Xbox One announces backward compatibility; here's why that's a game changer

Xbox One owners will be able to play previously purchased games on next-gen console

Xbox One owners will be able to play a limited selection of previously-purchased Xbox 360 games on the next-generation console, Microsoft announced Monday.

The Xbox One will offer backward compatibility beginning this holiday season, Microsoft Game Studios Vice President Phil Spencer pledged from the stage during the company's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) press conference in Los Angeles.

The new feature will allow players to access their digital collections of Xbox 360 games as well as download older 360 games from disc. About 100 games, including "Mass Effect," will be available when the feature launches later this year.

Backward compatibility is big news for Xbox 360 gamers who have been reluctant to switch to the next-generation console and leave their favorite 360 games behind.

Not only is the feature likely to encourage more people to upgrade to the newer console, but it might sway gamers who have been trying to choose between next-generation consoles; while Nintendo's Wii U offers backward compatibility, Microsoft’s chief competitor in the console space, Sony's PlayStation 4, does not. A lack of backward compatibility for the PS4 and the Xbox One was among the chief complaints when both consoles were announced at the 2013 E3 press conference.

Stay tuned to Hero Complex for more E3 updates.

Twitter: @NoeleneClark

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