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Microsoft considering official Xbox 360 emulation for Xbox One (update)

Microsoft is looking at plans to introduce an emulator to run Xbox 360 titles on Xbox One systems, partner development lead Frank Savage revealed during a session on the Xbox One and Windows technology at Microsoft's Build developer conference last week.

"There are, but we're not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately," Savage replied when asked if there are plans for an Xbox 360 emulator on Xbox One. "It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there's nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."

Four months after former Xbox chief Don Mattrick said backwards compatibility is "backwards" thinking, Microsoft's senior director Albert Penello stated last September that Xbox One could eventually offer backwards compatibility using its Azure cloud servers. "It could be more complicated things like rendering full games like a Gaikai and delivering it to the box," Penello said at the time, referring to Sony's technology. "We just have to figure out how, over time, how much does that cost to deliver, how good is the experience."

Penello explained to Polygon in November that cloud streaming is currently too failure-prone to provide a quality service to most consumers. He added that the technology works if users "happen to have the world's most awesome internet connection" but the ability to control the quality of that experience is out of Microsoft's hands.

Ben Vanik uploaded a video last week demonstrating Xbox 360 emulation on PC. In the footage, 2008's Xbox Live Arcade release of Frogger 2 was shown running on a Windows PC.

We have reached out to Microsoft for more information.

Update: "As Frank said, nothing has been built. It is super challenging to emulate two completely different architectures and there aren't currently any plans to build this," a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon.

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