Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

50% of Xbox One owners have used backwards compatibility

Xbox 360 titles usually in Microsoft's daily ranking of most played games

Microsoft execs have disputed claims that backwards compatibility is barely used on its Xbox One console.

Ars Technica reported that Xbox Live user data shows Xbox One owners only spent 1.5% of their gaming time playing previous generation games between September 2016 and February 2017.

However, Xbox's chief marketing officer Mike Nichols has since taken to Twitter reporting much healthier stats.

GameSpot reports that the number of hours spent has more than doubled since the 210m reported in November 2016, and is far ahead of the 145m hours reported in August 2016.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer also backed up Nichols' claims, adding via Twitter: "Usually one or two BC games [are] in our daily top played games. Usage remains high. Quality games last and are worth playing."

He also notes that Xbox often sees a spike around the re-release of a backwards compatible game - most notably Red Dead Redemption.

"Quality is quality, regardless of generation," he concluded.

Ars Technica's study was based on a sample of 1m Xbox Live users - a fraction of the 26m Xbox One units that have been sold worldwide, many of which may host multiple accounts. It is perhaps to be expected that more users will be playing Xbox One titles over their 360 predecessors, but it seems Microsoft is satisfied with the 508m hours already racked up.

Microsoft introduced backwards compatibility to Xbox One back in 2015 and has since made over 300 titles from the Xbox 360's catalogue available to current generation owners. The upcoming Project Scorpio is also expected to play previous generation titles.

Related topics
James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was