Xbox just made a major commitment to backward compatibility — what you need to know

Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming titles shown Xbox controller and Xbox Series X titles
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Xbox President Sarah Bond is setting up a dedicated team to preserve Xbox digital libraries in future Xbox hardware, as learned in emails obtained by Windows Central. Microsoft confirmed that the emails were genuine and would comment more at a later date.

Bond was promoted to Xbox president last October in a massive reorganization of Microsoft and Xbox. It saw several new faces in positions of power, like Matt Booty, the new Xbox Game Content and Studios president and overseer of ZeniMax Media.

Bond oversees, among other avenues, the hardware and business strategies of the Xbox brand.

In the emails, Bond revealed that Xbox has built a dedicated team to future-proof the current Xbox library to ensure that the games people buy remain accessible. "We have formed a new team dedicated to game preservation, important to all of us at Xbox and the industry itself. We are building on our strong history of delivering backwards compatibility to our players, and we remain committed to bringing forward the amazing library of Xbox games for future generations of players to enjoy."

Xbox Series X - Starfield cover

(Image credit: Future)

According to the report, Microsoft might share more about this team and its work during the Xbox Showcase, which is expected to occur on June 9th, 2024. 

With the licensing of games and the ongoing memory-holing of gaming history, more people have become concerned about game preservation and accessibility. It will be interesting to see how Xbox tackles this issue. 

Gaming AI, Next-Gen Hardware, Activision-Blizzard Integration

In the emails sent to Xbox employees, Bond touched on several topics, including work on next-generation hardware, which is “focused on delivering the biggest technological leap ever in a generation.”

Other than this, Microsoft and Xbox haven’t said much about plans for the next generation of gaming consoles or whatever form that takes. The Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 aren’t even four years old yet, but the rumor mill about the next-gen has already been running hot.

Microsoft has not been shy about adding AI elements to future Xbox products. Bond reiterated this focus: “We are innovating in Gaming AI, focused on delivering player-first, developer-first value for discovery, engagement, and creator velocity.” 

It remains to be seen how those buzzwords will manifest in games and hardware moving forward. 

More from Tom's Guide

Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.