One of the core features of the Xbox One is its ability to play (select) Xbox 360 titles through the Backward Compatibility service. This essentially means gamers can continue to play classics on the updated Xbox hardware. However, while I personally think this is a standout feature, gamers are not so fussy. New research shows that most do not bother with Backward Compatibility.
New research conducted by Ars Technica shows that Backward Compatibility titles account for just 1.5 percent of total gaming minutes for Xbox One gamers. The website used a third-party API to take a random sample of gaming usage on Microsoft console.
Data was gathered from nearly one million Xbox One gamertags over a five-month period from last September.
Before continuing, it is always worth mentioning that this is just a snapshot and by no means definitive. However, considering the thoroughness and length of the study, it makes for very interesting reading.
Ars Technica observed 1.65 billion minutes of total usage, averaging 1,526 minutes per player. For perspective, that is 25.4 hours of game time for each player. From this, the average spent on titles from the Xbox 360 was just 23.9 minutes.
The most popular title for Backward Compatibility was Call of Duty: Black Ops. The first-person shooter Xbox 360 disc came to Xbox One last September. Despite its relative popularity, the game was only player by four out of every 1,000 gamers.
One of the most interesting aspects of the data is that when the Xbox One and PS4 were launched, gamers lamented the fact that games from older consoles would not work on the new hardware.
However, somewhere along the way, they simply moved on. Yes, it seems like an attractive feature (and I believe it is), but gamers are generally not interested. Perhaps the fact many Xbox 360 classics have been released as dedicated Xbox One games has not helped.
Sadly, such a lack of interest means Microsoft is unlikely to embrace the feature. Xbox chief Phil Spencer has said it is unlikely that Backward Compatibility will come to Windows 10. Microsoft is clearly privy to the accurate data and will likely see no reason to extend the feature to desktops.
Equally, this is gamers speaking, so do not expect to see Backward Compatibility on the next generation of consoles.