak the rom to be compatible to the platform you are running on by adding a software layer to make understand the hardware or tweak the hardware to simulate the correct bios for the rom to trick it to "think" it's running on the hardware it was written for. The backward compatibility program on the Xbox one and 360 was the former and Scarlett is the latter. There is no longer a need to "port" these games anymore since these games doesn't care it's not running on newer hardware.

    • lezmaka

      In reply to evox81:

      Scarlett is going to have a new graphics architecture compared to Xbox One and Xbox One X. Upgrading your graphics card on your PC or switching from an AMD/Nvidia card "just works" because there is a driver that translates the instructions from DirectX (or whatever) into something the graphics card understands.

      Each new generation of PC graphics cards needs a not insignificant driver update to function. Also, the drivers need to deal with possible hardware configurations various PCs might have. The driver (or the equivalent) for the Xbox's are specifically tuned to the Xbox it's running on to get as much performance as possible.

      And like Ian mentions, there are probably bugs in the driver for the current Xbox hardware that are either taken advantage of intentionally or fixing the bug would cause a problem with a game. The difference between the graphics architecture of Xbox One and Xbox One X was relatively minor compared to what's coming in Scarlett.

    • wright_is

      In reply to evox81:

      Did you read the article? They released a few titles today, and that's it, end of the programme, no more titles will be added. The 600 that have been converted will stay.

      Key is the sentence: Microsoft is now focusing on making these titles work perfectly fine on Project Scarlett, it’s next-gen Xbox console.

      • maethorechannen

        In reply to wright_is:

        When I was watching the Inside Xbox show, they made it sound like the BC team were working on making sure current gen titles worked smoothly on Scarlett. 

        A lot of that might be getting titles Scarlett Enhanced, though I have run into a couple of titles that didn't play right on the X (the Atari Classics Collections), so maybe having someone go through and check everything is working OK on the Scarlett isn't a bad idea.

  2. IanYates82

    I wish Simpsons Road Rage was brought forward... Loved that game!! Crazy Taxi is *not* a good substitute at all unfortunately.

    And Shrek Party. That was heaps of fun. One of the best 4 player mini game games I've ever played.

    Both were OG xbox titles.

    Oh well

  3. jeetisking

    Microsoft is bringing its Backward Compatibility program for Xbox to an end. Interesting to hear that.

    visit to know Best Games in play store

  4. TheJoeFin

    More accurate title: "Xbox’s Backward Compatibility Stops Adding New Titles"

  5. Greg Green

    Wouldn’t a more accurate header be Xbox’s Backward Compatibility Comes to an End on Xbox One.


  6. saturn

    I thought it was just me who was confused by the article title and then I realised what Mehedi meant. I’m not trying to be an asshole or anything, I just didn’t quite understand what he meant until I read the article in its entirety.

    What’s happening is that backwards compatibility for the XBOX One is ending as development shifts to focus on the next gen console’s backwards compatibility.

  7. BoItmanLives

    About damn time. Backward compat was a terrible substitute for a firstparty library. Hopefully MS learned their lesson for nextgen

  8. nerdile

    It seems like backwards compatibility is not at an end, since the over 600 Xbox and Xbox 360 titles will continue to be playable on Xbox One and future Scarlett consoles. So, everything will keep working as it does today, and it will also work in the next version. "The End" indeed...

  9. MikeGalos

    No. Unlike the badly worded headline, backward compatibility continues on and goes into the future.

    What actually is happening is that the Xbox team has completed making over 600 Xbox and Xbox 360 titles compatible with present and future Xbox devices and aren't adding any more Xbox and Xbox 360 games to that catalog.

    The BIG news is that those 600+ Xbox and Xbox 360 titles and all the current Xbox One titles will work on the Project Scarlet devices.

  10. Riopato

    Considering the supposed performance of Scarlett they are touting, wouldn't it be easier to just emulate previous consoles in virtual mode? This way backwards compatibility isn't necessary since it will allow all past libraries to simply run as if it's running on the real console. It's not as if they don't have the ability of getting the proprietary bios that controls their previous hardware.

Leave a Reply