Possibility of Xbox One Backwards Compatibility


The release date was announced yesterday, and today Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One may be backwards compatible some time in the future. This is only a possibility due to the Azure cloud servers, which the Xbox One will have access to.

Albert Penello, Microsoft’s Senior Director was interviewed by Gamespot. During this interview, Penello explained that the cloud servers could have multiple functions. However, at the moment Microsoft haven’t settled on which function they intend on following. Asked whether the cloud servers could make the Xbox One backwards compatible through streaming, Penello responded saying:

“Yeah, absolutely. That’s one of the things that makes the cloud at the same time both totally interesting and hard to describe to people. Because what the cloud can do is sort of hard to pin. When you say to the customer, we want the box to be connected, we want developers to know that the cloud is there. We’re really not trying to make up some phony thing. We just have to figure out how, over time, how much does that cost to deliver, how good is the experience”. “But there are so many things that the servers can do. Using our Azure cloud servers, sometimes it’s things like voice processing. It could be more complicated things like rendering full games like a Gaikai and delivering it to the box. We just have to figure out how, over time, how much does that cost to deliver, how good is the experience.”

At the moment, both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 won’t have backwards compatibility. Although this may be the case at launch, Sony, and now Microsoft have dropped hints suggesting that it may happen in the future. Sony plan to use Gaikai’s steaming technology to help the PlayStation 4 become backwards compatible at some stage. Microsoft now intend on following Sony’s footsteps, yet again.