Microsoft’s 2017 E3 briefing was outstanding, and revealed a lot about the future of the Xbox One platform – while also celebrating its past. Microsoft announced the Xbox One X, a slew of games for the Xbox One that will be optimized for it, and finished off their show with a surprising announcement. The original Xbox will be reborn with backwards compatibility on the Xbox One family of consoles. It isn’t known what the full launch lineup will be when this feature rolls out later this year, but they did showcase Crimson Skies – so it seems like a safe bet that will be in the launch lineup and possibly even be a free giveaway game for a bit.
One issue that the Xbox 360’s backwards compatibility brought up was digital rights expiring – which has already ensured that some games, including Microsoft’s own Forza Horizon, had limited digital lifespans on the Xbox One’s marketplace. This issue will surely be compounded on the original Xbox, with some of its best exclusives like Jet Set Radio Future and Crazy Taxi also having music rights to worry about renewing to get the full experience. Fortunately, some other third-party games may be less challenging – like the outstanding Otogi games, if the ownership rights are free and clear for them. The safest bets seem to be games that were already released digitally on the Xbox 360, which were fairly plentiful. The original Xbox controller will also be released in a limited form by Hyperkin – with some modern changes to it.
This is an exciting time to be an Xbox One owner – and with the console family now ranging from $250 for an Xbox One S to $500 for an Xbox One X, players from all income levels can enjoy a high-end gaming experience that scales for their budget. Original Xbox games have been lost to the mists of time in many cases thanks to a lack of support beyond the 360, and support for that ended nearly a decade ago. This is a great time to buy original Xbox games though, as many can be had complete for $10-$15 and only a few go for $50+ like Shenmue II.