Backward compatibility is an important feature on Xbox One and one of the main ways it separates itself from the competition.

The program allows you to play Xbox 360 game on an Xbox One without the need to stream the game from a server. This week, original Xbox games also joined the service. However, what is the real story behind Backward compatibility? When was it developed? How long have these ideas been floating around at Microsoft? Well, Kareem Choudhry, vice president of Xbox software engineering, recently revealed more details about the timeline in an interview with IGN.

According to Choudhry, the origins of the feature go back as far as 2007 when one of the development teams was trying to get the Xbox 360's 32-bit code running on a 64-bit future Xbox console. He also shared that even back then, when the Xbox One didn't have a name, there was a team coding a virtual GPU emulator. This was the foundation for backward compatibility.

Xbox backward compatibility was in the back of the minds of the Xbox Team for a long time, so due to this some of the support was baked right into the Xbox One silicon. Years of planning went into this. Simply adding an Xbox 360 processor inside the Xbox One wouldn't have been a viable solution because it would've increased the manufacturing costs even more. Going the route of an emulator — even though it took many years to accomplish — seems to have been the right approach and is a notable technical achievement.

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