Xbox One backwards compatibility with the original Xbox officially launches tomorrow with 13 games having been added to the lineup. The third and current iteration of Microsoft's Xbox platform, the Xbox One, launched in 2013 without native backwards compatibility integrated into the system - the ability to play games from previous console generations on new consoles - despite the fact that the previous system, the Xbox 360, was able to play original Xbox games.
Unfortunately, it seemed like backwards compatibility was something that the gaming industry had long forgotten in favor of remastering games. After all, both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were unable - and the studios at the time, unwilling - to support such an endeavor, notwithstanding constant petitions from consumers. Sony attempted to compromise with fans by launching the cloud-gaming service PlayStation Now, but that gesture only went so far. Microsoft, on the other hand, made backwards compatibility available with Xbox 360 games in 2015 (via a software emulator), and now they will be doing the same for the OG Xbox.
Xbox One compatibility with OG Xbox games was announced at E3 2017 earlier this year, and the program officially launches tomorrow - Tuesday, October 24th - with 13 games, including Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, the game previously confirmed by Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer. The other games on the list are as follows: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Ninja Gaiden Black, 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.
The Xbox team has spent much time attempting to unify each generation together, thus allowing for their current-gen system to last for several more years. Considering that the industry is slowly gravitating towards mobile games, it makes sense for Microsoft to push this initiative and allow their customers to rely more on the Xbox One than any previous console. What's more, it's perhaps easier and less time-consuming to make specific games backwards compatible rather than work with developers to remaster games (and whole series). We're sure many people would prefer that developers and publishers work on new games instead of constantly remastering old ones - unless a remaster leads up to a new release (e.g. Nathan Drake: The Uncharted Collection and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End).
All 13 games on the above list are currently available on the Xbox Store for approximately $9.99 each. Moreover, each game has been enhanced to 1080p resolution, with smoother frame-rates and much faster loading times. It's worth noting that these games haven't been remastered but rather merely updated; all the assets remain the same. And those playing games such as Knights of the Old Republic for the first time should be aware of the fact that these games are products of their time.
Source: Microsoft (via IGN)