The previous tease of Lost Odyssey being released as a free download came to fruition Wednesday. Microsoft officially made the Xbox 360 Japanese role-playing game available for free on the Xbox Store to celebrate the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility library surpassing 300 titles. It was joined by Blue Dragon finally being made available as a digital purchase as well.
“In celebration of the Xbox One Backward Compatibility catalog exceeding 300 games, we have a very special gift to all our Xbox fans,” Microsoft declared on Xbox Wire. “For a limited time, you can download the classic Xbox 360 role playing game Lost Odyssey for free. Yes, for free! Play it now on Xbox One via Backward Compatibility.”
The free Lost Odyssey promotion will run only through December 31. A price has not been revealed yet for once the promotion ends.
For the unfamiliar, Lost Odyssey takes place in a high fantasy setting where a “Magic-Industrial revolution” is taking place. The player follows an immortal named Kaim who has lost his memories along with a handful of other immortals. They must navigate this world and try to regain their memories while nations are developing magic weapons of mass destruction and others are falling apart from within.
Meanwhile, Blue Dragon is now on the Xbox Store with a $19.99 price. This is around the same price being asked for used physical copies through GameStop and various third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay. So, it’s not an outrageous price for the digital version and you don’t have to worry about swapping disks.
Both Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon were not available as digital purchases on the Xbox 360 or Xbox One due to the multi-disk issue. This was eventually fixed as Xbox engineers added support for other multi-disk games such as Deus Ex Human Revolution and Mass Effect 3.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has been on a tear recently with new titles added to the Xbox One backwards compatibility library. All three BioShock titles became backwards compatible just yesterday. The underappreciated shooter, Shadowrun, joined the lineup just last week while The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Trine 2, Burnout Paradise, and Rayman Legends were all added at the end of November.
This brings the total number of backwards compatible games for the Xbox One to over 300 in the single year since it launched. Additionally, almost 50 percent of console owners playing these older titles, per a Twitter post from Xbox Head Phil Spencer. It’s proven to be a selling point for the console as fans are able to go back and check out some of the older classic Xbox 360 titles they may not have ever had the opportunity to play or revisit old favorites.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Xbox One manages backward compatibility by emulating the entire Xbox 360 operating system. This allows Xbox 360 games to run on the Xbox One without any special coding or other workarounds. The major hurdles remaining are the licensing agreements with development studios and publishers to allow the games to be played on the Xbox One and listed for sale on the Xbox Store for the console.
Following that, testing to make sure the game runs correctly on the Xbox One appears to be a time-consuming task. Microsoft has to test each game from beginning to end to ensure the emulator runs the title correctly. This can take hundreds of hours, depending on the title.
Additionally, Microsoft uses an Xbox Uservoice group to gauge interest in which titles to add to the Xbox One backward compatibility library. Users can suggest and vote up which games they would like to see supported.
[Featured Image by Xbox]