Microsoft is expanding the Xbox One’s backward compatibility support to include original Xbox titles later this year. Xbox head Phil Spencer spent part of Thursday answering fan questions about what console owners should and should not expect. Widescreen support falls into the “it depends” category while Achievements should not be expected at all.
OG Xbox games support was announced by Microsoft during its E3 2017 media briefing. This was a much-requested feature from hardcore fans after the success of backward compatibility support for Xbox 360 games was added to the Xbox One in late 2015.
Crimson Skies and Fusion Frenzy are the only games confirmed so far, but more games will be announced the closer OG Xbox backward compatibility comes to release.
The original Xbox was released at the cusp of the transition from standard definition TVs with a 4:3 aspect ratio to high definition TVs with a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. This means support for different resolutions and aspect ratios was all over the place. Some games supported widescreen and 720p or 1080i resolutions while some were widescreen with only a 480p resolution.
Spencer clarified in a response on Twitter that the Xbox One will support whatever aspect ratio and resolution the original Xbox game supported. This means a game like True Crime: Streets of LA can be played in widescreen and 720p, assuming it makes the list. However, games like Conker: Live & Reloaded will not support widescreen since the original did not.
“Most OG Xbox games didn’t have [widescreen],” Spencer explained via Twitter. “Can’t really easily change the frame buffer aspect ratio on a shipped game from [backward compatibility].”
Questions about Achievements for original Xbox games was also addressed by Spencer. The concept of Achievements didn’t come online until the Xbox 360 was released, meaning all OG titles do not have them.
This situation will remain the same for playing these games on the Xbox One. Spencer explained that the only option to add Achievement support is to patch each game, which simply “won’t happen.” He concedes the developers could add an Achievement for playing a game, but he does not like that.
With the original Xbox servers no longer online, multiplayer on OG Xbox titles will be restricted to local play or system link. Spencer called the idea of a virtualized Xbox LIVE for older titles interesting but admits he would need to think more on it.
[Featured Image by Microsoft Studios]