Xbox’s Mike Ybarra Reflects on Challenges of Xbox One Backwards Compatibility; “Many People Told Us It Would Be Impossible”

on July 23, 2015 12:28 PM

During last month’s E3 2015, one of the most shocking announcements to come from Microsoft’s press conference this year came from the reveal that backwards compatibility with select Xbox 360 would begin rolling out to Xbox One owners by the end of this year: in particular, those from the Microsoft development team took to explaining the enormous challenges that laid ahead for what already seems like a rewarding experience for Xbox fans.

Speaking in an interview with Xbox Wire, Xbox’s Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra reflected on the many announcements, projects, and upcoming features of the Xbox platform in the coming years, while specifically addressing the E3 reveal of backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games on Xbox One and the numerous challenges it presented.

The interview detailed that as the development team for Xbox worked on Xbox One backwards compatibility for over three years to make it happen, Ybarra reflected that though the feature was easily among the most-requested from fans, it was far from easy in making it happen, as Ybarra explained:

“The ability to play Xbox 360 titles on Xbox One has been one of the most-voted-for consumer feature requests. At a fundamental level, we believe that consumers should be able to play their content on the devices they own.”

We love our Xbox 360 customers – their passion, their feedback, their loyalty. We, ourselves, love playing Xbox 360 games!  All of these factors resonate deeply with the Xbox engineering team. The net result is that backward compatibility has been something the team and I have been passionate about delivering. We knew it would be an enormous engineering challenge, and many people told us it would be impossible. However, the team had conviction, and delivered. This is what I love most about Xbox: We’re all gamers, and fan feedback fuels our passion.”

Xbox One backwards compatibility is currently rolling out through the Xbox Preview Program for qualifying members in a testing phase – the full program will roll out this fall for the general public, with over 100 titles expected for support with the program by this holiday season.

 /  Features Editor
Ryan is the Features Editor at DualShockers, with over five years' experience in the world of video games culture and writing. He holds a BA in English & Cinema from Binghamton University, and lives in New York City.