Microsoft has admitted that their attempts to allow the Xbox One to play Xbox 360 games through cloud streaming are rather ‘problematic’.
The news came in an interview performed by Polygon with senior director of Xbox project management and planning Albert Penello after a Microsoft company meeting saw 360’s Halo 4 being played on not only a Windows PC but also a Windows Phone.
Penello explained: “It’s really cool and really problematic, all at the same time, insofar as it’s really super cool if you happen to have the world’s most awesome internet connection. It works way better than you’d expect it to,” he said. “So managing quality of service, the tolerance people will have for it being crappy. Can you imagine, in this day and age, with the bad information around, and we can’t control the quality of that experience and make sure it’s good, or have to tell people they can’t do it?”
When the Xbox One was first revealed, it was announced that the console would not support backwards compatibility, and so Microsoft were attempting to use could streaming to make this possible.
Despite the problems experienced by these tests, Penello feels that the Halo 4 demo showed that there is a way forward for this type of gameplay in the future. He said: “It was a grand experiment; I know we did a lot of work behind it, and we said this is one of the things where the network just has to get better before we can do it. When that happens, you’re going to have a really interesting conversation around that, can I actually run Xbox One games that way as well.”
Sony also have plans to stream some of their older games to the PS4, and Penello added that he looks forward to seeing how Sony tackle the problems Microsoft faced.
It seems a shame that these plans did not come to fruition, but it gives hope for the future that there could be a time when the cloud streaming system works. At the moment there is too much risk of it failing to get the green light due to the fluctuation of quality with peoples’ internet connections, but maybe one day this might happen. It seems if we want to play our Xbox 360 games after we get our Xbox One, we will have to keep a hold of the current console.