Xbox One To Receive Full Xbox 360 Backward Compatibility Holiday 2015

In a quite simply incredible turn of events, Phil Spencer announced on stage at E3 that the Xbox One will be receiving Xbox 360 backward compatibility later this year, set for holiday 2015. The gloves have come off, as Microsoft have determined to give Xbox One owners a simply vast catalogue of games to play, and it all runs natively on the console, without any fees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jijn3KOPs5I

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If you own a game disc, you’ll be able to simply put it into your console and have it playable within the same Xbox One environment that XBO games play in, and games bought digitally will also start to appear on the store, though this step seems to be pending developer/publisher approval. That means you’ll also be able to record video, stream, use voice commands and so on. You’ll even be able to play multiplayer with friends still on 360.

Now then, can Sony match this for PS4 and PS3? Given the technical difficulties of developing for the PS3, it feels like this might be an advantage that Microsoft can hold onto for quite some time.

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39 Comments

  1. Massive feature, I hope you can buy 360 games digitally on the X1 store to play that way, as I never had a 360.

    It actually makes perfect business sense to MS and publishers to allow their games to be resold again.

    Great move, but it must be a hugely complicated set up to get them running, with more virtual OS’s and hypervisors, code emulation/translation. Incredible software engineering.

    • Not sure it makes that much sense to publishers. What do they get out of it?

      Who really wants to play those old games on their shiny new console? In most cases, people who already own the games and so now get to play them for free. And who can probably already play them anyway. Nobody gets rid of their console as soon as the new one appears, do they?

      Sure, there’ll be some people who didn’t play them before and want to give it a go now. If they’ve got any sense, they’ll go and find a second hand copy, pop it in their XBone, and download the emulated/translated/whatever it is actually happens version. So the publishers get no money.

      It’s just some clever PR bollocks MS have come up with. And they get that very vocal minority shouting about how great it is while most people probably don’t really care too much.

      All Sony need to do now is say you can use a game on PS Now for free if you’ve previously purchased it on the store or have the disc. There’s already more PS3 games on there than MS are going to have working 360 games on the XBone. And they’re guaranteed to actually work, unlike this emulated/whatever thing which _is_ going to have problems with some games. Even if there’s some testing done, it’s not going to be perfect.

      • well, they potentially get more sales of digital titles without doing any extra work, they’re not likely to make billions from this, but if virtually free profit at this point.

        i do think having any game you’ve purchased on the PS store be available through Now would be great, i don’t think it would work so well for disc, but they should let us run it through emulation on PS3, if it’s supported, if we have the disc.

        but they won’t, not while they can force people to pay again for titles they may already have.

  2. At first I thought; I want this! But then I realized I sold my PS3 cos I stopped playing it. Most of the indies have rolled over and got the PS4 treatment and the rest I finished or felt like it’s too much of a step backward. The only thing I mis from my PS3 is gran turismo. I’m okay if sony doesn’t follow, it’s been too long since to release to even matter, for me that is.

  3. Clever strategy by Microsoft, this will make 360 owners who haven’t upgraded think twice about shifting to PS4 – there might be a few like my friend though who already traded in his 360 collection when he switched.
    As for b/c itself, my experience with PS3 (which launched day one with PS1 and PS2 b/c) tells me that it’s initially a cool feature to have, will eventually be used less and less as your ‘next-gen’ library builds up but it will still be handy to have on that rare occasion when you want to fire up an old game.

    • Or keep the old console around and have the better experience?

      Why would it make anyone think twice about shifting to the PS4 though? You could buy an XBone, keep all your 360 games, and play whatever it is MS have to offer (which doesn’t seem much at the moment).

      Or you could keep your 360 and the games, get a PS4, and get a whole different load of games. Can’t see why it’d stop you switching, unless you really don’t want to keep an old console around to play the games.

      You’re right about the “it’s a cool feature for the first couple of weeks, then you’ll never use it again” factor though.

      • Many people trade in their existing console(and games) in order to upgrade due to financial constraints.this would be a sweetener for them as they could keep and continue to play their 360 games while gradually addingto their XB1 library.

      • As I said, it may have a limited usefulness factor but it serves a greater purpose for Microsoft than pleasing existing XB1 owners. ;)

  4. As someone who didn’t own an XB1 this could be a great feature. Maybe I’ll finally get the chance to play Alan Wake? But… like someone else said, these BC features usually mean having to play an inferior verison of the game than if you were to play the game on the original console. If that’s going to be the case I wont even touch it. I felt the same way when I tried PS Now. It’s a good idea but I dont want to play a sub par version of my favourite games. It’s like watching your favourite movie on vhs vs bluray.

    Personally, I’d rather they remaster the games I want to play for the new consoles. At least then you’re playing the best version of it.

  5. This is really cool, quite a killer feature. I hope Sony can match it so I can retire my PS3.

  6. So, it works by downloading a digital copy and emulates it from the disc. Ok.

    I’m glad they’ve done it but the idea of downloading a game i already own doesn’t appeal to me due to data caps. But this will help Microsoft as Sony will struggle to match it due to how the PS3 was designed. I do wonder if this will mean that remasters will slowly start to ease up?

  7. Can’t but help thinking this highlights the lack of content on the new consoles. The cynic in me thinks this is a shallow attempt by MS to pull attention away from this.

  8. I had the PS Now Beta, didn’t use it for more than 5 minutes. Why would I when I had Withcher 3, Bloodbourne and others to play. Im not saying there isnt a market for backwards compatibility, but personally I would rather see a list of new games coming my way. It was a close call this year but I think Sony just nabbed the E3 crown.

    • Forgot to mention…that Rare package XBox One has is the most tempting thing I have seen to make me jump ship, but Uncharted and Last Guardian have clinched it for me. PlayStation have better exclusives.

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