Time to dust off your favorite Xbox 360 games–well, some of them–because Xbox One will finally support them with a new update that goes live November 12.
The first 104 games include previous Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Gears of War, and Fallout titles, as well as some late-to-the-party games like South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Starting tomorrow, discs on all of the approved titles will be recognized in your current-generation console, and digital downloads will be accessible through your download queue. Xbox One will launch a 360 emulator app to support these games, and it’s free to download both the emulation update and any titles you already own.
Microsoft fans have long anticipated this move, especially those who will now be able to stream live 360 gameplay to Twitch and Youtube Gaming without a peripheral PC. But compatibility might also be part of a more desperate strategy by Microsoft to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4, the main competitor of this particular generation.
Sony’s sales are nearly double what Xbox One has done since the consoles were released two years ago, and one of the complaints along the way has been that PlayStation’s library of games both old and new is significantly better stocked. (PlayStation 4 has several hundred more games available than Xbox One at the moment.)
So adding backwards compatibility technically beefs up the game library significantly, especially if Xbox eventually adds the entire catalog of over 1,000 titles.
But that’s business. As a console owner, here’s what you need to know:
If you own a hard copy of a game, all you’ll need to do is pop the disc in your console and do a download/update. The console will take it from there.
For digital titles, anything you purchased on a previous console will appear as an option to download in your queue on your current-gen console. Just download it and the emulator will boot up right in the Xbox One interface.
You won’t be able to get achievements a second time, but any you haven’t unlocked will be added to your gamerscore as you unlock them on Xbox One. Finally you can tie up all of those loose ends.
If you are playing a game on Xbox One and your friend is playing it on 360, you will be able to play together in multiplayer. So that friend still back on Halo: Reach multiplayer won’t be so lonely if you can scrounge up your disc.
Your save points will also be available, so long as they’re saved to the cloud from the previous console.
Here’s a complete list of games available in the first wave. Yes, we’re waiting for Skyrim to be added to the list, too.