Even nicer, even bigger – the new next-gen consoles allow developers to set completely new standards for games. But Xbox boss Phil Spencer also has another area in mind: retro games. Many old games no longer run on modern systems – and that’s exactly what he’d like to change.
Xbox boss advocates better retro support
Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series consoles offer backward compatibility – but only to a limited extent. Not nearly all of the games from previous generations can be played on the new consoles, which inevitably leads to that some retro games will soon no longer be able to be played on modern systems.
Phil Spencer is also aware of this problem and mentions in a message that he hopes that the entire game industry will soon dedicate itself to a solution:
“I think we can learn from history how we got here through the creative. I love it in music. I love it in movies and on TV, and there are good reasons for games to follow suit. (…)
My hope (and I think I have to put it this way) is that we as an industry will work on a legal emulation that will allow modern hardware to run any (within reasonable limits) older executable so that you can play any game can play. “
In other words, Spencer hopes that developers and publishers will soon give players the opportunity to Legally emulate all old games on new systems:
“I think if we say, ‘Hey, everyone should be able to buy or own any game and keep playing,’ that would be a great north star for us as an industry.”
The current emulation status
Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, GOG and Co. already offer players the opportunity to emulate and play some games on the PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC – but they do this support is often limited to the relevant platform.
There is currently no flawless legal method of natively emulating The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on an Android smartphone. If you want to play the classic on the go, you have to grab the switch and also buy the expansion package for the switch online service.
It remains to be seen whether the industry will deal with expanding support for retro games on modern consoles in the near future. After all, Microsoft is setting a good example and expanded the selection of backward-compatible games on the Xbox Series and Xbox One by 70 more games.