One of the features that Xbox One fans have been most looking forward to lately is backward compatibility with original Xbox games. That feature has been the topic of anxious conversation for months now, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer wants to assure you that it's still in the works, and will still be coming some time this year! Spencer teased as much in a recent interview with GameSpot:
"We're close, we're really close," he said. "I have a little dashboard I go to and I can see all the games [and] where they are in getting approvals in the pipeline. I know the games that are coming for the original Xbox but I don't think we've announced them all. We have to do this in partnership with partners, but we're still on track. I feel really good. The games look great." When asked specifically about a 2017 launch, Spencer gave an enthusiastic "Oh yeah."
And on the Xbox One X?
Spencer also seemed to hint at some kind of interesting feature on the Xbox One X that might make enjoying your original Xbox games different on the most powerful console in the world. "There's some stuff we're going to talk about in that space in terms of how compatibility's going to work on [Xbox One] X specifically that I think people will find pretty interesting."
The wording implies that the experience will not be the same across Xbox One and Xbox One X, so we're assuming that there's a feature on the latter console that will enhance your older games in some way. It's hard to speculate exactly what that feature might do, since an across the board resolution bump may be harder than it sounds. That's something you typically have to develop for, though there are some emulators that will brute force higher resolutions and anti-aliasing onto older games.
Whether the Xbox One X is powerful enough to do this with Xbox titles we don't know, but if we're going to be playing Crimson Skies on a a60-inch 4K television, we're hoping for some kind of resolution and aliasing solution. We'll keep you updated as we learn more.