Xbox One: the truth about used games, internet requirements, and backwards compatibility


For almost a year, the next Xbox has been shrouded by rumors ranging from its name to its ability to play used or offline games. Now that the Xbox One is official and the awful idea of a console called the Xbox 720 is slowly fading from our subconscious, Microsoft has taken some time to provide official answers to questions bubbling up around the web.

Sparing the marketing fluff, like how “the cloud makes every experience better and more accessible,” we’ve singled out Microsoft’s response to six major concerns that have been plaguing gamers for nearly a year. So, does the Xbox One require a constant internet connection? Can it play Xbox 360 games? It’s time to lay the rumors to rest and get to the facts: check out our boiled down summary of official answers to your burning questions.

Q:    Does Xbox One require an “always on” Internet connection?
A:    No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. You will be able to play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.

Q:    Can I use my current gamertag on Xbox One?
A:    Yes, your Xbox Live Gamertag, Gamerscore, and Achievements will carry over from Xbox 360 (if you wish).

Q:    Is Xbox One backward compatible?
A:    Xbox One hardware is not compatible with Xbox 360 games.

Q:    Will Xbox One allow users to play used and pre-owned games? 
A:    Yes, you’ll be able to trade in and resell games. Details forthcoming.

Q:   Why is Kinect required?
A:    Experiences that assume the availability of voice, gesture and natural sensing (through Kinect) will greatly improve the Xbox experience.

Q:    Will my current Xbox Live Gold membership work with Xbox One or will I have to buy a new one?
A:     Your current Xbox Live Gold membership will work on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Well, there you have it… sorta.

The Xbox One will play used games and your hard earned Gamerscore and Achievements will remain intact. As for the system requiring a mandatory internet connection in order to be operable, Microsoft seems to dance around this question a bit. While the company states that you’ll be able to play games, watch Blu-ray movies and live TV without the system being online, it does warn that an internet connection is required.

So which one is it? Looking to shed some light on this confusing twist of words, Kotaku spoke with Microsoft’s Phil Harrison who advised that the console needs to connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours.

While this news may be disheartening for some prospective customers, at least we now know what to expect from the future of Xbox. As for gamers in locations with restrictive internet connections, like dormitories and military bases, the Xbox One could be a tough sell. With the console set to be available sometime later this year, hopefully Microsoft will change this part of their strategy prior to the system’s launch.

[Xbox Wire]

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  • Zorpix

    “the console needs to connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours.”

    not much better than always on. Stupid, STUPID move.

    • robjackson81

      Subject to change. Honestly, I think Xbox One will basically connect every 24 hours to confirm what games and media you own, and if it doesn’t connect, it will lock your content to your device and your device only. This type of integration wouldn’t affect the user at all unless they were trying to pirate content or use it across many devices, and should be pretty seamless.

      • Zorpix

        yeah, I’m thinking there’s GOTTA be some way around it…

    • Levi Johansen

      I don’t have internet at my house, for 2-3 months now.
      Having a Wii U makes this not a problem at all.

      And I can bring my Wii U with me on vacation this summer, to places without internet or where I don’t know the password to the internet… or even places were I’d have to pay for internet and it won’t be a problem because it’s not required! :D

  • nu

    and u still pay a subscription (fail)

  • invible

    fark wanted backwards compatable

  • bizzy gie

    I never called the Xbox One Xbox 720. I honestly hated the name because all people did was add ‘360’ to it and I knew that wouldn’t be the official name.

  • Dominic Coradazzi

    the good: it can play used games
    the bad: it’s not backwards compatible
    the ugly: it has to come into connection with the Internet once every 24 hours and online still isn’t free

  • Guhtere

    You can buy used games for cheaper! But in order to play them you need to pay a fee that’s as expensive as a new version of the game… Not buying Spambox One.

  • Lasse Gustavsson

    As of now, it looks like this generation will be:

    1: Sony
    2: Nintendo
    3: Microsoft