Microsoft announced some huge April additions for Xbox One’s backwards compatibility, including Jade Empire, Morrowind and six Star Wars games. They also announced six Xbox 360 titles coming with Xbox One X enhancements. These include Darksiders, Sonic Generation, Gears of War 2, Portal 2, Red Dead Redemption, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Microsoft are releasing the games in two batches, one on 17 April and another on 26 April.
Per Xbox.com, here’s the full list of games.
Original Xbox games releasing on April 17:
- Blinx: The Time Sweeper
- Conker: Live & Reloaded
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- Hunter: The Reckoning
- Jade Empire
- Panzer Dragoon Orta
- SSX 3
Original Xbox games releasing on April 26:
- Destroy All Humans!
- Full Spectrum Warrior
- Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
- MX Unleashed
- Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
- Star Wars Jedi Starfighter
- Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Star Wars Republic Commando
Is backwards compatibility Xbox’s biggest strength?
The Xbox One has struggled to meet the sales success of the PlayStation 4, which is the leading console, and the Nintendo Switch, which was the fastest selling console of all time in its launch year of 2017. Many attribute this to the severe lack of Xbox exclusives compared to Sony and Nintendo’s stellar lineups. As God of War 4 is set to release on PlayStation 4 on Friday, this trend will continue.
However, the one thing the Xbox One does over both the Switch and PS4 is backwards compatibility. As there are over 450 Xbox and Xbox 360 games compatible, Microsoft is rewarding longtime Xbox fans. While the PlayStation carries certain digital purchases across platforms, there is no backwards compatibility for disks. Nintendo is perhaps the worst at this, as Virtual Console purchases on Wii or Wii U remaining exclusive to those platforms.
Despite a lack of support for first-party exclusives, Microsoft is investing their loyal fanbase. The Xbox Play Anywhere program allows players to have both Xbox and PC copies of games with one purchase. Furthermore, the backwards compatibility isn’t just introducing old games on new consoles, but improving them. Xbox One X enhancements make these games infinitely better visually, and it’s all for free. Screenrant writes “while many games are noticeably old, these face lifts almost make some of them appear new.”
Although Xbox’s lack of exclusives is hurting it in the console wars, backwards compatibility is significant factor keeping Microsoft in the race.