Microsoft has made it possible to play a lot of older Xbox 360 and original Xbox games to any device compatible with Game Pass.

It’s evident that Microsoft is taking backward compatibility very seriously and that of Sony and Nintendo have fallen behind in a big way. Xbox Is Supporting Old Games, While Sony And Nintendo are leaving them behind.

Image Credit – MicroSoft

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, plus over 100 high-quality console and PC games. The new games that are added all the time, so there’s always something new to play.

Regarding backward compatibility of the games Sony used to be a leader in this space. You could play almost every original PlayStation game on a PlayStation 2 and even use the same memory cards, letting you carry your old saves forward to the new generation/ versions.

The earlier PS3 models could run both PS1 and PS2 software, the latter via dedicated hardware. But the later models of PS sadly missed that hardware in favor of less accurate, software-based PS2 emulation. And later PS3 models removed even that, so completely eliminating PS2 backward compatibility (PS1 remained).

Image Credit – http://www.playstation.com

You can’t play your old PS1, PS2, or PS3 games on your fancy new PS5 or less fancy PS4. PS Now, which lets you stream a small selection of PS3 games on your newer hardware. This is huge step back from the company’s previous full-throated support for backward compatibility. Sony, having just announced the imminent closing of the PS3, PS Vita, and PSP digital stores, making it considerably harder to play old games even on their original hardware, let alone on Sony’s newest consoles.

Another player, Nintendo, like Sony, was good in making it possible to ply the older games on their new generation consoles. You might have played GameCube games on a Wii, or Game Boy Advance carts on your Nintendo DS. But the Wii’s Virtual Console signalled a new era but over the time gamers became disappointed with the drop of VC releases, and when 3DS and Wii U came about, Nintendo restarted the entire process, releasing only a subset of classic games. This forced the players to buy them a new on each successive platform. With the digital games locked to the old platforms they were purchased on, Nintendo’s online services continued falling behind its competitors.

Image Credit : Nintendo

Apart from the above, the Nintendo’s Switch, instead of offering the usual à la carte Virtual Console purchases, it locked an even more limited selection of classic games behind its premium Nintendo Switch Online subscription service. Nintendo is adding additional games more slowly than ever, making Nintendo Switch Online more a nostalgic.

Compared to Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft is working aggressively to keep the older games available. Microsoft added the ability to play some Xbox 360 games in 2015. And in 2017, the company added support for original Xbox games.

Microsoft released Xbox Series X/S early last year, Microsoft continued its vigorous support of backward compatibility. The new Xbox consoles can play almost every Xbox One game. The backward compatibility works seamlessly and with little issue. This cross-generational support lets players boot up four different generations of Xbox consoles and play the same game via System Link with no need for trickery or extra hardware.

While Sony is shutting down its legacy PSN stores this summer where as  Microsoft continues to allow users buy Xbox 360 games and DLC on its new machines from the same store system it launched with the Xbox 360 in 2005.

Microsoft doesn’t just support older games and consoles better than Sony, but it also improves them with features like Auto HDR and FPS Boost, giving older games a fresh feel on new machines.

Nintendo’s and Sony’s offerings look terrible in comparison Microsoft’s backward compatibility game support. Nintendo doesn’t support old Wii or Wii U games on the Switch, locks its meager classic offerings behind a paywall, and even removes new games from sale after a limited time. Sony is shutting down its older digital stores and doesn’t seem to care about any games released before the PlayStation 4.

As of Today 2021, Xbox is leading and really wish Nintendo and Sony to catch up.