Microsoft announces backward compatibility for Xbox One

15 Jun 2015

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Backward compatibility is to be introduced to the Xbox One, meaning some Xbox 360 games will belatedly start working on Microsoft’s latest-generation console.

The company announced the news at its E3 press conference today (15 June), revealing that the new feature will launch this Christmas and initially apply to over 100 titles. Users who already purchased 360 games digitally through Xbox Live can simply re-download them onto their Xbox One without paying any additional cost. To play physical discs, they must download the game to their console’s hard drive and the system will check for the disc upon launch.

“Our goal is to deliver the largest games catalogue ever on Xbox, and Xbox backwards compatibility allows us to do just that,’’ said the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, Phil Spencer. A full list of what titles will be included was not given, but the feature was demoed with Mass Effect.

Backward-compatibility is a feature every gamer hopes will come as standard when a new console is announced, but they rarely get their wish. Microsoft’s decision to finally allow older-generation games to be played on its current-generation system can only help convince 360 owners to upgrade their hardware, and, of course, keep them loyal to the Xbox brand.

Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com