Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2015 Conference Recap: The Features and Hardware

xbox elite controller

Microsoft’s Xbox E3 conference wasn’t just about games. Several feature and hardware announcements nearly stole the show.

Backwards Compatibility

Well, this is huge. Phil Spencer just announced Xbox One is getting backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games later this year. The list of supported games right now is nearly all first-party. Xbox preview members can try it right now with the feature coming to everyone this holiday season.

Microsoft demonstrated the feature with a demo of Mass Effect. Xbox One features such as Game DVR, screenshots and streaming work on Xbox 360 games.

What about other Xbox 360 games? Microsoft says developers just need to approve the games. There’s no work required on their part. Uh Rockstar, I would like Red Dead Redemption, please.

This is a massive announcement from Microsoft. One of the biggest issues with Xbox One and PS4 was no backwards compatibility. Sony is addressing it with PlayStation Now, but that service requires a hefty internet connection to work properly. Microsoft’s solution lets you put in your Xbox 360 disc and download your old favorites right to your Xbox One.

Early Access

Early Access is extremely popular on PC, and the feature is coming to Xbox One via ‘Xbox Game Preview.’ Two games are available later today – The Long Dark and Elite: Dangerous. Two more will be available soon including Day Z and Sheltered.

Microsoft also announced that each Early Access title will include a trial version for you to try before you buy. Smart. Let gamers see exactly how early a title is before dropping money on it.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

Microsoft announced the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. It’s modular letting you mix and match different bits and pieces. Paddles on the back of the controller will remind many Call of Duty fans of what Scuf does with their controllers.

You can remap buttons, toggle a switch for hair triggers, mix and match thumbsticks and replace the d-pad.

It’s crazy, it’s awesome and I want one.


Microsoft’s foray into virtual/augmented reality continues to impress. The future of gaming looks insane.

There was a lot to like about Microsoft’s Xbox E3 conference. Backwards compatibility is awesome. That new controller looks sick, and Hololens continues to blow my mind. What was your favorite moment of Microsoft’s Xbox E3 conference?

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