Xbox Scarlett exec reveals TRUTH about Microsoft's backwards compatibility plans

Microsoft Game Studios head, Matt Booty, says that the Xbox family of devices won't get left behind next generation

Xbox Scarlett
(Image credit: Future)

Xbox's Matt Booty says that Microsoft isn't holding any games back for the Scarlett because the new releases for the foreseeable future are intended to be playable across the whole Xbox family.

"Perhaps we feel confident about our content pipeline so that we feel like we don't have to save everything up for [Scarlett],"said Booty, following the reveal of a new lineup of games at the London X019 event. "But then I will also say that, really for any device these days, when you launch a new device you are not eliminating all of the devices in that family. 

"When Scarlett launches there will still be the Xbox One S out there, there will still be Xbox One X, and we really need to approach that family of devices, the same way we approach PC - content scales to meet the device. I think that's going to be the case for anybody."

While the company wants to make the most out of the next gen's console power, it doesn't want to abandon the family of consoles it's curated. Additionally, backwards compatibility as a feature is part of Microsoft's marketing strategy this upcoming generation as it tries to claw back some of the market share. Earlier this year, PS4 consoles accounted for 56% market share, while the Xbox was at 25%, barely pulling ahead of the Nintendo Switch's 19% (via vgchartz).

"We will absolutely lean in on the power of Scarlett, we think is going to be the best way to play and it will be the best thing you can put in your living room, but we also want to understand that there will be a family of Xbox devices out there."

The Xbox Scarlett is expected to be more powerful than the PS5, but with a focus on backwards compatibility for Microsoft going up against Sony's marketing strategy of getting PS4 owners switching over to the PS5 as quickly as possible, getting bogged down in support for an extended family of consoles could be a gamble for Xbox, and we'll have to see if it pays off.