We all know that the Xbox One won’t be backwards compatible, but since the Xbox 360 was backwards compatible, a lot of people were confused on why the new Xbox won’t be. According to Microsoft’s Don Mattrick, backwards compatibility is “backwards” thinking. Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Mattrick said only a “small percentage” of customers play older games, therefore, being backwards compatible isn’t fiscally prudent.
This is the same reason why Sony decided not to put BC in the PS4 as well, even though it would be nice to have, not that many people use it. Financially, it wouldn’t be a smart move for the company, that was one of the biggest reasons the PS3 cost so much at launch.
“We created something that understands how to be performant for all scenarios and all combinations,” says Mattrick. “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards.”
I know that we would all love cheaper consoles rather than backwards compatibility. There were over 70 million Xbox 360’s sold, and those buyers will still most likely still play it, even when the new system comes out. The same goes for the PS3, Sony has over 80 million PS3’s in houses, so they’re not going to just abandon that install base.