There will be no more Xbox and Xbox 360 games due to licensing

The 20th anniversary of the Xbox launch was celebrated yesterday with an event featuring eye-catching announcements such as ‘Halo Infinite’ availability in multiplayer beta, that of a next documentary of six episodes about its origin or the broadcast of a series based on the ‘Halo’ franchise, but if there were protagonists, those were the old (and good) Xbox and Xbox 360 games.

At Microsoft they wanted to rescue 76 mythical titles that can now be enjoyed, in many cases with improved graphics, but they also warned that this was their last effort in this area. Legal licenses are the reason that from now on there are no more backward compatible titles, and that’s a real shame.

Old games are better than ever on new consoles

Who enjoyed an original Xbox or an Xbox 360 have been lucky enough to be able to recover part of those catalogs thanks to backward compatibility Microsoft offers for years on their Xbox One and now on their Xbox Series X.

The feature has always been one of the clear advantages over the PlayStation, which were much more limited in this regard, and that has allowed millions of players can enjoy mythical titles that went on the market almost two decades ago.

Yesterday the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Xbox was a tribute to that characteristic: those responsible for Microsoft indicated that they added at a stroke no less than 76 old Xbox and Xbox 360 titles that could be enjoyed on the Xbox One and the new Xbox Series S / X.

Among them were well-known sagas such as ‘Max Payne’ or ‘FEAR’, but also various titles from the ‘Dead or Alive’ or ‘Star Wars’ series, and also endearing titles like ‘Ridge Racer 6’, ‘Skate 2’ or ‘Gladius’.

There are many more, of course, and also visual improvements have been applied to all of them that allow you to enjoy them at a higher resolution depending on which console you play them on (four times more on the Xbox Series X, for example). In others –here the list– there is also support for FPS Boost technology that lets you enjoy those titles even more by playing them at 60 FPS.

According the Wikipedia, there are 632 backward compatible Xbox 360 games out of 2,154 that were released, while the original Xbox there are quite a few less, 63 of the 996 that were published. There are many, without a doubt, but it is that gamers are ambitious and we want more. That’s why the other part of yesterday’s announcement is sad.

Where is my ‘Top Spin’?

The release of those 76 new backward compatible games was great news, but it didn’t come alone. In Microsoft they revealed that this it would be the last batch of backward compatible games that published:

“While we remain focused on preserving and enhancing the art form of games, we have reached the limit of our ability to add new games to the catalog of the past due to legal, technical and licensing restrictions. Thank you for being part of this journey with us. “

How do they explain in the official announcement, reasons for stopping new backward compatible releases here are legal: the licenses of these titles do not allow “transferring” them to the new generations of consoles, although there may also be some technical conflicts that hinder this process.

Some of the old games from the original Xbox that are still playable on new consoles. The list is great, but also limited. There are many more on the Xbox 360.

The licensing problem is of course a tragedy in preserving those old titles that can hardly be enjoyed anymore. I had long awaited the potential launch of the legendary ‘Top Spin’ of the original Xbox as a backward compatible title, but that launch never happened.

There are many other mythical ones for many other users that will not arrive anymore. And Reddit there was a clear discussion about it and people lamented that there will no longer be an easy option to enjoy titles What ‘The Simpsons: Hit & Run‘, ‘Mech Assault’, ‘Metal Arms’, ‘Gun’, ‘Amped’ (1 y 2), o ‘Burnout 3 Takedown’, entre otros.

The problem in many cases are the licenses, not only of the games but even of their soundtracks or details such as the car brands that are included in driving games. Although independent remastering attempts do appear from time to time – the case of ‘Golden Eye 007’ was especially noticeable– dealing with these legal problems is very difficult.

Are there chances that some of those titles can end up being enjoyed? It is difficult, but not impossible: those who own the rights to those video games could decide, for example create some kind of streaming service with which to access them (as with Game Pass).

It is for example what Nintendo has done with its service Nintendo Switch Online (NSO), which allows you to play video games from the old NES and SNES, and although the catalog is limited, it is a demonstration that something like that could be doable in the future for other games from other developers.

Until then, yes, we have a few mythical games that we can continue to enjoy thanks to that blessed backward compatibility of the Xbox. And for those who are not there, you already know: It’s time to dust off the old consoles and enjoy them again as if he hadn’t spent time with the old games that we still keep. That’s not a bad idea either, don’t you think?

Source: Xataka by

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