Xbox announced this morning that 16 original Xbox and Xbox 360 games are now available on it cloud gaming service. Anyone with an active Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription can play beloved classics like Banjo-Kazooie, Fable 2, and Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind currently.
“We’ve been listening to the feedback, all the way back to our earliest cloud preview, and making games from previous generations available on mobile devices has been one of the most sought-after features in the community,” said Xbox Wire Editor-in-Chief Will Tuttle. wrote in a blog post announcing the additions.
The full list of original games includes: Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Double Dragon Neon, Fable II, Fallout: New Vegas, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, Gears of War: Judgment, Jetpac Refueled, Kameo, Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark Zero, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Viva Piñata, and Viva Piñata: TIPS.
Microsoft officially acquired Bethesda in early March, so it is not surprising any older Older rolls games have been the first to do so on the company’s Xbox cloud gaming platform. Banjo-Kazooie was originally released on Nintendo 64, but Microsoft bought Rare in 2002, not long after the original Xbox was launched, so it’s not surprising that the two best of Banjo-Kazooie games are now available via the cloud.
In addition to expanding the cloud library, game conservation has become an increasing priority for the Xbox. This is a refreshing contrast to how Companies like Sony make it harder to buy or play classic games. To be fair, Sony has its own cloud gaming platform, PlayStation Now, and many of the 800+ games in the library are PS3 and PS2 games. It’s also $ 5 less a month than an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
“There’s just a bunch of inherent complexity when generations and platforms change and to be able to relive games you played before,” Tuttle wrote in the announcement.
Making older games available via the cloud is an easier and more accessible way to experience video game history instead of tracking down an old console, all the cables, and hoping the game cartridge still works.
While my Nintendo 64 console and Banjo-Kazooie the cassette still works perfectly, it conveniintroduction and novelty in cloud games means that anyone with a good internet connection or good mobile phone reception can play these classic games anytime and anywhere. (Or at home on the Xbox console.)