Microsoft made a major splash at E3 2015 with a variety of significant announcements, and they arguably ended up “winning” E3 with it. Among the news they had to share, Xbox 360 game backwards compatibility for the Xbox One was among the most difficult things for Xbox One boss Phil Spencer to not leak prior to the announcement actually being made.
Spencer resisted the urge and the announcement was made as planned, resulting in excitement and joy from all Xbox One owners. This was a huge coup for Microsoft and gamers alike, but for Spencer, not sharing the news or hinting at it to people on Twitter was apparently quite difficult.
“This, for me, as a gamer and as somebody who cares so much about the brand, has been the hardest thing about not leaking it. I’ve wanted to tell people, ‘Hold onto your 360 games!’ There were a hundred times where people had to stop me from tweeting that out over the past six months, because as I would see a game that works I wanted to tell people: ‘Keep it – don’t sell that! Even if you sell your 360, keep your games!'” Spencer told GamesRadar.
Hopefully if you’re an Xbox 360 owner with a lot of games, you haven’t sold or given away those games because they now have been given a second life. Having backwards compatibility on Xbox One is a major benefit for Microsoft, especially since that is something PS4 currently doesn’t offer to its gamers, PS Now not withstanding because that’s a paid program.
Microsoft had to take some creative and even practical steps in order to enable Xbox 360 games to be playable on the Xbox One. Spencer talked about what the development team at Microsoft did to allow the Xbox One to go backwards. “The team took the approach of effectively running the whole 360 OS on the Xbox One, which is why you can play with Live and everything else.
That was the most difficult thing: could we get the 360 OS to boot so it thinks it’s running on native hardware? The nice thing is that the developers don’t have to do anything. They approve the game, we run it through a test pass, obviously, to make sure everything’s fine, then we have to wrap it up as an Xbox One game so the Xbox One knows you’re actually running a game,” Spencer said.
If you want to see how the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility program is going and what games they have added lately, check out its official site for more information. Games such as Mass Effect and Perfect Dark Zero, among others, are currently playable on your Xbox One via the Xbox Preview Program.