Xbox Boss Prioritizes Game Preservation for Non-Backwards Compatible Games
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently addressed concerns over the impending shutdown of the Xbox 360 digital storefront and the potential loss of 220 non-backwards compatible games. In an interview with Eurogamer at Gamescom, Spencer expressed a desire to find solutions to ensure the preservation and playability of these games.
Game Preservation is “Critical” to Xbox
Spencer emphasized that game preservation is a priority for Team Xbox. He acknowledged having a list of the non-back compat games set to be lost in the shuffle “stapled” to his forehead. While some of these games may already be available on PC, Spencer believes that the best ecosystem for game preservation is not tied to old hardware.
“That’s one thing, because it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be able to play it on the existing hardware that you bought 15 years ago, but preservation is front and center when all these decisions are made,” Spencer said.
Prior Notice for Xbox 360 Storefront Shutdown
For games that are not available on PC, Spencer stressed the importance of giving players a year’s notice before shutting down the Xbox 360 storefront. This allows players to purchase any desired titles before they become unavailable. The Xbox 360 store is scheduled to go offline on July 29, 2024. While there are no definitive plans yet, Spencer expressed optimism that a solution could be found within the next year to keep these non-back compat games accessible.
Reasons Behind the Shutdown
According to Spencer, the decision to shut down the Xbox 360 storefront is primarily due to the lifespan of the hardware and the decreasing number of users still actively playing and buying games on the Xbox 360. As the community of buyers dwindles and hardware sustainability becomes an issue, Microsoft aims to focus its efforts on platforms where players are actively engaged.
Preserving Game Content
While some of the digital-only titles affected by the store shutdown, such as Supergiant’s Bastion, have been re-released on newer Xbox hardware, others like Bionic Commando: ReArmed have found a home on PC and other platforms. A full list of titles impacted by the store shutdown can be found on Video Games Chronicle.
It is worth noting that game content already purchased on the Xbox 360 will remain playable and re-downloadable. Additionally, backward-compatible titles will still be accessible for purchase on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. However, it should be noted that the Microsoft Movies & TV app on the Xbox 360 will cease to function once the store goes offline, rendering all purchased content through the app inaccessible.