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Microsoft responds to, apologizes for, Red Dead Redemption's brief backward compatibility [Update]

But if you downloaded it, you can play it if the console is offline.

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Microsoft has responded in the matter of Red Dead Redemption on the Xbox One, which this weekend was briefly playable before access was shut down on Sunday.

Larry Hryb, the Xbox Live director of programming also known as Major Nelson, apologized on Reddit for the confusion and the mishap.

"Microsoft tests all Xbox 360 games with our emulator to ensure a quality experience across a breadth of titles," he explained. "Due to an error some of the games currently in test were accidentally made available."

Red Dead Redemption, one of the most-demanded games since Microsoft announced the Xbox One would get backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games at E3 2015, had yet to be announced as a compatible title under this program. Compatibility is in some sense up to the game's publisher, as the game must be prepared to run under the Xbox 360 emulator the console added with an update in November. Xbox 360 discs and downloaded games are not automatically playable.

The screwup also saw some other Xbox 360 games playable on Xbox One for about a day, including Halo Wars, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. "We have since removed access to those games," Hryb said on Reddit, "and apologize for any confusion this may have caused. We will have more information on upcoming releases soon."

Access was removed by forcing the titles to accept an update —” which isn't available. Any files downloaded remain on the user's Xbox One. Update: The files are playable if you take your Xbox One console offline. Downloading them this weekend involved a backdoor method of finding a friend who owned the game, and then selecting that in their games list to be taken to its Xbox Live marketplace page, where it could be purchased, or downloaded if already owned.

Recently, Xbox said that it would no longer do announcements of games as they become compatible; those titles will simply show up in an Xbox One digital library if the account owner has them on Xbox 360.