Phil Spencer came out on stage at Microsoft’s E3 conference and mentioned that they didn’t know if backwards compatibility could be done, but they managed to do it. Now, I do believe that they knew how to do this from the beginning, but to keep selling Xbox 360’s and are obviously a company who wants to make money, they are not going to jump on this at launch. But now that the 360’s sales are coming closer to a halt and with Sony’s huge growth of the PS4, Microsoft are in a position where they needed to have a huge game changer and they are in a position to do it.
So how does it work, well it wasn’t really 100% clear, but here is what we know so far: Games you already own will work digitally and via disk, the games will be purchasable/ downloadable from the Xbox store, even if you have a disk the games will need to be installed, and it will be available starting this winter (fall) 2015, with about 100 titles available to start (more on this below).
Xbox’s website states the following regarding the process:
“Xbox One Backward Compatibility is easy to use
The Xbox One Backward Compatibility Beta is available starting June 15 for Xbox preview members. The program will launch broadly in fall 2015.
The digital titles that you own and are part of the Back Compat game catalog will automatically show up in the “Ready to Install” section on your Xbox One. For disc-based games that are a part of the Back Compat game catalog, simply insert the disc and the console will begin downloading the game to your hard drive. After the game has finished downloading, you will still need to keep the game disc in the drive to play.”
What it seems like is that the game can’t be played, even on disk, if Microsoft’s catalogue does not have the title listed. Which means, that even if you have 100 Xbox 360 games at home, you won’t be able to play them until they are listed individually, and is in the “Ready to Install” section.
Below are the available games to try now in Preview:
A Kingdom for Keflings
A World of Keflings
Alien Hominid HD
Geometry Wars Evolved
Perfect Dark Zero
Super Meat Boy
Toy Soldiers: Cold War
Viva Piñata: TIP
To see a small Q&A regarding the service, check here
Another thing to mention is that I you should not expect this kind of development from Sony any time soon or even at all. The PS3 was such a complicated architecture which could cause many complications to truly emulating games onto the PS4.