Microsoft’s announcement that the Xbox One will be receiving backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360 was definitely one of the most surprising things at this year’s E3. Even Sony was caught off guard because of how ridiculously hard the process of adding backwards compatibility to the current generation of consoles would have been, and while the company complimented Microsoft on the move, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has made it clear that such a feature will not be making its way to the PlayStation 4.
Microsoft’s most eye-catching E3 2015 announcement was the addition of backwards compatibility to the Xbox One. It means some Xbox 360 games will be playable on the console. When it made the announcement, Microsoft used BioWare’s action role-playing game Mass Effect to demonstrate the technology. “It was surprising,” Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer editor Oli Welsh when asked for his reaction. “I didn’t think it was possible. There must be lots of engineering effort. They talked about 100 games, but what kind of games will be included? Is it smaller games or big games? We don’t know.” We won’t see the proper launch of backwards compatibility on the Xbox One until this autumn, but you can play around with a handful of games right now, if you’re an Xbox Preview Member. Eurogamer YouTube chap Ian Higton went hands on with Xbox One backwards compatibility, and was able to download BattleBlock Theatre, Perfect Dark, Super Meat Boy and a handful of others straight to his Xbox One hard-drive, where they run via a fully emulated Xbox 360 system – complete with last-gen menus and notification pop-ups (check out his report in the video, below). Any game not stored on your Xbox 360 hard-drive will need the disc to launch it, and save data transfers between consoles. Microsoft has said old games you don’t own will also be available to buy further down the line.