Update, June 15, 2015: At the annual E3 video game conference, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will be able to natively play Xbox 360 games — making its newest console backward-compatible with titles originally created for the Xbox 360.
Original post: Xbox 360 games are certainly not compatible with your Xbox One, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to play your favorite 360 titles on Microsoft’s new console.
The HDMI input port on the Xbox One is really meant to feed your cable or satellite connection to the console, allowing you to watch live TV easily. However, you can manipulate the process by feeding a connection not from your cable, but rather from another console.
By simply connecting one end of an HDMI cord to the Xbox 360 and the other end to the Xbox One’s HDMI input port, you can play 360 games from the Xbox One.
So, when you say “Xbox, Watch TV,” it will take you into the Xbox 360 game rather than a TV feed. This actually works for any HDMI-compliant device (PS4, Wii U), and we demonstrate in the video below both with an Xbox 360 and a PlayStation 3.
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You can also use the new “Snap,” feature while playing an Xbox 360 game, just like you can when watching TV on the Xbox One. That means you can say, “Xbox, Snap Internet Explorer,” or, “Xbox, Snap TED,” while using the 360, and play Halo 4 while accessing an Xbox One app.
While relatively useless, you can also play an Xbox One game and an Xbox 360/PS3/PS4/Wii U game at the same time, if you wish. When you say, “Xbox, Snap TV,” you’ll get your 360 game in the right corner.
However, the non-Xbox One “snapped” game definitely lags — this is something Microsoft has actually already addressed. But when I tried out both Halo 4 and FIFA in non-Snap mode, there was absolutely no lag and the picture quality was fine.
Here’s a video explaining all of this:
The Xbox One hit shelves today at midnight. Check out our initial review of the console here.