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MS warns over Xbox One backwards compatibility hoax

MS warns over Xbox One backwards compatibility hoax

Microsoft has warned gamers that instructions on unlocking a hidden backwards compatibility feature on the Xbox One are fake, and will result in the console endlessly rebooting.

A set of step-by-step instructions purporting to enable a hidden backwards compatibility mode on the Xbox One has been declared a hoax by Microsoft, bringing warnings that it will leave consoles unusable if followed.

Despite pre-launch rumours to the contrary, Microsoft launched the Xbox One without support for previous-generation Xbox 360 titles. For gamers who don't have unlimited space beneath their TVs and who had enjoyed backwards compatibility on the previous-generation Xbox 360 - albeit only for a very small subset of the most popular Xbox games, it must be said - that wasn't great news. Imagine their joy, then, when an image claiming to offer "Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Unlock" for the Xbox One started spreading on social networking sites late last week.

Based on the instructions for unlocking the hidden Developer Mode of the console, the image walks the gamer through a six-step process which includes enabling Developer Mode and then changing the console's Sandbox ID to 'freezone.reboot.' This, when the console is rebooted, is claimed to enable compatibility with Xbox 360 games - providing a way for gamers to enjoy their previous-generation titles once the scarce Xbox One launch titles have been exhausted.

Sadly, it's bunkum. When the Developer Mode unlock was first discovered, developers with access to actual dev kits were quick to issue a warning: changing the Sandbox ID from its default will brick the console. That piece of information appears to have formed the basis of some idiot's attempt at vicious humour - hence the detailed instructions promising the world but delivering only despair, forcing the newly-purchased device into an endless boot-loop.

'To be clear there is no way to make your Xbox One backwards compatible,' Microsoft's Larry Hryb confirmed over the weekend, 'and performing steps to attempt this could make your console inoperable.'

If you want to play Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One, there's only one foolproof method: connect your Xbox 360 to the Xbox One's HDMI input. It isn't exactly 'backwards compatibility,' but at least it's risk-free and saves an input on your TV or AV receiver.

25 Comments

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Star*Dagger 9th December 2013, 12:48 Quote
Silenced by the Console Faction.
Krikkit 9th December 2013, 13:09 Quote
In the interests of not descending into another flame war, I redacted your post. Not cool.
lacuna 9th December 2013, 13:16 Quote
Nobody pays any attention to him anyway.
matee 9th December 2013, 13:18 Quote
Not as good as iOS7 will make your iPhone waterproof. That was hilarious.
WarrenJ 9th December 2013, 13:43 Quote
Things like this are only funny to idiots. This could cost a lot of families a lot of money. Obviously a dash of common sense is all it takes to realise this is a load of rubbish. With the use of the Xbox One logo a 10 year old could think this is an official step by step guide from MS and brick their console.
Umbra 9th December 2013, 13:45 Quote
Not surprising this has happened when so many people are really ****** off that they can't play their old games but most xbone users (or PS4 users) won't know or care that the reason games are not backward compatible is because the old and new consoles use a different architecture, but at least both consoles should benefit from games being developed faster as the new architecture is much more PC based and maybe us PC gamers will also benefit from titles that were previously console exclusives.

No sooner I said the above than I see Tomb Raider 2013 is getting a polish and heading to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One early next year!
Quote:
Despite all that, Sony has promised to allow the old games to be played on the PS4 as the company will provide such feature through Gaikai. We can expect that to happen sometime around next year though. The way Gaikai will function is by offering compatibility and support of older games through streaming.

Microsoft on the other hand looks to develop its own version of Gaikai based on Azure. However, such a report was immediately dismissed by the senior director of Xbox product management, Albert Penello. The company itself don’t intend to take that direction. Penello further revealed that even if the company were to proceed with this idea, the gaming experience will plunge due to the gamer’s unreliable Internet connection. Streaming games requires a superb internet connection that is also stable in speed and not everyone has that. Thus, Microsoft scraps the idea to avoid unnecessary complains.

