Xbox Reportedly Wants To Preserve Games (Again)

Xbox Reportedly Wants To Preserve Games (Again)

Xbox has reportedly formed a new team dedicated to game preservation in order to safeguard Xbox games for “future generations of players to enjoy.”

A report from Windows Central claims to have seen emails from Xbox president Sarah Bond to staff, which includes the announcement as well as an update on the company’s commitment to delivering next-generation hardware. According to the report, Bond claims the company is “focused on delivering the biggest technological leap ever in a generation.”

“It’s been nearly six months since we came together as an organisation,” Bond’s email reportedly reads. “Our collective achievements in that timeframe are tremendous. Everyone should feel incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and excited about the opportunities ahead. We are moving full speed ahead on our next-generation [Xbox] hardware, focused on delivering the biggest technological leap ever in a generation.” The Xbox president’s emails also reportedly claim that “at a time when the gaming industry’s growth is flattening, ours continues.” 

While a next-gen Xbox console is exciting news, the formation of a new game preservation team – which Bond’s email describes as “important to all of us and the industry itself” – is also of note.  “We are building on our strong history of delivering backwards compatibility to our players, and we remain committed to bringing forward the amazing library of Xbox games for future generations of players to enjoy,” Bond said.

There’s no concrete confirmation from Xbox about this team just yet, although sources told Windows Central that Microsoft “may have more to share publicly” about their efforts at the Xbox Showcase in June. There’s no concrete date in June just yet, although The Verge reports that this could take place on June 9.

A renewed effort to future-proof current and upcoming Xbox titles, as well as reach back into the archives to preserve classics is an exciting one. Microsoft’s Peggy Lo said in November 2021 that Xbox had “reached the limit” of its ability to dredge up and preserve older games in a blog post. 

“While we continue to stay focused on preserving and enhancing the art form of games, we have reached the limit of our ability to bring new games to the catalog from the past due to licensing, legal and technical constraints. Thank you for being part of this journey with us,” Lo said at the time.

It looks like Bond is planning to keep up the work put in to bring players over four generations of Xbox titles to new consoles and ensure these works remain available to play for some time to come.

Despite all this talk about preservation, Xbox is still planning to shut down the Xbox 360 store at the end of July this year. Game preservation has proven costly, difficult, and time-consuming for Xbox in the past, which is what led to the back compact program being put on ice in the first place. It’s far from alone: Nintendo is still fully shuttering older console storefronts as recently as this last weekend. And let’s not forget Apple and Google’s penchant for entirely deleting games out of existence (bring back Flappy Bird). 

Any effort to ensure titles, both big and small, remain available for players is a boon for the current and future player base as well as for developers who put in the work to bring these games to audiences. Preservation is in many ways the antithesis of the current games industry model — frequently, it takes a lot of painstaking work and provides very little return — but there must be someone at Xbox who cares about it because the company keeps returning to it, hoping to finally crack the code (metaphorically, but in some cases also quite literally). We’ll be keeping a close eye on the Xbox Showcase come June to hopefully hear further details about what the company might be planning. Personally, I’ll be hoping to experience more of that classic Xbox piss filter aesthetic in high definition – but maybe that’s just a Me thing.

Image: Microsoft

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


One response to “Xbox Reportedly Wants To Preserve Games (Again)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *