The Xbox One Backwards Compatibility release date is finally here. Rather than keep users guessing on when they’ll receive the update, Microsoft is clarifying the upgrade process and other details.
In a post this week on its Major Nelsonnew blog, Microsoft provides all the necessary Xbox One Backwards Compatibility release details that users need. When it arrives, Xbox One Backwards Compatibility will allow Xbox One owners to play their Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One at no additional charge. The feature is tucked inside the New Xbox One Experience update that Microsoft revealed at the Electronics Entertainment Expo back in June. Microsoft previously said that everyone would get both Xbox One Backwards Compatibility and the New Xbox One Experience on today, November 12th.
Turns out, everything is not contained in a single update. Xbox One owners began receiving the New Xbox One Experience last night at 3AM Eastern Standard Time. All users aren’t getting the update immediately. Instead, Microsoft is rolling out the software update to users over days. Everyone connected to Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online gaming service, should get the update by November 23rd.
The company is encouraging anyone and everyone to use the Always Connected Power Mode on their console. With it on, the New Xbox One Experience simply downloads and installs itself without prompting users. Anyone with Energy Saver Mode turned on will get prompted to download the update on November 23rd, if they haven’t done so already. Everyone can manually download the New Xbox One Experience from the Xbox One’s Settings app.
The Xbox One depends on the New Xbox One Experience to deliver Xbox One Backwards Compatibility. That being said, the feature is being delivered to users separately from the New Xbox One Experience software update. The Xbox One Experience includes a completely redesigned Home, OneGuide, Community and Store experience. Microsoft is ditching the vertical scrolling and app-centric approach it used for the software that the Xbox One launched with. Users can send messages, start parties, explore game hubs and communicate with their friends faster thanks to a new Guide that slides out from the left edge of their screen. The Guide is very similar to the Guide that anchored the Xbox 360 software experience.
Many of the console’s apps receive upgrades with the New Xbox One Experience. Avatars, Messages and Collection are all revamped, for example.
Xbox One owners should expect Xbox One Backwards Compatibility to start working at 3PM Eastern Standard Time. Why the two launches are being split up is unclear, but it could be that Microsoft is trying to stage the roll outs to avoid millions of users reaching out to its servers at the same time.
Xbox One Backwards Compatibility has two parts. When users put their game into the their console, they unlock a digital download from Microsoft’s servers. The Xbox One has an emulator that lets the game think that it’s running on Xbox 360, complete with multiplayer, parties and achievements. It won’t be until after 3PM that those game downloads will be available, it seems. Microsoft announced the 104 Xbox 360 games that’ll be available on the Xbox One earlier this week. The company plans to roll out new games to the program on a regular basis. Halo Wars and Halo Reach aren’t available to play today, but will be available next month, Microsoft says.
The New Xbox One Experience is Microsoft’s first attempt at revamping the entire Xbox One software experience, something it did multiple times for the Xbox 360. The company is hoping that adding new features and keeping the software fresh will extend the console’s life span. Xbox One Backwards Compatibility is key to boosting sales of the Xbox One to upgraders this holiday season.