Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Hands-On

One of the most exciting announcements coming out of E3 this year was the fact that Microsoft confirmed backwards compatibility of 360 games on the Xbox One.  Currently preview players are able to try out 22 games that have been added with the promise of around 100 by the holiday when it officially launches for everyone.  We were able to get ahold of the update and try out the latest feature on a few of our older games.

For digital games, if you have already own any of the compatible ones, they will pull up in you Games & App section on the far right showing ready to download.  Click it and it will simply download the game to your system.  For disc based games you pop your copy in and the system will actually download the digital market place copy to your system.  Before you get to excited, as always you still need to keep the disc in to prove you own in when playing it.


So far we had a chance to try out the backwards compatibility with a disc copy of Mass Effect and a digital copy of Super Meat Boy.  We noticed no problem while loading up either and they played fine after we tested them each for about 40 minutes or so.  It was just like playing them once again on the 360.  In fact if you press the View and Menu buttons, you’ll have access to the 360 Guide UI for access to your friends list, achievements, and more.  The only thing you won’t have access to is the 360 market place, the actual dashboard, or system content.  Hitting the home button will take you back to the Xbox One home.  The only noticeable difference we saw is that the games do look a bit sharper probably due to a bit of upscaling.

An exciting feature that you may want to make sure you turn on before you start-up is cloud storage for saves.  As long as you have your 360 saves in the cloud, when you play them it will give you the option to select them.  The other cool features they added in include Xbox One’s chat system, Game DVR, screenshots, and the ability to stream games directly to Twitch.

At the moment the backwards compatibility is off to a great start.  Still, I wouldn’t suggest unplugging or getting rid of your 360 quite yet because of this.  At the moment only Microsoft games are working, as they need to get publisher permission to implement the feature for other games.  Hopefully most publishers will be amiable to this, but you never know.  Your favorite game may not make the cut.  Microsoft does seem to want to include the most popular games, however, since you can currently vote on which you would like to see.  Otherwise, for a free update Microsoft has hit a grand slam for gamers everywhere.

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