E3 Opinion: Now That Backwards Compatibility is Here, Can We Cut Back on the HD Re-Releases?

In case you missed it, Microsoft dropped a pretty huge bombshell on Monday with the announcement that their Xbox One will now be backwards compatible. Without getting into the semantics, this means players can pop in their 360 discs into the Xbox One and have the ability to play that game on their new system…so can we finally take a break from all of these HD re-releases?

Don’t get me wrong – some re-releases have been fantastic, especially those that offer classics from gaming’s past fully realized in HD, or when they compile a collection of games from a certain series or developer (Here’s looking at you, The Ico & Shadow of the Colossus Collection). What’s not so great, however, is when we’re bombarded with “definitive edition,” “Game of the Year,” or “60fps” versions of games that seem to have only just came out a year or two ago.

Off the top of my head, Saints Row IV, Sniper Elite, Tomb Raider, DmC, and The Last of Us were all games that returned on next generation consoles within a 12 month (give or take) period following their initial releases on 360 and PS3. Many of these were fantastic titles, but when little else is added to their next generation counterparts besides updated frame rates and packaged DLC, one starts to wonder why their development teams even put in the effort to port them over at all.

Perhaps now that Xbox One will support 360 games – making revisiting old favourites far less time consuming and costly – the talented developers responsible for these games can spend their time and effort not on retries, but on new projects, be they sequels or entirely new ideas.

Let’s hope going back can push us forward.

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With E3 2015 in full motion, we still have plenty left to say about everything happening down in LA. For more opinions on the gaming world, stay updated @ButtonMasherTO.

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