Microsoft Vows to Release Xbox 360 Emulator for Xbox One

Microsoft Xbox One May Gain Compatibility with Xbox 360 Games

by Anton Shilov
04/14/2014 | 09:23 AM

One of the most controversial facts about Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One is its incompatibility with video games originally developed for Xbox 360 game console. Nonetheless, this may change soon as the company seems to be working on an Xbox 360 emulator for Xbox One. Unfortunately, Microsoft does not know when this software is set to be ready.


When asked whether Microsoft has plans to make an emulator of Xbox 360 for Xbox One, Microsoft’s partner development lead Frank Savage indicated that there were such plans, but there were challenges. The two video game consoles are based on custom microprocessors that are powered by completely different micro-architectures. It is hard to emulate behavior of IBM PowerPC processor on AMD Jaguar x86 cores.

“There are [plans to develop X360 emulator for XB1], but we are not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately,” said Mr. Savage during a session at Build conference last week, reports Kotaku. “It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there is nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself.”

Gears of War: Judgement Day title for Xbox 360. Despite of 2005 graphics processor inside the X360, the game looks good even in 2014.

There are plenty of good-looking Xbox 360 games that would boost popularity of the Xbox One console, so Microsoft should be interested in development of Xbox 360 emulator for the Xbox One. However, the company may not allow Xbox 360 game discs to work on Xbox One, but may decide to create a cloud-based emulation solution that would require customers to buy Xbox 360 games again. Previously Microsoft thought about enabling X360 games on Xbox One using cloud services, which also means necessity to rent or even re-purchase existing games.

Sales of Xbox One game consoles are trailing those of the PlayStation 4. The sooner Microsoft releases something that will improve competitive positions of the Xbox One, the better for the software giant.