Xbox head would “love” to find a way to preserve Xbox 360 titles ahead of store closure
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has stated that he would "love to find solutions" to the possibility that hundreds of Xbox 360-era titles will be lost to time when the Xbox 360 storefront closes next year.
- Spencer was asked whether the company needed to be "careful" when communicating changes as drastic as the closure of an online service due to game preservation in a new interview with Eurogamer at Gamescom. He responded that game preservation is "critical" to Xbox and that one of the reasons the company has begun releasing first-party titles on PC is because the company believes the platform is the "best" when it comes to game preservation.
- Spencer then elaborated on the reasoning behind the Xbox 360 store's planned closure on July 29, 2024, stating that the current number of users who purchase content on the 360 is "very, very small," and that the decision is simply about sustainability. He also stated that he believes the Xbox One and Series X/S's backward compatibility feature, which includes 4K support, is the best way to play older titles.
- Despite the backward compatibility program, not all titles are available, with approximately 220 games only available for purchase and play on the 360. Spencer stated that he has the list "stapled on [his] forehead" and is considering how the company can ensure that they remain playable even if they are not on the original platform. The Xbox head also stated that one of the reasons for making the announcement a year in advance is so that users can go ahead and buy their titles on the console before the closure, as purchased games will still be downloadable in the future.
- As the industry shifts toward digital purchases rather than traditional physical media, game preservation is a growing concern. According to a recent study by the Video Game History Foundation, 87% of "classic" games released before 2010 are no longer available through official channels and must be purchased second-hand or, in some cases, illegally pirated.
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