Xbox One owners have played over 500 million hours of backward compatible games

Update: Mike Ybarra addressed the study on Twitter and called it inaccurate. He criticized the way they collected data and said that it didn’t provide an accurate picture of what Xbox One gamers did. Ars Technica later issued an update admitting that their data was flawed. Lastly, Phil Spencer said that backward compatibility is an important feature because it preserves video games. Classic video games are art and the fact that these titles are playable on the latest generation of consoles is important because you’re preserving history.


Recently, Ars Technica put out a study discussing how millions of Xbox Live users used their consoles. One surprising claim was that backward compatibility was hardly used. However, it appears that the outlet forgot to take into account various confounding variables and their figures couldn’t be further from the truth. Xbox’s Mike Nichols took to Twitter to clarify just how much backward compatibility was used.

According to Microsoft’s official statistics, around 50% of all Xbox One owners have played Xbox 360 games on their device, and the total playtime is current at 508 million hours. That’s roughly 60,000 years of playtime for backward compatible games on Xbox One. Considering that the feature wasn’t available until years after the Xbox One’s launch, 60,000 years is quite impressive. That hardly counts as “Xbox One gamers don’t use backward compatibility”, no? Hopefully in the future outlets like Ars Technica—and the ones who draw conclusions from their studies without taking a look at their methodology—will be more careful.

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