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Xbox boss: Backwards compatibility is "really backwards"

Mattrick believes players won't miss Xbox 360 games on Xbox One

With yesterday's Xbox One reveal, we now know that Microsoft's latest console and the Sony PlayStation 4 won't be backwards compatible with their PowerPC-based predecessors. Microsoft Interactive Entertainment president Don Mattrick told the Wall Street Journal that the company is not planning on offering even a token backwards compatibility system, like it did with the Xbox 360.

"If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards," he said.

Mattrick said that only 5 percent of customers play older titles on a new system, so Microsoft doesn't find the option worthwhile. Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson believes that a lack of backwards compatibility could hurt the system in the short term, but it could help software sales as players "rebuild their entire library for a new console."

Sony is working on some form of backwards compatibility for the PlayStation 4, possibly based on the cloud-streaming Gaikai service, but no concrete plans have been announced.

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.