Xbox One Runs the Entire 360 OS for the Xbox One Backward Compatibility

In the latest issue of Edge, Microsoft’s head of Xbox Division Phil Spencer talked about the recently announced backward compatibility for Xbox One, challenges faced by developers, and how excited they were as a studio and gamers to launch the new functionality.

According to Spencer, the hardest thing about the new feature was keeping it a surprise and restricting themselves from sharing the news with the fans:

“This, for me, as a gamer and as somebody who cares so much about the brand, has been the hardest thing about not leaking it. I’ve wanted to tell people, ‘Hold onto your 360 games!’ There were a hundred times where people had to stop me from tweeting that out over the past six months, because as I would see a game that works I wanted to tell people: ‘Keep it – don’t sell that! Even if you sell your 360, keep your games!'”

Spencer also discussed how exactly backward compatibility works and stated that the Xbox One is capable of running the entire Xbox 360 OS which allows fans to access Xbox Live, Achievements, and pretty much everything else.

He also confirmed that the developers do not actually have to do anything major other than giving a greenlight and after a short test, the Xbox One identifies the Xbox 360 game as a native title:

“The team took the approach of effectively running the whole 360 OS on the Xbox One, which is why you can play with Live and everything else. That was the most difficult thing: could we get the 360 OS to boot so it thinks it’s running on native hardware? The nice thing is that the developers don’t have to do anything. They approve the game, we run it through a test pass, obviously, to make sure everything’s fine, then we have to wrap it up as an Xbox One game so the Xbox One knows you’re actually running a game.”

Xbox One backward compatibility is slated to become available for all Xbox One users in October 2015 and will cover more than 200 games at launch.

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