Two years ago, Microsoft’s position on backwards compatibility was, “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards.” Today, it has changed – and probably for the better. It has announced that the Xbox One will now support backwards compatibility – letting you play some of your existing Xbox 360 titles on the console without paying a single cent.
If you have purchased the game through Xbox Live, then you can re-download the game. If you have the disc however, it will need to download the game first to the hard drive and check if it can launch it.
However, don’t ditch that old Xbox 360 just yet. Not all games will be supported and we are not sure what games will be supported in the first wave of backwards compatible games. Microsoft says they plan to support over 100 titles in the beginning before adding more in the near future; adding that developers can easily add the feature with no extra work required.
In a technical sense, it will be interesting how they have managed to achieve it. One of the primary reasons why Microsoft (and Sony) didn’t allow backwards compatibility in the first place was because of the different architectures used between Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Frank Savage, partner development lead at Xbox, has also been on the record saying that it was “hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff.”
The feature will be available to the public in the holiday season, according to Microsoft.