Microsoft ramps up backwards compatibility for Xbox One, offers ‘The Witcher 2’ for free

Microsoft ramps up backwards compatibility for Xbox One, offers ‘The Witcher 2’ for free

Microsoft is finally getting aggressive in its roll-out of backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games for its current generation console, the Xbox One. In a blog post today, the company announced it will offer a free downloadable copy of action-RPG ‘The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings‘ along with a list of other games that are now safe to pop into your new machine.

With the latest update, Xbox is also doubling down on releasing titles available for backwards compatibility, specifically by getting rid of monthly launch dates altogether:

What this means for you is that you won’t have to wait to find out the latest titles; we’ll release whatever is available, when they’re available, once each title has received the engineering and publisher stamp of approval.

Additionally, the company has created a persistent page that will update with roundups on available titles as well as content with developers and spotlights on games.


Available today alongside ‘The Witcher 2’ is a variety of titles. Standouts include popular Esports game ‘CounterStrike: GO,’ indie 2D fighter ‘Skullgirls’ and the Xbox port of ‘Soulcaliber.’ Those interested in downloading ‘The Witcher 2’ for free can do so through through February 5.

Since the release of backwards compatible titles in November, Xbox says that users have already logged more than 21 million hours playing the roster of titles currently available. The move has also incentivized purchasing non-exclusive titles for the XboxOne: for example, when you buy ‘Fallout 4,’ you can receive a free compatible copy of ‘Fallout 3.’

Xbox seems to be righting its initial wrong of eschewing backwards compatibility in the first years of the console’s lifespan. Tapping into its deep list of older titles could be the shot in the arm the Xbox One needs to find lasting value with new audiences.

Here’s What’s in Store for Xbox One Backward Compatibility [Xbox]

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