Microsoft says that the Xbox 360 games compatibility that it announced at its E3 2015 Xbox Media Briefing, is available for anyone and everyone to try – provided that they have a console enrolled in the company’s Xbox Preview Program.
Microsoft revealed that its Xbox One entertainment and gaming console would be updated to support Xbox 360 games at a briefing yesterday morning. It wasn’t until last night that the company began rolling out the new feature for testing to Preview Program members in what is being called the July Xbox One Update.
As a post on Xbox Wire reveals, the feature seems to be pretty straight forward. Xbox One owners don’t need to jump through any hoops before adding their Xbox 360 games to their Xbox One. Once the updated is downloaded, gamers need only stick their game disc into their Xbox One console to unlock an Xbox One compatible version. The entire Xbox 360 Guide is available when you’re playing an Xbox 360 game. On top of that, players can still capture screenshots and video and upload them to Xbox Live. That’s something not even the Xbox 360 can do today.
There’s no extra cost associated with the feature at all, just as Microsoft said there wouldn’t be at the media briefing.
For now, the Xbox 360 game compatibility that Microsoft is rolling out with this update for Xbox Preview Program members is limited. Eventually, Microsoft hopes to have a huge catalog of games that’ll transfer over to the Xbox One. In its post detailing the feature the company even notes that it will, “continue to release Xbox 360 titles on a regular basis and build a substantial catalog over time.” That substantial catalog isn’t present with this Xbox One update. Only 21 different games are upgradable today, which is just a fraction of the games release on the Xbox 360 over its lifetime.
A Kingdom of Keflings, A World of Keflings, Alien Hominid HD, Banjo-Tooie, Bango-Kazooie, BattleBlock Theater, Defense Grid, Geometry Wars Evolved, Hexic HD, Jetpac Refulled, Kameo, Mass Effect, N+, Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark Zero, Super Meat Boy, Toy Soldiers, Toy Soldiers: Cold Wa, Viva Pinata, Viva Pinata: TIP and Zuma are the only Xbox 360 titles available to play today with this July Xbox One Update.
When it rolls out this fall to everyone else, Microsoft says it’ll support a huge swatch of Xbox 360 digital and disc titles.
Adding Xbox 360 game compatibility to the Xbox One was a master stroke on Microsoft’s part. Previously, upgrading to the Xbox One meant leaving your old games behind and starting a new collection or maintaining the two consoles at the same time. The latter option wasn’t particularly difficult, but it should prove a lot easier to get Xbox 360 users to upgrade if they know that the games they’ve already paid for can come with them.
Also contained in this July Xbox One Update for Xbox Preview Program members is the plumbing necessary to power-up Microsoft’s video game streaming for enthusiasts already running its Windows 10 operating system. With the update, anyone with Windows 10 installed on their PC can plug-in an Xbox One Wireless Controller and stream games over their home network. For now, gamers have to be on the same network, but its great for anyone who only has a single Xbox One console and wants to play video games in a different room of the house.
The Xbox Preview Program is almost like an exclusive club. In exchange for getting early access to new features before they arrive for everyone else, Preview Program members provide feedback about issues and software changes and how they affect their gaming and entertainment experience. To get into the program you need an invite from someone who is already a member of the program.