It looks like Microsoft is still busy behind-the-scenes testing older Xbox 360 games to see if they're candidates for backwards compatibility.
As spotted by TrueAchievements (opens in new tab), some games that had not previously been thought to be backward compatible have had their Microsoft store listings quietly amended.
Earlier this month, seven original Xbox games were moved from the old Xbox 360 online store to the current-gen equivalent, and all were given a release date of November 30. They included Dead or Alive 3, Dead or Alive Ultimate, Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers, Gladius, Gunvalkyrie, Advent Rising, and Chicken Little although, interestingly enough, when outlets picked up on the changes, they were all removed from the store again, so make of that what you will.
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Since then, however, two more games have appeared on the new store, labeled as playable on Xbox Series X and Xbox One: The First Templar and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
These have also been given the store tag "Fission", which TrueAchievements says is the name of the Xbox 360 emulator included inside Xbox Series X/S systems that enables them to play older games. Unlike the prior additions, no release date was provided this time around.
Does this mean these games are definitely on the way as backward compatible titles? Sadly not. For all we know, the games are just being tested, or someone's simply made a mistake. But let's watch this space; the original Xbox will shortly be celebrating its 20th anniversary, so it's very possible there's an update on the way.
Analysis: here's why backward compatibility is one of the best things to happen in gaming
As Xbox's director of program management for Xbox Series X (opens in new tab), Jason Ronald, revealed ahead of the new console's launch, players can access thousands of games across four generations of Xbox (opens in new tab). And thanks to Microsoft's new Auto HDR reconstruction technique and the Xbox Series X's powerful specs that improve resolutions and frame rate, some will run better than ever before.
"As gamers, we also know how important it is to preserve and respect our gaming legacies," Ronald said at the time. "Your favorite games and franchises, your progression and achievements, and the friendships and communities you create through gaming should all move with you across generations. Not only that, your favorite gaming accessories and peripherals should also move forward with you as well."
Though the first iteration of the PS3 was backward compatible, subsequent models were not, and there was no consideration of preserving access to Xbox 360 games when we migrated from our 360s to our shiny Xbox Ones.
That's why Xbox's commitment to backward compatibility this time around is so critical; not only does it mean players don't have to rebuy their old favorites every time they update their systems, but it also means a whole generation (and more) of games can be given a new lease of life to brand new audiences who might otherwise have never had the chance to experience them.
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