E3 2015: Microsoft announces Xbox 360 games to be playable on Xbox One and reveals Gears of War 4, Halo 5 and Minecraft Hololens footage

Joe Hall
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Xbox revealed the update at the E3 gaming conference (Source: YouTube)

Microsoft will give gamers a Christmas present they've long been waiting for this year by making old Xbox 360 games playable on a new Xbox One model.

At the E3 games convention in Los Angeles Xbox chief Phil Spencer announced backwards compatibility for the first time - meaning Xbox One owners will be able to fuel nostalgia and give some of their old favourites a spin on the newer console. All gamers have to do is put the old disc in the Xbox One drive and download a compatible version for free.

Read more: Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to be compatible with Xbox One games

Microsoft's gamer-friendly move could help persuade current Xbox 360 owners to upgrade to the Xbox One rather than switch to Sony's PlayStation 4 with which it has vied for console supremacy.

In contrast, Sony - which has its own E3 press conference later this afternoon - charges fans to play old games on the PlayStation 4 through its PlayStation Now cloud computing service.

Hundreds of titles will be available in the Christmas period - a crucial battleground for Microsoft and Sony.

Gameplay footage from the forthcoming Halo 5: Guardians, Games of War 4, Fallout 4, Dark Souls 3 and Forza 6 was also debuted at Microsoft's conference, as well as the new "Xbox One Elite" controller.

Furthermore, a new version of Minecraft for Microsoft HoloLens will enable games to generate a hologram of the Minefield world and explore it.

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