I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with Microsoft’s consoles. The original Xbox was the 800-pound gorilla of its generation, and had some brilliant exclusive games, but couldn’t stand up to the sheer variety of titles available on Sony’s console of the time. The 360, barring its charming tendency to self-destruct, may just be my favorite console of all time… but was fairly quickly outclassed by PC ports of the majority of its titles.
And the Xbox One may be the second-greatest own goal in the history of consoles.
That being said, after spending the majority of the generation hanging tight to a DualShock 4, I did eventually wind up being enticed back to the Xbox brand, thanks largely to its introduction of backwards compatibility in 2015. I picked up a One S, then a One X, and finally a Series X thanks to finding one by sheer chance, and having my games, along with their save files, come with me from console to console has been a very pleasant experience. It’s how things Should Work.
So, with rumors of new additions to the backwards compatibility program, I made sure to carve out half an hour of my day to watch this morning’s 20th Anniversary stream. On my employer’s time, I will admit. I’ll make sure to work a little later one day this week to make up for it.
I was expecting a nice bit of navel-gazing and the introduction of maybe a dozen or so new BC titles. I wasn’t expecting a half hour of Microsoft poking fun at previous missteps and giving us SEVENTY new BC games.
Oh and there was something about Halo, too. I think?
The glee of today’s announcement was tempered somewhat by their muted after-presentation announcement that this would be the last batch, and that by extension there would be a ton of games forever locked to their original hardware.
Still. I can look at my Xbox library and see a row like this:
And that’s pretty good. It’s made even more impressive because I used THESE discs to install the DOA games:
Yes, these are NTSC-J original Xbox discs, and they gave me licenses for the US versions. Considering how annoying the Xbox regional locking was, back in the day, this was just a touch unexpected.
Sadly, we’re never getting the Fatal Frame games. I’ll have to hold on to a 360 for those, and Justice League Heroes, and two or three other games. SOME of those are getting PC ports, anyway. Bullet Witch and El Shaddai are two of the ones that stand out, there.
Anyway, today was a good day. Going to boot up DOA2 Ultimate and take one more crack at that survival mode challenge that I could never quite pull off. Odds are I’m STILL not going to be able to do it, but you never know until you try.