Xbox One Backward Compatibility for Original Xbox Games Still Possible

By | 11 months ago 

Microsoft addresses the potential of original Xbox games making their way to the Xbox One via its backward compatibility program, saying “nothing’s impossible”.

During a recent episode of The Inner Circle Podcast, Xbox engineering boss Mike Ybarra was asked if original Xbox games would eventually be playable on the Xbox One by way of backward compatibility, to which the executive responded by saying that the concept is still on the table. However, Ybarra stressed that his team is intent on ensuring the functionality of 360 games on Xbox One first and foremost, so it’s safe to assume the feature won’t be happening anytime soon.

Microsoft’s Xbox engineering boss has been asked about this in the past, and his latest comments on the issue reflect his earlier stances. Of course, Ybarra implies that there’s still a chance, albeit one that would require a lot of effort and manpower, saying:

“We’re not looking at original Xbox games on Xbox One yet. Right now the focus is making more Xbox 360 games work. [It would be] certainly very challenging. Getting Xbox 360 games to work was incredibly challenging and really a multi-year engineering investment. Going all the way back to the original certainly would challenge the team.”

Due to developers paying attention to the last-gen’s catalog, it makes sense that original Xbox games on the Xbox One won’t be happening immediately, but Ybarra stated that the backward compatibility engineering team does like tackling a tough problem. Regarding the matter, he said, “I’m sure they would love that one as an opportunity to go look at”.


A few months ago, Xbox boss Phil Spencer ventured to guess that it was achievable for the Xbox One to support original Xbox Games from a technical standpoint, but Ybarra has offered no notion of how it could be done. Nevertheless, the statements from the current-gen console’s lead engineer about the feature’s possibility is encouraging.

Although there’s a dearth of original Xbox titles to play on the Xbox One, at least fans now have a bunch of 360 games to revisit, as backward compatibility went live for Microsoft’s current-gen console with the Xbox One Experience update earlier in November. As of now, the system has 104 older releases that can be enjoyed, and starting in December, even more titles are set to be included, building upon an already massive list of games. Should Microsoft continue to expand the catalog in subsequent months with blockbusters from the 360 era, then the program has the potential for enormous success.

If the Xbox One eventually allows for the original console’s titles to be added to its library, which ones would you like to see make it onto the list? Maybe you’d like to replay one of BioWare’s earliest forays into creating its own universe with Jade Empire? Or would revisiting Soul Calibur 2 to play as Spawn on current-gen be more exciting to you? Let us know your choices in the comments below.

In the meantime, the next big exclusive title set for release on the Xbox One is Quantum Break, which ought to be available on April 5, 2016.

Source: The Inner Circle Podcast – YouTube (via GameSpot, VG 24/7)