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Xfaq 360 Q: A:

With contributions from Kelly Rickards

I heard 360 games cost more. No way!

Yes way. Although games published by Microsoft will cost the same ($50) as Xbox 1 titles (except for $60 goodie-packed special-edition 360 titles), third-party games will run you 10 bucks more. Old-schoolers will remember a similar pricing structure for Nintendo 64 games.

Will my current Xbox Live membership continue on the 360? How do I transfer it over?

Sure will, and transferring your account is easy. Sign up for Microsoft Passport ( and link your Xbox 1 Gamertag to your Passport account at (follow the “Get Linked!” link at the right of the page). Then just enter your Passport e-mail address and Gamertag when first connecting your 360 online and you’re done. You don’t have to sign up this way—it just subtracts a few steps from the process.

How do I play Xbox 1 games on 360?

After inserting an Xbox disc into your 360 for the first time, the system will automatically connect to Xbox Live and search for the latest emulation software to see if the game is backward compatible. It’ll download the software to the hard drive (which you need to access the backward-compatibility feature) and begin the game. If you already have the software installed, the game will boot up like normal.

How will we know which games are backward compatible? will host a list of all backward-compatible games.

Can an Xbox 360 gamer play an Xbox 1 game online against someone playing it on the original Xbox?

Yep. You can even exchange messages and invites as if you were both playing on the old system.

Can I bring my Xbox 1 saves and downloadable content to my 360 to continue playing those titles?

Get ready to start those games over: You can’t transfer saves and downloads from Xbox to the Xbox 360. Premium content, however, for Halo 2, Project Gotham Racing 2, MechAssault, MechAssault 2, and the Links titles—plus all free downloadable content for original Xbox titles—will be available in the Xbox Live Marketplace at no cost, regardless of whether you’re using the free Silver level of membership or the $50-per-year Gold membership.

Will the 360’s custom-soundtrack feature support music purchased from iTunes?

Negative. Songs bought from iTunes use a proprietary format that the 360 won’t recognize. The console will play songs ripped off of CDs to iTunes, but you’ll need to download a free codec through the 360’s dashboard.

Will Xbox 1 games that support custom soundtracks be able to access the music on my 360’s hard drive, an attached MP3 player, or my network?

Unfortunately, no. Xbox 1 games won’t have access to the 360’s custom-soundtrack features.

Since the 360’s wireless controllers “bind” to the system automatically (versus you manually selecting a channel), is it possible to get interference from the neighbors?

The Xbox 360 wireless protocol is robust enough to handle interference from minor appliances like microwaves, cordless phones, and wireless networks, all the way up to the chaotic multiconsole, multicontroller environment of a LAN party.

How will gamers without hard drives get game-fixing patches? And what if downloadable content (like new levels) or patches are too big for memory cards down the line?

An 8-megabyte portion of the memory unit (and 256-megabyte chunk of the hard drive) is reserved for system use to make sure 360 owners can download mandatory game updates and always connect to Xbox Live. Note that the minimum storage requirement for connecting to Live is a memory unit, so cheapskate 360 gamers who opt not to get the hard drive will still be able to take their systems online.

Can I play unpatched games over Live?

No. Only the newest and most updated versions of each game will be playable over Xbox Live.

Any adapters coming out so that I can use my Xbox 1 controllers when playing Xbox 1 games on 360?

Nope, but the 360 controller is similar to the original Xbox pad.

Do any of my existing Xbox 1 video cables work with 360?

No. Xbox 1 AV cables will not work with Xbox 360. The good news: The premium hard-drive 360 package comes with high-definition cables. The bad news: They’re not packed with the cheaper core system, so you’ll need to spend a whopping $40 if you want to buy them later.

What about Xbox 1 peripherals like steering wheels or DDR dance-pads? They useless on the 360, too?

Unfortunately, yeah. You’ll need to spring for all-new Xbox 360– specific peripherals.

What about my Xbox 1 wireless networking adapter?

Fear not: You can use your old adapter (right) on the 360.

So what’s all this “HD era” business I keep hearing about?

When Microsoft execs unveiled the 360 earlier in the year, they claimed it would usher in a future in which console gaming would deliver high-definition sights and sounds, as well as an always-connected online community.

Er, does that mean I need a high-def television to play 360 games?

No, but your games will sure look nicer. All Xbox 360 games will support 720p resolution at the very least, and developers have the option of creating titles in 1080i, too.

Whoa, whoa...slow down. What’s 720p? 1080i?

The numbers refer to high-definition TV resolutions: 1280x720 and 1920x1080, both much crisper than the 640x480 resolution of your normal boob tube. The letters after the numbers stand for “progressive scan” or “interlaced display.” Interlace scanning splits a TV frame into two images called fields, and then takes two passes to draw the full image on your screen (one field per pass). Progressive scan, on the other hand, draws the entire frame in one pass instead of splitting it into two, making for a smoother picture.

Hmm...but my HDTV doesn’t support 720p. It goes from 480p right to 1080i.

Don’t worry. The Xbox 360’s built-in video scaler will adjust its signal to match your television’s display mode (for instance, converting 720p to run on your television’s 1080i display). Ultimately, you’re fine with the HDTV you have and shouldn’t upgrade until 1080p display modes are more widely supported. That’s the next realm of high definition, one that the PlayStation 3 promises to support. But we’ll leave that for another FAQ.

Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Electronic Gaming Monthly.

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