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gamescom 2015

Microsoft's Backwards Compatibility Wall Was Full Of Duplicates, So We Removed Them

by Brian Shea on Aug 04, 2015 at 02:05 PM

At E3 2015, Microsoft surprised its fans everywhere with the announcement that the Xbox One would begin supporting backwards compatibility later this year. At this morning's Xbox Gamescom media briefing, Microsoft continued to detail its increased emphasis on the feature, stating that exclusive franchises like Gears of War, Halo, Fable, and Crackdown are committed to supporting backwards compatibility alongside third-party publishers like Ubisoft, Bethesda, Deep Silver, Capcom, EA, 2K, Warner Bros., and more. In addition, Microsoft also announced that all future Games with Gold offerings would be decided with backwards compatibility in mind.

The feature is set to include over 100 games when it launches for everyone this November, so Microsoft shouldn't have to stretch when it comes to finding games to highlight, right? Positioned near the end of Xbox's sizzle reel, Microsoft included an impressive-looking rotating wall of Xbox 360 titles that will be playable on Xbox One. If you pause the video, however, it quickly becomes apparent that this wall isn't quite as impressive as you might first think. 

Upon closer examination of the rotating wall, you'll notice that nearly every game on display has been duplicated multiple times to bolster the display. Check it out:

Click to enlarge.

If you notice, every single row is a duplicate of the other ones. For example, Borderlands will always appear to the right of BioShock, while Forza Horizon always shows up to the left of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. To make this less obvious to viewers, the producer of the sizzle reel made the start points for each row different and had them moving in opposing directions during its brief appearance at the end of the show.

With this knowledge, we took it upon ourselves to remove all of the duplicates to show what it could have looked like.

It's still pretty impressive, and certainly more than the competition is offering at this juncture, but was the smoke-and-mirrors approach really necessary? Even though Microsoft made the library look bigger than it currently is, that just means the launch list of games isn't finalized. We hope to have a much more fleshed-out list of backward compatible games this November. To check out Microsoft's full Gamescom 2015 press conference, you can head here.