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Soon You’ll Be Able to Play Xbox 360 Games on Xbox One

Illustration for article titled Soon You’ll Be Able to Play Xbox 360 Games on Xbox One

When we made the jump from the last generation of home consoles to the current generation, there was one thing missing: backwards compatibility. For Xbox One owners, that’s about to change—Microsoft just announced that Xbox 360 games will be playable on the new console this holiday season.


Microsoft’s Mark Ybarra announced the feature during Microsoft’s E3 press conference today. The first old game we saw running on the new hardware? Mass Effect. Ybarra says it looks and plays exactly as it does on the original hardware, and multiplayer games will still work with gamers playing on the Xbox 360—but with the added features of Xbox One’s Twitch Streaming and app-snapping. Neat!


That said, it doesn’t sound like every game will be compatible right away—Microsoft says 100 Xbox One games will be available for download by holiday season, suggesting that the games need to be ported over manually. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay for your games again, though: apparently you can just pop in the disc for any game you already own, and you’ll be able to download and play the game for free.

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Ok, if it can’t be direct backwards compatibility, this is the next best thing. Insert the disk, download the game for free, and never have to buy a game you already own twice. Microsoft did a great thing for their users, and Sony could definitely learn something here.

But how do they handle people who may rent or borrow a game?