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Xbox One Update Will Add Original Xbox Game Compatibility – What We Know and What We Don’t Know June 16, 2017

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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The second major announcement from the Microsoft E3 2017 Press Event was the revelation that the Xbox One will receive a free update to add compatibility for the games made for the original Xbox!

This feature is something Xbox enthusiasts have been requesting after Microsoft added support for Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One, and I am very happy Microsoft followed up on it. Currently there’s a lot we still don’t know about how this feature is going to work but I will try my best to include the information we have while inquiring about the information we don’t have.

First up, only one original Xbox game was specifically confirmed to support the One, and that was the fan-favorite Crimson Skies.  That’s a really good game, and I’m happy it has been added to the list.  I actually have a copy of it and for the life of me I can’t understand why Microsoft hasn’t released a sequel for it yet.  Other popular games like Halo 2 may get supported, but that’s just speculation on my part.

We know that backwards compatibility will work with original Xbox game discs, so if you still have your discs you’ll be able to play your game by inserting it into the Xbox One’s Blu-Ray Drive. It is also possible that original Xbox games will be sold on the Xbox One Marketplace, so you may need to dust off your wallet if you want to buy some online.  Original Xbox games that support System Link (LAN) multiplayer will be able to play against other consoles playing the same game regardless of the console they are being played on.

Those are some pretty clear knowns, so now it’s time for us to talk about the unknowns.  First off, Microsoft discontinued Xbox Live support for all original Xbox games back in 2010, so unless Microsoft turns that service back on or establishes some kind of software workaround, you won’t be able to play these games online. 

Another unknown is the issue of DLC and patches. Crimson Skies had a lot of free DLC back in the day, and with Xbox Live no longer functioning for original Xbox games, downloading essential patches and DLC to make the games compatible for multiplayer is impossible.  My guess is Microsoft could port those DLC patches and updates into Xbox One downloads, but I wasn’t able to confirm if that was possible.

However limited our information about this feature is, I applaud Microsoft for doing it. The original Xbox featured some fantastic games, many of which were sadly overlooked. I can’t wait to try it out!  Who wouldn’t want to play on Blood Gulch against your friends one more time?

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