We’re just entering a new era for the Xbox One. The console’s flagship title just came out yesterday and delivers the best online multiplayer Halo experience yet, and more big releases are on the way just in time for the New Xbox One Experience – the big update that will be available to all Xbox One owners on November 12. The update will bring in a completely revamped interface, Windows 10 compatibility, and backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games – and many (Microsoft included) are touting the Experience as a potential paradigm shift for the platform.
The feature that Xbox One owners are most excited about is backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games. The chance to play classic games like Mass Effect and Gears of War on the Xbox One has many gamers excited, especially considering the potential for new life to be breathed into old games via downloadable content. However, there’s been a lot of conjecture about how exactly DLC will work for backward compatible games.
Game Informer has reported that for the time being, gamers will not be able to purchase Xbox 360 content via the Xbox One store since the Xbox One will not emulate the Xbox 360 marketplace. Xbox 360 games and DLC will be purchasable only from Xbox.com or on the Xbox 360 itself, but will download automatically to the Xbox One.
The good news is that any DLC purchased on the Xbox 360 in the past will be accessible on the Xbox One. The bad news is that going forward, it will be a hassle to access new DLC for 360 games. It’s a small wrinkle, but one that could frustrate some gamers. Many were hoping that the old games would have a seamless transition to the new platform, and now it looks like the old 360 hardware, or at least regular trips to the Xbox website on a PC or some other platform, will still be necessary component of the New Xbox One Experience – as far as backward compatibility is concerned.
All things considered, the good news outweighs the bad here. Most Xbox One owners who play Xbox 360 games will not be inconvenienced by the absence of the 360’s marketplace on the newer console. All their old DLC will appear on the Xbox One, and new DLC for Xbox 360 games will be relatively rare down the stretch. For most Xbox One gamers, the experience of playing their old games should be pretty seamless.
And on top of that, beginning in November, thanks to the backward compatibility all future Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 will be playable on Xbox One, giving Xbox One owners double the free games each month. And with the way this feature works, gamers will be able to play multiplayer with their friends no matter which console they’re on.
Backward compatibility could re-energize old titles, to the point where developers choose to release more DLC for classic games. In that case, Microsoft may want to emulate the 360’s marketplace on the newer platform.