We can now expect Sony to get a foot ahead in this race with Microsoft sitting behind and monitoring its progress. Heck if it were to work for Sony, then Microsoft might just go for it as well. sidhtech.com
KidMod-Southpaw 9th December 2013, 14:03 Quote
Now we just wait for the amount of people that have already done it...
Snips 9th December 2013, 14:08 Quote
I never saw the inability to play the previous generations games a major issue. Most buy the next generation consoles to play the next generation games and not take a step backwards. As the prices for the previous generation resell values have plummeted, it's probably best to take up Bit-Tech's advice and just connect the two consoles together if you really want to play that one game.
Niftyrat 9th December 2013, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I never saw the inability to play the previous generations games a major issue. Most buy the next generation consoles to play the next generation games and not take a step backwards. As the prices for the previous generation resell values have plummeted, it's probably best to take up Bit-Tech's advice and just connect the two consoles together if you really want to play that one game.


For me this was a major issue. I am not going to fork out the cash required for a new console, only for it to sit idle while I play on the old one. There are lots of both Xbox 360 and ps3 games that I play that I will be playing going forward eg. Singstar on my ps3 and skyrim and halo on the Xbox. An Xbox one would see very limited use therefore I will be waiting till it has a more affordable catalogue of games is available, and just for the record I purchased the 60gb ps3 that had hardware backwards compatibility (baldurs gate dark alliance and champions of norrath are 2 of the games I still play on there from the ps2)
Snips 9th December 2013, 16:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftyrat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I never saw the inability to play the previous generations games a major issue. Most buy the next generation consoles to play the next generation games and not take a step backwards. As the prices for the previous generation resell values have plummeted, it's probably best to take up Bit-Tech's advice and just connect the two consoles together if you really want to play that one game.


For me this was a major issue. I am not going to fork out the cash required for a new console, only for it to sit idle while I play on the old one. There are lots of both Xbox 360 and ps3 games that I play that I will be playing going forward eg. Singstar on my ps3 and skyrim and halo on the Xbox. An Xbox one would see very limited use therefore I will be waiting till it has a more affordable catalogue of games is available, and just for the record I purchased the 60gb ps3 that had hardware backwards compatibility (baldurs gate dark alliance and champions of norrath are 2 of the games I still play on there from the ps2)

So as Bit-tech recommends, "If you want to play Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One, there's only one foolproof method: connect your Xbox 360 to the Xbox One's HDMI input"

Like with both new consoles, advertised or rumoured features are delayed or being rethought as we speak. It may not be an issue in six months.
sandys 9th December 2013, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
If you want to play Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One, there's only one foolproof method: connect your Xbox 360 to the Xbox One's HDMI input. It isn't exactly 'backwards compatibility,' but at least it's risk-free and saves an input on your TV or AV receiver.

You of course wouldn't want to do this as your main way of gaming on 360 due to input lag taking that route.
Umbra 9th December 2013, 17:30 Quote
Quote:
So as Bit-tech recommends, "If you want to play Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One, there's only one foolproof method: connect your Xbox 360 to the Xbox One's HDMI input"

I've not played on a console for a few years so just how would that work, could you then use the xbone controller, would it upscale the game, could you then play online, what's the point of doing it that way rather than just HDMI to your TV :?
WarrenJ 9th December 2013, 17:38 Quote
So, i guess the first part of the sentence explains it. "If you want to play Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One"

Else just play them on your Xbox 360 connected directly to your TV. The controller i doubt works with the original xbox one.
bawjaws 9th December 2013, 17:39 Quote
Umbra, you'd simply be playing the game on your Xbox 360 as per usual, but the video output would be routed through your Xbox One. The only reason you'd ever want to even consider doing this would be if your TV only had one video input available.
Umbra 9th December 2013, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bawjaws
Umbra, you'd simply be playing the game on your Xbox 360 as per usual, but the video output would be routed through your Xbox One. The only reason you'd ever want to even consider doing this would be if your TV only had one video input available.

