Study Finds that Xbox One Users Barely Use Backwards Compatibility

by Jose Belmonte

Sony’s Sales Chief Jim Ryan has received some heat recently for saying that the backwards compatibility is “one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much.” Coincidentally, a new study by Ars Technica released today has reached the conclusion that Xbox One users largely ignore the backwards compatibility on their current-generation console, spending an average of only 1.5% of their time with the console playing XBox 360 games.

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The study analyzed data from close to one million active Xbox One users for five months, starting on September 2016. In average, each user spent 1526 minutes with their consoles during the studio, with only 23.9 minutes spent on playing games from the previous generation.

The rank of more popular features on the console would be topped logically by Xbox One games with 54.7% of the time spent playing them, followed by the Netflix app by 16.5%, “other” non-game apps with 14.1%, the “TV” app with 6.7%, the Youtube app with 6.6%, and finally Xbox 360 games with 1.5%.

The most popular 360 game on Xbox One out of the 300 title collection was Call of Duty: Black Ops, which was played by 3 or 4 out of every 1000 active Xbox Live users. While that may look poor, the studio notes that it’s actually a competitive performance compared to the average Xbox One game. However, the rest of backwards compatibility titles fall far from this result, and no other game having presence in the top 100 most popular titles in the console.

Microsoft has seemed pleased with the reception to their backwards compatibility service since it was launched, and while they have always released accurate information, Ars Technica says that it’s more about the context rather than the hard numbers. For example, Microsoft announced that Xbox One users had spent about 9 million hours playing 360 games during the first month of the service, but that actually only represents a few minutes being played by the 19 million userbase that the console had at the time.

No matter the actual effect on the market, it’s obvious to say that backwards compatibility is a well-regarded feature by the users, and that it certainly reflects better on the public image of the company who offers it.

- This article was updated on March 8th, 2018

About The Author

From Murcia to New York City, I go through life learning as much as I can about technology, TV shows and videogames. My motto is: Coffee, coffee, coffee.