In the behind-closed doors demo of the Xbox One platform updates, Microsoft showed off plenty of the improvements coming to its platform later this year. Alongside the interface updates and game streaming, the company also detailed Xbox One backward compatibility.

The big news around backward compatibility (or “back compat” as the Microsoft rep kept saying) is about what Xbox 360 games will run on the new console.

There is actually a software emulator running on the Xbox One that simulates Xbox 360 architecture and remaps certain buttons and functions to have everything work properly with the Xbox One controller. The full dashboard is actually running in the background as well, as the company wanted to have the true Xbox 360 experience when performing actions such as hitting the Xbox button to bring up the guide.

With the entire software backend in tow, it stands to reason that any original Xbox game that ran on Xbox 360 via backwards compatibility should also work on the Xbox One through this.

From the 360 to Xbox One generation, there is a bit of work to be done on the backend as the game and updated install packages need to be hosted on the Xbox Live servers and authentication tools need to be created for each game. But the technical process behind it all is sound: if Microsoft really wanted to, they could have Xbox games run on Xbox One as early as right now.

When asked about the feature, we weren’t given an answer; the official line was something along the lines of “there’s nothing planned at this time”, but that it is technically feasible. The actual merits of making original Xbox games playable on Xbox One are few, if there are any at all.

Of course, it’s always nice to know it could happen. Just don’t hold your breath.

About The Author

Christopher Kalanderopoulos founded Eggplante in 2009 to cover one event in Los Angeles. It never occurred to him that it would make him the Editor of an online magazine for the next decade. He spends most of his time gaming, backing cool Kickstarter projects, and hanging out with his wicked cool nieces and nephews.

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21 Responses

  1. Bill E Weaver

    Psnow is the biggest slap to the face of gamer’s, that and Sony needing a Kickstarter for a “potential” exclusive. Now Sony doesn’t even have resolution on there side esp once devs use dx12. PS4 has nothing to offer. MS has AR/VR, better online,elite controller,cortona,W10,etc.

    • You're an idiot

      I’m not too sure about that whole resolution part because dx12 isn’t going to magically up xbox ones resolutions, it doesn’t work like that.

      • Jimmy Jangle

        Then how does it work?

        Come on, do tell.

      • You're an idiot

        it allows devs more control in how they use the hardware so they can essentially code ‘to the metal’. It does not however make a 720p or 900p console game become a 1080p one..

      • Jimmy Jangle

        It’s already at the metal. Jesus Christ. That’s how consoles have pretty much always been.

        It allows for better distribution of workload across the CPU’s cores, allowing them to address the GPU in a parallel fashion, as opposed to serial (ie queuing up)..

        It’s pretty obvious that it won’t magically “upres” any game below 1080p, but will make things easier in regards to frame rates and resolutions when the games are made utilising DX12 to begin with.

    • Blake Mitchell

      PSNow is overpriced. It’s not a slap to the face. DOn’t be a hyperbolic cry baby. They don’t own and aren’t producing Shenmue. They featured it but that does not mean they have anything to do with that decision. Nothing to offer? Morpheus? Something they built that works with their hardware. Hololens is cool but it’s applications are greater to computing than gaming and Microsoft’s VR strategy is stream to Windows 10 to Oculus. That will be $1500. Morpheus will be much cheaper.

      Why do I say all of this? I’m not saying Sony will win. I think MS had a good showing at E3. However, Sony is far from dead and your assertions are asinine. Grow up and just be happy for gaming in general instead of trying to go around spouting this fanboyism.

      • Yourdad

        It’s a slap to the face because you have to repay for games you already own.
        And you’re either a company man at Sony’s balls or an idiot for thinking otherwise.

        Sony is out of cash they can barely afford a few AAA exclusives per year.
        A kickstarter for Shenmue 3 ? Wow … all time low standards.

        Game is going to be fucked up and probably rushed through the door.
        Microsoft would have poured enough money into it to make it an awesome game, just like they’re doing for TR.

        If Shenmue ends up being bull crap you’ll have to thank Sony for being cheap.