Maybe MS should have included an HDMI splitter with the xbone, better than having your new xbone fired up to play old games on.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-O01pS9_WIIY/TXmTcEkdZzI/AAAAAAAAAO4/4X98eJgGetA/s1600/thor_l_1.jpg
MS say "We solved the problem, with our high tech solution you can still play your old games even with with your new xbone connected!"
maverik-sg1 9th December 2013, 18:53 Quote
Not having backwards compatible gaming stalls buyers, especially those with large libraries of PS3 or 360 games, at least until there are more games to play on the new consoles.

For me, I'd like to remove my current console and replace with a new one (assuming new one does media streaming, plays CD's and used games) having to keep one to play the majority of games I play on the console would be a PITA...so I wait for the features I need to be available and the gaming libraries to be sufficiently large enough for me to be able to ditch the old one completely.

Dev's should take note that even re-releasing face lifted older games on new consoles would (I assume) be a relatively cheap money spinner?
liratheal 10th December 2013, 01:52 Quote
The people falling for this lack the ability to pay any attention :/

Ms and Sony explained it several times. The hardware specs were found way ahead of time. The architecture differences were obvious from way back.

I kinda feel like anyone willing to do it deserved it. Although there's got to be a way around the 'bricking'.
SchizoFrog 10th December 2013, 06:49 Quote
I believe backwards compatibility is bad for the gaming industry as a whole. Yes, it enables you to continue playing your old games while letting you sell the old console and whatever games you no longer play with it but many people then choose to buy new games for the old console and still play them on the new one as often they are cheaper (minimal difference from a retailer usually though). But this strategy then slows down development of new games and the new platform as a whole. A clean cut is the best way forward in my opinion. Those with the cash upgrade to a complete new platform while selling their old consoles to those who couldn't afford them previously which then brings in a last influx of cash as those people pick up whatever titles that they have always wanted as stores start clearance sales to close off the previous generation.

On a further note I think this just goes to show how lazy a lot of people are that they are more willing to void their warranties (which is definite regardless of risk of bricking) than to be bothered to get up once in a while, walk 5 yards and switch cables in their TV should they need to.
edzieba 10th December 2013, 08:39 Quote
While rather annoying (the PS4 has ample power to emulate the PSX entirely in software, and could likely handle PS2 games at their native resolution), backwards compatibility in consoles is more the exception than the rule:
SNES could not play NES, N64 could not play SNES, GC could not play N64, Wii could play GC, but the WiiU cannot (but can play Wii games).
MegaDrive could play SMS (but only with an additional adapter), Saturn could not play MegaDrive.
PS2 could play PSX, PS3 could not (except for a subset of the launch consoles in two countries) play PS2, and PS4 cannot play PS3.
360 could play a random selection of XBOX games, and One cannot play 360.

4-and-a-bit out of 12, at a very rough count.
Gareth Halfacree 10th December 2013, 09:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
The architecture differences were obvious from way back.
Not that architecture differences are a real barrier to backwards compatibility, of course. The original Xbox used a modified Pentium architecture, while the Xbox 360 used Power; didn't stop the Xbox 360 from being backwards compatible with a hand-picked selection of the most popular Xbox games. See also the original European PS3; yes, the original US model cheated by sticking an Emotion Engine processor in there, but the European model did limited backwards compatibility entirely in software despite a move to the Power architecture from MIPS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
MegaDrive could play SMS (but only with an additional adapter)
Interesting fact about that: the Master System adapter for the Mega Drive/Genesis was purely a mechanical adapter to make the cartridges fit the slot; the reason the Mega Drive could play Master System games without difficulty is because it had the same Z80 processor as its predecessor. The difference? Where the Master System used the Z80 as its central processor, the Mega Drive used it to drive the audio subsystem. Just think about that for a minute. The Mega Drive launched just two years after the Master System, but was so much more powerful it was using its predecessor's processor just for sound. When you plugged in a Master System cartridge via the adapter, the Mega Drive disabled its own CPU and booted the cart from the Z80.

To put that into perspective, imagine if two years after the Xbox 360 launched Microsoft released the Xbox One with its shiny new chip and the original Xenon processor just for surround sound processing. Mind-boggling, right?

