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Microsoft adding original Xbox backwards compatibility to Xbox One

First titles to be made available later this year, UPDATE: Original Xbox discs will work

Microsoft is expanding the Xbox One's backwards compatibility program by introducing titles from the original Xbox.

Phil Spencer announced the new offering during today's E3 press conference in Los Angeles. He confirmed the first wave of titles updated for Xbox One will be made available by the end of 2017.

Spencer began the reveal by reiterating the success of the current backwards compatibility program, which enables Xbox One owners to download Xbox 360 titles or play ones they already own.

He confirmed that 385 games from the previous console are currently available on Xbox One, and repeated that half of all Xbox One owners have made use of this offering.

His comments follow a report that suggested only 1.5% of the console's users had accessed this feature.

The only confirmed original Xbox title so far is wartime dogfighter Crimson Skies, although Spencer promised some of the most popular games will be made available through the newly expanded program.

He also claimed titles from the first Xbox will look and play better on any Xbox One device, but will be particularly enhanced by the Xbox One X - the new console, formerly known as Project Scorpio, that launches on November 7th.

UPDATE: Microsoft's Albert Pennello, who leads the Xbox marketing team, has revealed a few more details via Twitter, spotted by Polygon.

"Your original Xbox discs will work," he confirms. "Digital licences will carry over. And you can system-link play across all three generations."

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was