When Original Xbox Backwards Compatibility Will Come To The Xbox One

OG Xbox Backwards Compatible
(Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the big announcements that Microsoft made was that OG Xbox games would eventually be made backwards compatible for the Xbox One family of game consoles. Gamers, of course, peppered Microsoft with questions about when backwards compatibility would be made available for the OG Xbox. Well, it turns out that backwards compatibility will arrive sometime this year.

Gamespot is reporting that Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer was at the Brazil Game Show and they managed to squeeze in a question about whether or not OG Xbox backwards compatibility was still on the table for the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X.

According to Spencer, the backwards compatibility for the first wave of OG Xbox games will arrive this year. The service will kick off with Fusion Frenzy and Crimson Skies. Spencer also mentioned to the outlet that the company is planning something special for OG Xbox games running on the Xbox One X. Spencer doesn't say exactly what the division is planning, but with all that raw horsepower under the hood it only makes sense that something would be done to utilize it in order to make the games pop and shine like never before.

In fact, we're already seeing that the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro are being used for current generation games to either run them at higher resolutions, with better frame-rates, or to add some special post-processing or graphical effects that aren't otherwise possible on the vanilla Xbox One or PS4. It would only benefit Microsoft to add special filters to the OG Xbox games running on the Xbox One X, similar to what's offered in emulators for older games, or running Wii U titles on PC with higher resolutions, better FPS, and other edge-sharpening effects.

Spencer noted to Gamespot that there's still a ways to go, however. While some OG Xbox games are up and running fine, others still need a lot of help in order to get to their destination. Spencer doesn't detail which games are having a problem, but it's not all a hardware issue.

Spencer hints at having difficulty securing licenses to allow for the redistribution of OG Xbox titles, many of which were published or developed by companies that are either defunct, usurped, or subsidiaries under new companies.

A lot of gamers would love to replay Timesplitters 2 or Timesplitters 3 on the Xbox One X, but Free Radical dissolved and was taken in under Crytek, which is no longer quite the company it used to be. Securing the rights to the Timesplitters franchise could end up being costly and difficult, so Microsoft has to deal with all of these nuisances that come with attempting to bring back the old games from several generations ago.

Spencer also confirmed that the library of backwards compatible OG Xbox games for the Xbox One won't be as large as backwards compatible games from the Xbox 360's library. One game a lot of people have been looking forward to playing is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, assuming Disney and BioWare give Microsoft the a-okay.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.