Microsoft has been sheepishly coy about the release date for the backwards compatibility mode for the Xbox One to date. However, now it's been revealed that backwards compatibility will go live for all Xbox One users starting November 12th.
Game Informer picked up the news during a live-stream for the launch of Halo 5: Guardians. Phil Spencer, the head honcho over the Xbox brand, revealed that the Windows 10 update and complete OS overhaul for the Xbox One will go live on November 12th. This new update will allow users to have easier access to all of the storefront freatures and a more streamlined UI that allows users to easily navigate through each tab. The dashboard being updated is about on par to Microsoft's usual upgrading of the console OS.
Of course, the most impressive part of the update isn't just in navigating the menus and having a sexier UI at the disposal of users, the actual meat and potatoes of the update rests in the backwards compatibility feature.
Phil Spencer had originally unveiled that the Xbox One would have backwards compatibility back at E3 of this year. The move was a surprise that no one saw coming, not even Sony. The unveiling of the feature was followed by its debut in the preview program where a limited number of Xbox One owners had an opportunity to play-test Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One.
Some of the games available in the backwards compatibility preview program included the likes of Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed. Microsoft is ensuring that most of all their first-party Xbox 360 titles will be available to play on the Xbox One.
It's strange but the announcement of backwards compatibility was one of the biggest announcements during E3 even though there were some really cool games announced during that time.
Microsoft has confirmed that the feature will allow players to not only play games digitally but it's also possible to use the the original game discs as well. If you have all your games downloaded from the Xbox store when you had an Xbox 360, it will be possible to re-add them to your library once again once they become available for the Xbox One.
The initial availability of the backwards compatibility will supposedly be limited, but Microsoft will then make more games available quickly thereafter. Supposedly there will be more than 100 games available by the end of the year.
Bethesda and Microsoft have already teamed up for Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, allowing Xbox One owners to play the third game as a backwards compatible title in conjunction with the release of the new game.
It was previously revealed that the November update for the Xbox One would bring backwards compatibility but now it's nice to have an actual date attached to the feature. This could help reinvigorate a lot of interest in the Xbox brand this holiday season, and with Microsoft focusing more on the userbase than just selling consoles, it'll be interesting to see what becomes of the service moving forward: Will Microsoft buffer it with a lot of software support from the Xbox 360's library or will they let it simmer slowly like Sony and PS Now? I guess we'll find out.