In one of the more shocking moments of Microsofts E3 conference, the Xbox team announced that the Xbox One will be nativley backwards compatible with Xbox 360 titles.
This free service is set to launch in Autumn but Xbox Preview members can start testing it right away.
Launching with support of 100 titles, hundreds more will be added afterwards. Microsoft explained that while getting 360 titles to work requires no extra development, they do still need developers approval before some titles can be unlock for this service. (Something which I can imagine being difficult, thanks to the rise of HD re-releases)
Digital games that you have previously purchased will automatically be placed into your Xbox One library ready to be downloaded, while retail discs can be read to verify ownership that way.
Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, confirmed to Eurogamer that online multiplayer for Xbox 360 games will still work on Xbox One with no problems.
The good news doesn't end there as Xbox One media features will still work with no issues while playing older games, with Microsoft demonstrating Mass Effect 1 running through this backwards compatibility feature.
As for saves and achievements, these will also transfer over, meaning you'll be able to pick up your progress in Xbox 360 games when playing on Xbox On with Gamerscore progress also carrying over, allowing you to continue working on unlocking Achievements even though you've switched console.
While the finer points of this feature weren't detailed in the conference itself, Microsoft Executive Kudo Tsunoda spoke to press afterwards to enlighten us all.
"The achievements carry over for sure. You can pick up a game wherever you left off on Xbox 360, on Xbox One,"
Later on, you'll also have the chance to select 360 titles you never owned and pay a small amount to buy them. So far it all sounds like a simple enough process and one that fans have been crying out for, with Digital copies of Xbox 360 games unlocking for you to download on Xbox One as soon as you pop in the 360 game's disc.
Tsunoda went on to explain
"Developers won't have to touch anything up at all. If you put in the disc-based copy, it just works. It's not any new code that requires work for a developer."
This addition, as you could imagine, comes at a cost to Microsoft, requiring a lot of effort from the engineering teams to get it working just right. Tsunoda even admitted that "at one point we thought it just wasn't going to be possible"
Tsunoda was adamant that Microsoft never even considered asking people to pay to unlock their titles.
"It's for games you've already paid for! You own those games. We're not going to charge you again for games you have already purchased."
This delicate line rounded off the announcement with a sharp dig at Sony and its plethora of PS3 games that have been remastered for the PS4 and the Playstation Now service which is so far charging a rather large sum to simply rent older games.
Check out the announcement below if you want to hear it from the horses mouth or simply relive the moment.