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Ars Technica Corrects their Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Analysis

by Jose Belmonte


Ars Technica has issued a correction to their controversial analysis of the Xbox One users’ interest on the backwards compatibility and other functions after Microsoft disputed the information publicly. The site specialized in technology news has said that the response from Microsoft has led them to recalibrate their numbers, resulting in vastly different results in some aspects of the study.

The key of the issue here seems to be a misunderstanding in the nature of part of the information provided by the Xbox API. What Ars Technica understood as complete information about usage was really an incomplete estimation provided by the system to Xbox users part of the study to compare them with other gamers.

That difference has led to some staggering differences in the conclusions about total usage. One of the most noteworthy is the usage by the “My Games and Apps” section, which the original article showed to be 6.3%, but Microsoft claiming to actually be 71%.

However, Ars Technica also says that if those approximations of usage were undercounted at the same rate by the Xbox API, the percentages of relative use between apps would still be valid.

That said, multiplying the monthly average of 25.9 minutes spent on backwards compatibility noted in the original article by a factor of 11, which would recreate the difference seen in the My Games and Apps example above, makes the number go very close to the 4.5 monthly hours claimed by Microsoft. Which would point out that the numbers follow a very similar pattern of “underreporting” data.

Considering the difficulty to obtain a reliable impression of the usage of each feature on Xbox One, perhaps we should also follow Microsoft’s reasoning that they continue to support the backwards compatibility feature on their console because they are satisfied with the users’ engagement.

- This article was updated on:March 8th, 2018

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