Microsoft Looking Into Xbox 360 Emulator For Xbox One

By Ishaan . April 7, 2014 . 11:00am

During their Build developer conference, Microsoft’s partner development lead Frank Savage shared that Microsoft are looking into emulating Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One, according to a Kotaku Australia report (via: Polygon).


A member of the audience at the conference asked if there were plans to bring an Xbox 360 emulator to the Xbox One, to which Savage replied, “There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately.”


He elaborated, “It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself.”


Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to use your existing Xbox 360 discs on the Xbox One. Like Sony, Microsoft could choose to resell you Xbox 360 games as downloadable titles, once the emulator is ready to go.

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  • Dystopiq

    I wonder. 360 is a PowerPC architecture. How would you begin to emulate that on the One’s hardware

    • Poorly, I’d imagine. Really depends on how accurate they can make something like that across the board.

      • Sabin1936

        Apple did it in Mac OS X, maybe MS should call them. >_>

        • Steve Jobs would be rolling—

          …too soon?

          • John Diamond

            Not really

        • Dystopiq

          You sure? I thought they just reprogrammed everything to work on Intel’s architecture.

          • Sabin1936

            Oh they did, for the OS itself and all the built-in OS X apps. But they also provided a binary translation layer for 3rd party apps. They couldn’t just let them not function with the new architecture.


  • Matty

    Would be nice to see Xbox Classics emulated, and that’s definitely feasible. Unfortunately I know they’ll never bother with such a feature, regardless of how cool it is.

  • Slickyslacker

    That would be wise, if they can get it working somehow. Backwards compatibility would be a key selling point for a console with so many shortcomings otherwise.

    • ZEROthefirst

      It’s not backwards compatibility though. Anyone who owns a 360 already will ignore this because they’ll have to repurchase all of their games digitally to play it on an emulator on their new console.

      • MasterofMidnight

        Well, to be fair, lots of people rebought PS2 games, in HD, for the PS3, and Sony are trying their hand at reselling games yet again on the PS4 with PSNow.

        • ZEROthefirst

          I know, I was just pointing out to Slicktrider that it’s not backwards compatibility. That would mean you can put your discs into the console and play them, not having to pay for them digitally again.

  • Zypharium

    I do not think that it is possible to emulate the X360 on the X1, since the X1 is hardly better than a 400€ PC. Even HighEnd-PC’s would struggle, I imagine.

  • César H. Sandoval

    And Sony wants to emulate PS1 and 2, better make it all the way to PS3 if MS somehow achieves 360 emulation.

    • Firion Hope

      To be fair Sony has a technical excuse of PS3 having a completely different architecture from PS4. Not sure Ms has the same excuse

      • They do actually. Both the PS3 and the XBox 360 were PowerPC chipsets, though granted the PS3’s CPU was a slightly customized chipset. Both PS4 and Xbox One are x86.

        Ultimately for compatibility with the new hardware all PS3 and Xbox360 programs would require either a recompile with the new hardware as the target architecture, or a fully compatible instruction emulation system.

        Recompile gives best results but also would expose a number of break points either due to optimizations not present in the other architecture, endianness of data access, or other fiddly ‘computer hijinx’.

        Emulation gives the most stable translation in that emulation provides the widest base of support (many programs support at once, rather than one-by-one), but its very expensive in terms of resource utilization and may not be fast enough to make a game playable.

        • Firion Hope

          Thanks for the technical explanation!

    • Wesley Kenneth Houpt Mattingly

      Sony didn’t add backwards compatability for one reason, and one reason only, Playstation Now. Why add a feature when you can make a subscription based rental model that would make you far more money amd of course, make use of Gaikai, something they paid millions for.

  • Guest

    What happened to their little “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards” diatribe?

    • That’s in the pile of words eaten.

      • Ferofax

        Too busy swallowing to notice.

    • MasterofMidnight

      Wasn’t that just the one guy, whom was quickly shafted out the company soon afterwards?

  • idrawrobots

    Because I’m computer illiterate it makes no since to me how it could be that hard. That and I’m Nontendo fanboy.

    • Tatsuya1221

      Because your not trying to run a 360 game on the xb1, your trying to run a 360 completely in software, on an xb1.

      Emulators by comparison, are far more easier to code than to make a profile for every single 360 game, this is one reason why the 360 never got anywhere near 50% compatibility with original xbox games.

    • xzeldax3

      Just because you are happy to make ignorant assumptions doesn’t mean you should make such a pointless comment. If you want to actually learn, ask.

      • idrawrobots

        Excuse me, what assumption did I make?

        • xzeldax3

          Sorry about the hostility of that comment, I was having a bad day. I was talking abouy your assumption of making 360 games run on the X1 not being a challenge. It would be like trying to make a square block pass through a circular hole. It would take a lot of work to round those edges.

  • Audie Bakerson

    But will it emulate the 360’s Xbox On… Original Xbox emulation?

    • Dystopiq

      Original Xbox was Intel. It was an x86 architecture so porting that to X1 should be cake.

  • Andrew Boyce

    Without backwards compatibility, a console is not worth paying for. You can’t eliminate the previous library of games and call that an improvement. Emulation is not the same thing. Henceforth, unless they have a way to check the 360 games you have and give them to you digitally for free, this will not suddenly make the Xbone worth it.

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