Microsoft’s Xbox One can now play a limited number of Xbox 360 games. But it’s not as easy as putting in an old CD and starting it up. Only some games work, and the Xbox One runs them in an emulator.
How backwards compatibility works
The Xbox One is normally not able to play Xbox 360 games. Instead, Microsoft has created an emulator that simulates the hardware and software of the Xbox 360. Xbox 360 games will run in this emulator. It is similar to the "Virtual Console" Games on Nintendo Wii U and Wii work, or how to run old console games in emulators on a PC.
Not all games will run in the emulator. If you have an Xbox 360 game that is compatible with your Xbox One, you can put it in your Xbox One’s drive. The Xbox One then downloads a ported version of that game from Microsoft’s servers and makes it available on your console alongside your other installed games. If you have a digital copy of the game, you can download it from Microsoft’s servers as if you were downloading another digital Xbox One game.
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Once you run a game, it should work fine. You can even use the Xbox One’s Game DVR feature to record your gameplay in the Xbox 360 game. Eurogamer tested many major games and found that many of them performed better on the Xbox One than the Xbox 360, although some games had minor issues and graphical problems that didn’t occur on the Xbox 360.
But again, all this only works if Microsoft has made the game compatible with Xbox One. The publisher of each game has to sign off on this, and not every publisher has done so.
To check if an Xbox 360 game works on your Xbox One
Before you worry about getting an Xbox 360 game for your Xbox One, make sure it’s actually compatible. The Backwards Compatibility page on Microsoft’s Xbox website has a comprehensive list of backwards compatible games and shows games that have recently been added to the program. There is also this text-only list.
If a game you want to play isn’t backward compatible yet, check back in the future. Microsoft is adding more games to the backwards compatibility program on a regular basis.
How to install and play an Xbox 360 game on your Xbox One
If you don’t have a game you want to play yet, there are two ways a. First you can purchase a physical copy of the game. This can be either a new copy or a used copy, so you may find a good deal on a site like eBay or Amazon (or at your local video game store).
Used copies work well because the Xbox One doesn’t actually play the game from the CD. Xbox One just needs to check the CD and verify what it is. The actual game is downloaded from Microsoft’s servers and run from your Xbox One’s hard drive. As long as the Xbox One recognizes the disc, you’re fine.
Once you have the disc, insert it into your Xbox One. The Xbox One will tell you that it has an "update" must download for the game. It really loads the entire ported version of the game.
When it’s done, all you have to do is launch the game like any other. The Xbox One needs the disc of the game in its drive while you play it to confirm that you actually own the game, but the game will actually run from the Xbox One’s internal drive and not from the disc.
You can also digitally buy copies of Xbox 360 games from Microsoft’s Xbox Store. If you already have a digital copy of the game, you can install it on your Xbox One along with your regular Xbox One games. Go to "My games and "Apps"> "Ready to install", to see the games and apps you can install.
If you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can also download the Xbox 360 games for free every month your Xbox One. Microsoft has pledged that all future Xbox 360 games included in Xbox Live Gold will be compatible with Xbox One.
How does DLC work?
Downloadable content also works in backwards compatible Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. You can buy the DLC on the Xbox Store and it will "just work" in the backwards compatible game, as if you were playing the game on an Xbox 360.
Games with bundled DLC should work properly. For example Red Dead Redemption available for Xbox 360 in three different editions: Red Dead Redemption (default), Red Dead Redemption: undead nightmare and Red Dead Redemption: Game of the year edition . All three discs are compatible and work as you would expect. The "Game of the Year -Editions CD contains all the extra content, so it only works in-game. The standard CD does not contain additional content, but you can buy the DLC from the Xbox Store and it will be activated in your game.
So it should work for most games, theoretically. In practice, we have found that the Xbox One does not support the basic version of Fable II downloaded a Fable II: Game of the Year Edition have inserted. The system wanted us to buy the DLC to be included in the game. The Xbox One cannot tell the difference between the base and game of the year versions of that particular game. The Xbox One could also be about other "Game of the Year" -get games and their DLCs confused – we are not sure if this problem is specific to this one game or not.
All in all, however, the system works just fine – and you should be playing your old Xbox 360 games in no time at all.
If you only pay attention to the headlines that Microsoft should keep in mind, you would think that Windows 10 a universal success. So far, Redmond’s latest operating system has been installed on some 72 million systems around the globe and has received largely overwhelming positive reactions from both the press and the general public.
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