Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Could One Day Work With Original Xbox Games

"I ask the backwards compatibility team this question a lot."


Maybe don't throw away your original Xbox discs just yet. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said today that the Xbox One's existing backwards compatibility functionality could one day be extended to original Xbox titles.

Spencer made the tease in an exchange on Twitter. Here's how the conversation transpired:

Question: "Very silly question, but if Xbox One essentially has Xbox 360 emulator, how much work would go into making original Xbox titles backwards compatibility?"

Spencer: "I don't think it's silly. I ask the backwards compatibility team this question a lot. Need to finish 360 backwards compatibility for now."

No Caption Provided

Spencer's comments shouldn't be taken as confirmation that the Xbox One will add original Xbox backwards compatibility support soon, or ever. Clearly, nothing is set in stone at this time.

Backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games is currently available on Xbox One for Preview Program members only. It will roll out to everyone in November, at which time there will be more than one hundred available games. In addition, all future Xbox 360 Games With Gold titles (starting in November) will be backwards-compatible.

Microsoft has not yet announced the full lineup of supported titles, but you can check out this list to see all of the confirmed games so far. The list may grow later this week, as Microsoft says it will announce the next wave of backwards-compatible games in the next couple of days.

If the Xbox One were to add backwards compatibility support for original Xbox games, which titles would you like to see made playable? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Avatar image for bigal1666

I am aware I am a bit late on this and its not an exclusive but uh... NFL Street 2.

Thank you and good night.

Avatar image for nickcauthon

Steel Batallion!! Must have support for big controller as well

Avatar image for jr240483

i for one hope that they do. especially when it comes to 2d fighting games like SVC Chaos: SNK Vs Capcom .

and other classics like Panzer Dragoon Orca.

Avatar image for atakanovic

Yeah with same graphics and worse frame rates just like 360 games

Avatar image for parabol69

@atakanovic: Yes, because God forbid that a game is any good without state-of-the art graphics.

Avatar image for Vegeta-sama

This shouldn't even be any trouble...they don't even have to emulate the OS... it should run fine on a VM since the hardware is the same family line... X86 and DX8 compatible

Avatar image for alexatkin

@Vegeta-sama: As I understand it the Xbox didn't have much of an OS, everything addressed the hardware pretty much directly.

It should still be far easier than it was on Xbox 360 though. I expect a single core on Xbox One could run Xbox code natively without any problems.

Avatar image for Vegeta-sama

@alexatkin: it used a Windows 2000 kernal if I'm not mistaken... the OS was windows based... they could probably emulate the game on the app side of the console... make it a universal app so we can play it on Windows and Xbox One..

Avatar image for alexatkin

@Vegeta-sama: What I meant was that I don't think it has a unified OS that runs all the time. Consoles back then would have basic functionality built-in (memory management, CD playing, etc) but when you booted a game it was unloaded from memory and the game took complete control.

That is why they had to shut down original Xbox Live to increase the friends limit on Xbox 360, because it was hard-coded into every original Xbox game.

It wasn't until Xbox 360 that they had enough RAM/CPU power to have a background OS running all the time and have games use an API to access things like Xbox Live, so it can be changed across all games at the same time simply by updating the OS code.

Same with the Dreamcast actually. It was the first console to be able to use DirectX for games by having Windows CE support, but that was optional on a per-game basis because it would actually be on the game disc not in console firmware.

Avatar image for Vegeta-sama

@alexatkin: even the 360 works that way... the system basicly reboots every time you start a game

Avatar image for alexatkin

@Vegeta-sama: It unloads the dashboard when you boot a game but it doesn't unload the whole OS.

This is most obvious if you are in voice chat with someone as it will carry on no matter how many times you change games, as the core OS remains running at all times.

The exception to this are when you boot an original Xbox game as that shuts most of the OS down so the emulator gets the full hardware power.

Avatar image for xantufrog

Would really like to see this extend to PC

Avatar image for chewbacca72

Still holding on to Halo 2 just in case. Amazed this wasn't playable on 360.

Avatar image for chewbacca72

@chewbacca72: I have xbox live, popped in the disc and it just flipped me the finger.

Avatar image for uncle5555

@chewbacca72: was, not sure about your 360, but everyone else's did (as long as they had online access)

Avatar image for spooie

@uncle5555: Halo 2 was the only game I think I even bothered with on the 360.

Avatar image for xanatos357

That would be pretty cool.

Avatar image for HiroArka

I would love to be able to play Panzer Dragoon Orta :D Which is the only Xbox game I own.

Avatar image for DarkReign2022

Jade Empire, KOTOR 1 & 2, Morrowind, Otogi 1 & 2, Blinx 1 & 2, Breakdown, Advent Rising, Phantom Crash, Phantom Dust, Psi-Ops, Second Sight, Serious Sam 1 & 2, Crimson Skies, Conker: Live & Reloaded, Tron 2.0, Psychonauts, Run Like Hell, Mechassault 1 & 2, Ninja Gaiden Black, Dead or Alive 3 & Ultimate, Brute Force, Manhunt, Mace Griffin, Oddworld Munch's Oddysee and Stranger's Wrath, Jet Set Radio Future, Splinter Cell 1, 2, 3, and 4, Star Wars: Republic Commando... Plenty of Xbox games I want playable. I still own more Xbox games than any other console.