Other systems that have boasted backwards compatibility over the years yet haven't appeared on your list include the Game Boy series right through to the Nintendo DS and DS Lite which could play Game Boy Advance games and the 3DS's ability to play DS and DSi games, the Atari 7800 which could play pretty much every Atari 2600 game ever released, the Commodore 128 which included a special Commodore 64 mode (accessible by typing GO64 at C128 BASIC, or holding down the chicken-head key on power-on) to make sure everything worked just fine, the Neo Geo Pocket Color [sic], the Atari XEGS, the Sega SG-1000 Mark III and arguably the Sega Master System II, the Atari Jaguar II, and the Nintendo Famicom Twin. If that's not enough, the Tristar (also known as the Super-8) allowed NES games to run on the SNES, and Nintendo itself released an official Game Boy adapter for the Game Cube. Oh, and there was an add-on for plugging Master System games into a Game Gear - although that was more sideways compatibility than backwards compatibility. Then there was the Tristar 64, for adding SNES and NES compatibility to the Nintendo 64...
liratheal 10th December 2013, 09:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
The architecture differences were obvious from way back.
Not that architecture differences are a real barrier to backwards compatibility, of course. The original Xbox used a modified Pentium architecture, while the Xbox 360 used Power; didn't stop the Xbox 360 from being backwards compatible with a hand-picked selection of the most popular Xbox games. See also the original European PS3; yes, the original US model cheated by sticking an Emotion Engine processor in there, but the European model did limited backwards compatibility entirely in software despite a move to the Power architecture from MIPS.

Oh, no, I know the architecture difference can be overcome - But even then the last generation could barely be considered backwards compatible. What with the Xbox only doing a handful (Honestly, I never used it for anything other than Halo 2), and the PS3 eventually giving up on the idea entirely.

Really, I think backwards compatibility is a waste of development time on the part of the console developer. I mean. If you want to play previous generation games, you no doubt have a previous generation console.. A friend still has a PS2 for that very reason.
Gareth Halfacree 10th December 2013, 09:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Oh, no, I know the architecture difference can be overcome - But even then the last generation could barely be considered backwards compatible. What with the Xbox only doing a handful (Honestly, I never used it for anything other than Halo 2), and the PS3 eventually giving up on the idea entirely.
I used the backwards compatibility of my Xbox 360 quite heavily - still do, in fact. Every time there was a list update, I'd print it out and go through my collection marking the games that had been added with a 'B' in permanent marker on the disc. I'm still angry about claims that Silent Hill 4: The Room is backwards compatible, as there are horrific texture glitches in every single cutscene which render it almost entirely unplayable.

Yes, you can keep the last-generation console - providing you've got room under your TV, a spare input on the TV and sound system, don't mind cluttering up the place with numerous controllers for different boxes, and don't need to sell it to raise cash for its replacement. I have a PS2 under my PS3 for that very reason - although I couldn't do the same if I were to buy a PS4, 'cos the PS3 has a rounded top. Cheers for that, Sony. There are, however, advantages to backwards compatibility. I find the Xbox 360 pad more comfortable than the Xbox pad - so playing my Xbox games using the Xbox 360 pad feels a lot nicer, and they're wireless to boot; original Xbox games running on the Xbox 360 also benefit from anti-aliasing to improve graphical fidelity over their original release.

Let me put it this way: if the Xbox One offered backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360, I would probably already have upgraded. As it is, I won't be even thinking about that until the January 2015 sales - and even then it'll depend heavily on how much the launch games now cost and whether there's actually anything worth justifying the cost of the console to play.
mucgoo 11th December 2013, 01:20 Quote
What about the issue of Microsoft being stupid enough to have an easily accessible hard brick?
stuartwood89 11th December 2013, 09:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
What about the issue of Microsoft being stupid enough to have an easily accessible hard brick?

It's in the developer options. Who in their right mind goes into the developer options, sees a load of stuff they have no idea about, and makes changes without knowing what they're doing?

I mean, there's nothing wrong with tinkering, but an accepted risk of that is voiding the warranty. As Bit-Tech readers, we should all be able to relate to that.
Corky42 11th December 2013, 10:38 Quote
Sadly though not everyone is tech savvy enough to know that, some people just blindly follow instructions without having a clue what they are doing.
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