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Microsoft defends cross-gen gaming - "we have an obligation" to support Xbox 360

And we're "going to sell millions more Xbox 360s before this generation is done"

If you want to start a punch-up at a geekmeet, consider introducing the topic of games that release on both the new and out-going generations of consoles. One side of the room should leap to its feet, bellowing about how Shooter #124 has been compromised by the existence of a "gimped" version for an older platform. Everybody else should then stand on tables as one, yelling that they can't afford the new consoles and don't want to be "abandoned" by manufacturers. Now might be a good time to step out onto the patio.

Head of Xbox and notorious Twitter diplomat Phil Spencer can see both sides of the argument. "But we have millions and millions of people on 360," he protested, when the Metro proposed that recent and forthcoming cross-gen - or even, whisper it, last-gen-only - projects risk stealing away interest from the new consoles. "If you bought your Xbox 360 a year and a half ago, I think we have an obligation there." Mind your head, Phil! I think that guy at the back is holding a plastic lightsaber.

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"We're going to sell millions more Xbox 360s before this generation is done and when people make a £100+ commitment to us, they're gonna come in and buy an Xbox 360, I want to make sure that there's content for them," he went on. "It's an investment in the new generation of consoles, not every game is going to go to 360, but I want to make sure the 360 has a healthy line-up of software from us and from third parties.

"And I think that's important," he concluded. "Not everyone bought an Xbox One at launch."

But what about all those third parties, ruining the fun with massively multiplatform games like Watch Dogs? Isn't it Microsoft's responsibility to lead by example? "Most of the third parties will support both generations for a couple of years, right? For a third party this is the nice part of the curve for the last generation, because you've got millions of people out there and they want to sell content that these people will buy.

"They also want to kickstart the new generation successfully, so you'll see a lot of them doing a little bit of both. For us in first party, our primary focus is Xbox One. You saw that on stage [at E3], we tried to show a breadth of content that you could buy in 2014."

According to the developers of Destiny, Xbox 360 "still has a lot of headroom" as a games machine. Here are some monstrously pretty Xbox 360 games to illustrate that.

On which side of the line do you stand? Assuming you aren't out on the patio.

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