      • Blake Mitchell

        I can’t play my NES cartridges in my WiiU. Sony is not stopping you from playing your PS3 games in a PS3. They don’t have the ability to make backwards compatibility work because the PS3 used a crazy different architecture. Now is a server side piece of infrastructure. Even if they wanted to give it to you for free, they couldn’t because they have a lot of money tied up the cost of building and running those servers and the bandwidth to get the bits to the end user. Giving that away for free simply is not feasible.

        As I said above… SONY IS NOT MAKING SHENMUE 3. It’s an exclusive but they are not the publisher or developer. Shenmue being a Kickstarter has nothing to do with Sony and whether the game is successful or not will have nothing to do with Sony.

        As far as money goes, Sony is not as strong as Microsoft but they are far from bankrupt. Most of what you hear about Sony’s money woes is true. They are not as profitable as they would like across most of their electronics divisions. However, they also have other businesses that generate revenue. Their largest division is a life insurance company in Japan. What you hear about money woes is true BUT IRRELEVANT because those woes do not mean that the gaming division is underfunded.

        You are taking small facts and generating incorrect statements.

      • Zack

        That’s the stupidest comment ever, Sony is out of cash lmao. They had the order 1886, bloodbourne, MLB the show, hell divers, planet side 2 finally released on ps4, until dawn, uncharted collection, no man’s sky, soma, everybody gone to the rapture, then next year, street fighter 5, ratchet an clank, uncharted 4, the last guardian, hell blade, an other studios like sucker punch, quatum dream, Sony bend, an Santa Monica working on games. This whole console war is dumb an stupid. Both has great games an flaws an pros. I don’t get why people don’t get both.

      • Zack

        Microsoft just poured money into tomb raider to have something on there side an it’s timed. The reboot of tomb raider sold better on ps3, an the definitive edition twice as better on ps4. Remember that game came out in spring when it had no competition. Now it’s going up against battlefront cod black ops 3, halo 5, an fallout 4 even releasing the same day which is not smart.

      • Revolver Ocelot

        Do I? Last I checked my PS3 still works.

        Sony out of cash yet the PS4 has more exclusives this year. So much for that.

        Edgy Raider 2 will be mediocre just like the reboot was.

    • Revolver Ocelot

      Hahahah, DX12. By now we’ve gathered it’ll have minimal impact on the Shitbox. AR is a gimmick, they’re half-assing VR, your monstrosity controller is a joke and no one cares about voice commands.

      Shitbox Done, Billy. 🙂

  2. Anthrox

    I think it would be better to build a emulator on native xbox one for xboxog as it should be a much more simple emulator as your only going x86 to x86 the other way would be a nightmware to debug seeing your going x86 to PowerPC to x86 the question is rare grabbed by the ghoulies is in the rare pack is it running native xbox one code or is it running via a emulator

    • Invader Phlegm

      Not only that, but writing a native x86 Original Xbox/Xbox One emulator, would mean that EVERY game from the original Xbox could work on Xbox One. The Xbox Originals emulator they used on the 360, only ever got 400 games converted to work on it, leaving many of the absolute best Xbox games unplayable. But a native x86 emulator, could conceivably play all 969 original Xbox titles.

      Add that number to the full Xbox 360 library (1,163), plus the full XBLA library (720), plus the full XBLIG library (3,311), and you wind up with the largest library of games for a single console, in console history at 6,163 games.

      • Anthrox

        well its called the xbox one all xbox games on one console 😀

      • Red

        The library would actually be smaller than that of the launch PS3 systems, which had backward compatibility with PlayStation 2 games; the PS2 has 3872 games on it and the PS1 has (at least) 2355 games. Adding the PS3 library of 1026 (disc-based) games, you get 7253 games playable on the CECHA01 and CECHB01 PlayStation 3 systems, and that’s not accounting for the games that can only be downloaded.

  3. Revolver Ocelot

    Why not? BC is the only way they’ll get a halfway decent game on the Shitbox Done.


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