Avatar image for Vegeta-sama

@DarkReign2022: If I could I'd flag your post for to much awesome

Avatar image for CTstryk

Jade Empire! please

Avatar image for phoenixspawn2

Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Avatar image for obiken

@phoenixspawn2: Got that on 360.

Avatar image for louixiii


Avatar image for rogmiick25

There is just one game I want. Mercenaries Playground of Destruction. The 360 emulator never worked right and the game would always freeze. It was one of the Xbox games I didn't finish and that I still have the disc for. I tried playing the PS2 version on my PS3, but the draw distances and crappier graphics just made me want the XBOX version more.

Avatar image for Whakamole5

They gave up on BC on XB360 - do people really think they'll add X-Box games to X-Box One? They've already stated that B.C. is expensive and time consuming. There's little to no incentive for them to do this - and if you think there is - they would have followed through with making all X-Box games playable on the 360 - like they said they were going to.

Avatar image for alexatkin

@Whakamole5: Its frustrating they didn't do it first to be honest, as it should be WAY easier than emulating Xbox 360 or than it was to run Xbox games on Xbox 360 (they had to kinda port them).

Avatar image for noctisumbra

@Whakamole5: there is a world of difference between the two: Xbox 360 had to download specific emulation profiles for the game to work, Xbox One emulates the 360 OS, all Microsoft needs is permissions to allow the games to be played in the emulator. And the emulator still needs work, but it is getting better

Avatar image for Big_Money_Man

Capcom VS SNK 2 Please

Avatar image for letsgame82

Now that's worth BC, I've still got all the consoles from the 5 generationsh, Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive, PS1, Dreamcast.......Still use 360 and PS3 but never owned the original Xbox so I welcome BC on games from Xbox (original)

Avatar image for XAF1

I really hope MS does decide to make the X1 compatible with the Original Xbox systems games. It should be even easier than doing so with the 360 as the Original Xbox used a Pentium III processor and Nvidia Graphics. If done right it could be profitable for MS and the original game developers to a certain level. It would allow developers to sell digital versions of their old games to gamers who don't still have the physical disc or who are unable to find them. The games could be sold through Xbox Live just like PSP, PS1, PS2 and Vita games were through the PSN store. Also those of us who still have our original games would be in luck.

Avatar image for alexatkin

@XAF1: I would love to play Burnout 2 & 3 with a decent frame rate again.

Burnout 2 turned into a slide show in the rain on Xbox 360.

Avatar image for drodriguesaar

Now, this is something.

Avatar image for bentleyj10

Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2, Ninja Gaiden Black!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Avatar image for sol_pro


Avatar image for Simulator_Shock

@sol_pro: And yet PS4 is still outselling the Xbone 2:1

Avatar image for adriangrey11

@Simulator_Shock: for no reason what so ever.

Avatar image for domiddian

@adriangrey11: Because the Playstation brand is far stronger than the Xbox brand on a global scale. How's that for a reason?

Avatar image for adriangrey11

@domiddian: " stronger "

Avatar image for truemack69

@Simulator_Shock: ms got deep pockets. Doesn't matter. Pc is Microsoft

Avatar image for deusvex

@Simulator_Shock: and Microsoft is making more money than Sony 80:1 or something like that. So what? Last gen Xbox 360 outsold PS3 the majority of the cycle and before that PS2 outsold the OG Xbox. Next gen i'm sure it will flip flop again.

Avatar image for domiddian

@deusvex: Actually, the ratio is more like 3:2

And anyway, you shouldn't be looking at Microsoft vs. Sony, you should be looking at Playstation division vs. Xbox division. The Playstation division is making far more profit than the Xbox division.

And also, the likelihood is that neither Sony nor Microsoft will release a console next gen.

Avatar image for brandiesel

@domiddian: Why don't you think either company will make a system next gen? They've sold close to 40 million between the 2 so far. By the time next gen rolls around there could be close to 100 million in combined sales. They'd be crazy not to get in on that.

Avatar image for domiddian

@brandiesel: I see your point, but I think by the time the next gen rolls around, physical consoles will be a dead concept. Instead, we'll be streaming games to our TVs and we'll have the bandwidth to accommodate it by then. Physical hardware is too limited. Both Sony and Microsoft see that.

I certainly don't think Microsoft will be making a new console. The prospect of Microsoft selling off the Xbox division reared its ugly head again last year when Bill Gates said he would support such a decision. They've had problems this gen, unfortunately. The Xbox One is a good console, but on a level playing field, the Xbox brand just doesn't stand a chance against the Playstation brand on a global scale.

Avatar image for brandiesel

@domiddian: I agree that one day we will be streaming straight to our tv's but I just think it's a little further away. I can see 1 more console cycle but I wouldn't be surprised to see MS drop from it.

Avatar image for strrckshn

@deusvex: But stil PS3 caught up/won the Generation overall, between the 360. Even despite 360 releasing a Year before PS3.

But Wii won though. 3rd place not so bad for the 360.

Avatar image for bentleyj10

@Simulator_Shock: probably for the same reasons the Wii was number 1 last time and wrestling is still so popular.

Avatar image for jj2112

Mm. Most of my original games didn't work on 360 but they were crap anyway. I'm only looking forward to finishing Ninja Gaiden someday.