Xbox Original backwards compatibility for Xbox One available from today

October 24, 2017

IGN has revealed that backwards compatibility for Xbox Original titles on Xbox One will be available from today, October 24.

The launch of Xbox Original backwards compatibility was announced at this year’s E3, with Crimson Skies (and later Fuzion Frenzy) being revealed as the first titles to be available. IGN has confirmed the service will launch initially with 13 titles, including:

  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Ninja Gaiden Black
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Psychonauts
  • Dead to Rights
  • Black
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies
  • Sid Meier’s Pirates!
  • Red Faction II
  • BloodRayne 2
  • The King of Fighters Neowave

Like Xbox 360 titles, players who previously owned these games digitally on their Xbox Live account will be able to re-download them for free on Xbox One. Players who still own the original discs can also place them into the disc drive of their Xbox One console to commence the download. A quick search on reveals that games will cost between AU$9.95-$14.95 to purchase, and some may even still be playable/downloadable on Xbox 360 (which was already backwards compatible for a large number of titles).

Xbox Original titles will feature enhanced resolutions on Xbox One, now displaying in 1080p which is a significant boost to the standard 480p (or 480i) resolutions from back in the day. Framerates are also said to be higher/smoother than their original release and loading times will be improved.

Online multiplayer will not work on Xbox Original titles as the servers have long been shutdown, however, System Link multiplayer features will still work. IGN stated they demoed a 4-player match of Crimson Skies where one player was using an Xbox Original console, and the other players each used a different generation of Xbox One console (launch console, Xbox One S and Xbox One X).

Microsoft are being cautious with expectations on what future games will be backwards compatible. Often there are licensing issues for older games such as music rights, companies having ceased operations over the years, and even contracts having gone missing as they were originally signed on paper with no electronic version stored.

Due to these legality issues, it stands to reason we won’t see the same level of backwards compatibility that we’re enjoying with Xbox 360 titles. At the very least, gamers will still be able to enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane and play some truly timeless classics.