Games like Red Dead Redemption and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night became available to play on the Xbox One via backwards compatibility this weekend and were pulled by Microsoft not long afterward. Director of Xbox Programming Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb provided a brief explanation Sunday on the games’ appearance and why they were yanked.
“Microsoft tests all Xbox 360 games with our emulator to ensure a quality experience across a breadth of titles,” Hyrb wrote on Reddit. “Due to an error, some of the games currently in test were accidentally made available. We have since removed access to those games, and apologize for any confusion this may have caused. We will have more information on upcoming releases soon.”
Xbox One owners were able to download and play several backwards compatible titles over the last few weeks prior to their release. Red Dead Redemption, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Halo Wars, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, and more could all be found downloaded due to Achievements for the games showed up for those that purchased the game digitally, allowing them to follow the games from there and access their pages in the Xbox Store. This allowed others to do the same by viewing those individuals’ profiles.
The games are still accessible on the Xbox Store from the console, but can no longer be downloaded. Additionally, they are not playable online for those that were able to install them. However, Reddit users and NeoGAF users are both reporting that putting their Xbox One in offline mode makes the games playable.
Microsoft changed the release of Xbox One backwards compatible titles following the January update. Games will no longer be released in a batch once a month. Instead, they will be released as they are ready.
“Based on your feedback, the Xbox Engineering team will start to pilot a new way to launch Xbox One Backward Compatibility titles. Starting today, we’ll release titles as they become available, rather than a set monthly launch date,” it was announced by the official Xbox Wire blog. “What this means for you is that you won’t have to wait to find out the latest titles; we’ll release whatever is available, when they’re available, once each title has received the engineering and publisher stamp of approval.”
As The Inquisitr previously covered, Xbox One manages backwards compatibility by emulating the entire Xbox 360 operating system. This allows Xbox 360 games to run on the Xbox One without any special coding or other workarounds. The major hurdles remaining are the licensing agreements with development studios and publishers to allow the games to be played on the Xbox One and listed for sale on the Xbox Store for the console.
Xbox One backwards compatibility has been a hit for the console since it was announced at E3 2015. In addition to providing one of the biggest applause points of Microsoft’s press conference, console owners have dropped more than 21 million hours into playing Xbox 360 games on their new console thus far.
There have been some issues with Xbox One backwards compatibility, though. As Eurogamer recently pointed out, some games have seen performance issues. Halo: Reach‘s performance has been lackluster, rendering some sections of the game nearly unplayable. Likewise, Mass Effect sees problems, including frame rate dips during combat. Gears of War: Judgment is deemed “nearly unplayable due to severe performance drops.”
The performance issues of Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One are largely on a case-by-case basis. Performance is actually improved in some cases, however. For example, games like Hydro Thunder and Condemned see better performance overall, while there are spots of improvements such as the elevator loading scenes in Mass Effect.
[Image via Rockstar Games]