Speaking with Albert Penello, group marketing manager for the Xbox 360, at CES this week, we touched on the future of the Xbox past. The most recent update to the list of original Xbox games that are playable on the Xbox 360, bringing the total to 465 previous generation games may very well be the last, according to Penello. “I don’t know if we have plans to do any more releases,” Penello said “It feels like we kind of hit the point of diminishing returns there. I know with the Xbox Originals, there are still things happening there, but in terms of a lot of engineering work around bringing out new titles, I think they’re winding that down.”
He pointed out that Microsoft’s promise to focus on the “top selling” original Xbox titles has been, from a corporate standpoint, delivered upon. “For the most part, we’ve crossed off games that people want to play,” he said, adding that “There’s always going to be a notable exception here or there.”
Penello noted that, outside of Halo 2, internal data points to low numbers of backward compatible games being played on Live, with BC updates “not being downloaded that much anymore.”
While some of the more fondly remembered Xbox games, like Otogi and The Chronicles of Riddick, haven’t made the list yet, Penello tells us not to hold our breath. “At this point the stuff that’s left is work per title, every title now is almost a one-off. Right now we have to think, are we really going to do 300 one-off titles? I know it’s not exactly the answer everyone wants to hear, but I feel like it’s time.”
Watch for more from our interview with Penello later.