A Visual Tour of Xbox One Backwards Compatibility

At this year’s E3 Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would support running Xbox 360 games natively. That may not be completely true, but for all intents and purposes the result is that Xbox 360 games run on the Xbox One. Here is the process for both downloadable Arcade titles and Disc based games.


Downloadable Games

Available GamesGames you have available to download will appear in your Games to Install section of the My Games & Apps application on your Xbox One. The Green and White spinecard on the icon denotes an Xbox 360 title.

Install PromptYou’ll be prompted to install the Xbox 360 game just like any other game or app.

Installing the game.The game will download to your Xbox One’s hard drive or in my case, my external storage, depending on how you have your system setup.

Downloaded Store PageGames have their own Store pages that seem to pull data from the Xbox 360 store. Maybe at some point you will be able to buy Xbox 360 games directly, but at the moment this is not possible.

Downloaded GameWhen the game is done downloading it appears in your games listing, right next to the other Xbox One titles.

Xbox 360 SplashHey, this looks familiar!

Getting ReadyThe first time you start up an Xbox 360 game you’ll see this screen. Wait a minute or two while it gets things ready.

Defense Grid TitleA couple of minutes later, and we have Defense Grid running on the Xbox One.

DG Campaign SelectHey! Where’d my DLC go?

No DLCAs of this article, Downloadable Content isn’t supported. If you try to go to a game’s DLC section you’ll be shown this message.

DG GameplayThe game looks good and runs as you’d expect it to.

Disc Based Games

Disc Install PromptWhen you insert a game disc, you’ll be prompted to download an “Update”. What you’re really doing is downloading the disc image to the Xbox One’s hard drive. The emulator will use this image instead of accessing the disc directly.

Disc InstalledDisc based games do appear in your collection just like any other title.

ME SplashIt’s worth pointing out that each game has its own splash screen. It’s not just a straight disc image dump to Xbox Live, some prep work has to go into putting these games on the Xbox One.

Mass Effect TitleHey, it’s Mass Effect for Xbox 360 running on my Xbox One. It’s Voodoo I tell you!

Saved GamesOnly Cloud Saves are supported at this time. If you want to transfer your 360 save over, you’ll need to do so using your Xbox 360 system. Save your game to Cloud Storage and you’ll be able to access it on the Xbox One.

Xbox HomeYes, this really is running on Xbox One.

Disc CheckIf you want to play your Xbox 360 disc based games, you’ll need to hang onto those discs. Otherwise this is all you’ll see.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the Xbox One’s newest and hottest feature. It’s a little sparse as far as supported titles go, but I am sure Microsoft will continue to add games and improve the emulator. From a user’s perspective, this is about as simple an implementation as you can get. It’s one of those “Just Works” type of features.

Stay tuned for more as it develops.