Xbox One cloud-based backwards compatibility 'problematic'

Microsoft will be watching how Sony's Gaikai service works, says exec

Microsoft is unlikely to offer cloud-based backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, according to a Microsoft director.

While Sony has indicated it will use its Gaikai cloud service to stream older PlayStation titles to their next-gen console, senior director of product management and planning at Xbox Albert Penello says it's unlikely to happen on Xbox One.


"It's really cool and really problematic, all at the same time, insofar as it's really super cool if you happen to have the world's most awesome internet connection. It works way better than you'd expect it to," Penello told Polygon.

"So managing quality of service, the tolerance people will have for it being crappy. Can you imagine, in this day and age, with the bad information around, and we can't control the quality of that experience and make sure it's good, or have to tell people they can't do it?"

Penello's comments follow reports in September that Microsoft had used cloud technology to stream Halo 4 to a Windows Phone and PC, leading to rumours that it was investigating a cloud-based solution to backwards compatibility.

While Microsoft is unlikely to introduce any such technology soon, Penello said the company will be watching how Sony's Gaikai service works.

"I'll be really interested to see how our friends in the Bay Area [at PlayStation] deal with this problem," Penello said.

"But I can tell you, it's totally possible. We like it, we're fans of the cloud. We're not shy about that."

Sony Studios president Shuhei Yoshida indicated in September that Gaikai will roll out in the US next year.

"We are planning to start serving PS3 games on cloud servers in the States next year for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita - and that means PS Vita TV as well - and expand in regions and content," Yoshida said.