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'Last year, the team decided to tackle a feature that has been consistently at the top of your request list - and while we weren't sure if it was possible, today I'm pleased to announce Xbox One backwards compatibility.' So went Phil Spencer. 'Woo!' So went the crowd.
The announcement that 360 games would become playable on Xbox One ranks among the most popular moves Microsoft's made in years, which begs the question: why did it take so long? Speaking to Edge, Spencer explained the issue - the Xbox One needs to pretend to be an Xbox 360 to get the games working at all.
The 360's ability to play original Xbox games required every title to be tailor-engineered for 360 (thus the substantial gaps in the playable catalogue). For new-gen, the process is a little smoother, but takes some engineering sleight of hand:
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'This time,' said Spencer, 'the team took the approach of effectively running the whole hardware OS that was running on the 360 hardware on the Xbox One. So when you boot the games, it literally boots up the operating system of the Xbox 360 - which is why you can play with Live and everything else. That was the most difficult thing.'
While performance didn't turn out to be an issue - Spencer says the two console's chipsets are fairly similar - once you've convinced the 360 game that it's playing on a 360, you also need to convince the Xbox One that it's playing a One game: 'That’s why you need to download the game. It's an Xbox One copy of the exact same game so that it shows up as an Xbox One game. That way [...] it shows the game ID and everything else.'
Once the work was done, however, it's made the process of making 360 games compatible extremely simple. Microsoft now only needs the permission of publishers to get the games running - and the likes of EA and Ubisoft are already onboard, the latter even using the service to give old games away free as a bonus to Xbox One players.
The only downside? It's a solution so neat that it almost caused Spencer a problem, as he came closest to leaking the feature: 'I noticed about a month ago… So I’ve been playing a lot of back-compat games on my Xbox One and people on Twitter were starting to be like ‘hey, why are you playing Banjo on the 360? Why are you playing Super Meat Boy on the 360?’. Then certain people started to whisper.'
If you're curious, here's every Xbox One backwards compatible gamethat's set to launch with the service, as announced by Microsoft.
Sometimes Xbox One games and apps don't function as they should. They may crash to the dashboard or not even load when you select them. The splash screen for a game or app might come up, but then it will just hang and eventually go back to the dashboard. Sometimes games run poorly, you can't load a profile, or maybe the Wi-Fi isn't working right. Fortunately, a simple method can fix all of these problems: a full system reboot.
The instructions here apply to the original Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Xbox One S.
What to Do When Your Xbox One Keeps Crashing to the Home Screen
Normally when you turn off your Xbox One, it just goes into a low-power standby mode. You can say 'Xbox, on' to Kinect the next time you want to use it, and your console will boot up super fast.
However, when you have software problems like the ones described above, you should perform a system reboot, or reset. To reset your Xbox One:
Fully turn off your console by holding down the power button on the front of the system for several seconds. You'll be able to tell that it is fully shut down because the light on the power brick will be amber instead of white.
Wait 10 seconds.
Turn your Xbox One back on. You'll have to either use the power button on the system or the controller; the console won't turn on with Kinect in its fully powered down state.
Once your system boots up, everything should be working properly.
Why Rebooting Your Xbox One Works
Rebooting your Xbox One works for the same reason that rebooting your PC is the first troubleshooting step for a lot of computer problems: your computer gets bogged down with processes the longer it is running, and refreshing the system every once in a while keep things moving more smoothly. The Xbox One is the same way.
Rebooting obviously won't solve certain problems, such as a bad disc drive; however, when a game or app suddenly stops working, or Kinect stops responding to voice commands, doing a full power cycle on the Xbox One should be your first step toward a solution.
Xbox One Troubleshooting: Problems With Xbox Live
Sometimes system functions are affected by Xbox Live's status. To check whether Xbox Live is up and running properly, check out xbox.com/support. You can see the status of Xbox Live in the upper left-hand corner of the page.
When Your Xbox One Won't Turn On
If your Xbox One is not powering on, the problem could be with the console itself or the power source. If you can't turn on your Xbox One with the controller, the problem might be a syncing issue. Try pressing the power button on the console to rule that out.
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Next, make sure everything is plugged in properly and check the light on your power brick, which should be solid white or orange. Otherwise, you need to order a replacement. If the power supply is working properly yet your Xbox One still won't turn on, you should contact Microsoft.
You can register your Xbox One through Microsoft’s website to expedite technical support for issues that are still covered under warranty.
If Xbox One Problems Persist
When issues with games or apps still occur after performing a hard reboot, a different issue may be present. If you’re having trouble with a specific game or app, try deleting and reinstalling it by following these steps:
Locate the content in your applications list.
Press the Home button and select Uninstall.
Once finished, go to your uninstalled applications in your library to reinstall the film.
Wait for the game or app to install and see if reinstalling has rectified the issue.
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System updates can sometimes cause problems for specific games and apps. Check online to see if other people are having the same problems to figure out what your next move should be.
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If simple solutions don't fix your problems, you may need to send in your console for a repair. The Xbox One is a much sturdier and more reliable system than the Xbox 360, but if you need to have it looked at, either call 1-800-4MY-XBOX (in the U.S.) or go to the Xbox.com support section.