Xbox One will get free 360 backwards compatibility this holiday

Your Xbox One library is about to get a lot bigger. Microsoft's new-gen console is getting backwards compatibility, and it will start off supporting more than a hundred titles - all for free if you owned them on Xbox 360.

The update, which is available today for Xbox One preview owners and will roll out elsewhere by the holidays, will automatically add supported digital titles to your library. Physical games aren't much harder: all you need to do is slot in a supported Xbox 360 disc and a digital version will automatically be added to your library.

Head of platform engineering Mike Ybarra demonstrated Mass Effect running on Xbox One, saying that hundreds more Xbox 360 titles are planned after the initial lineup releases. All of them will run the same as they did on 360, complete with inter-platform multiplayer support, but with new Xbox One amenities like screenshots.

Ybarra also took the opportunity to indirectly prod at Sony's PlayStation Now service, which lets users play PS3 games through rentals or a subscription service.

"With Xbox One backwards compatibility, we won't charge you to play the games you already own," Ybarra said.

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Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.