Not content with the bombshell announcement that Microsoft dropped yesterday – when they confirmed the launch release date for the new Xbox One as November 22nd across all of their launch territories – news has leaked out that the console may even become backwards compatible at some point in the future.
Xbox Senior Director Albert Penello told Gamespot in an interview that backwards compatibility could be made possible on the Xbox One in the future using the Cloud. He was asked if Microsoft would be planning a backwards-compatibility option such as what Sony is doing with Gaikai, and Penello was fairly positive about the chances of that happening. Speaking on the subject, he stated:
Yeah, absolutely. That’s one of the things that makes [the cloud] at the same time both totally interesting and hard to describe to people. Because what the cloud can do is sort of hard to pin. When you say to the customer, we want the box to be connected, we want developers to know that the cloud is there. We’re really not trying to make up some phony thing. But there are so many things that the servers can do. Using our Azure cloud servers, sometimes it’s things like voice processing. It could be more complicated things like rendering full games like a Gaikai and delivering it to the box. We just have to figure out how, over time, how much does that cost to deliver, how good is the experience.
Unfortunately this still means that your existing library of games on disc will not be supported by the console, as neither the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 will offer disc-based backwards compatibility. So hang onto your Xbox 360 for now, especially as Microsoft are planning on supporting the console for another three years, with over one hundred new games already planned for the system.