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Xbox One Will Soon Play Your Old Xbox 360 Games

LOS ANGELES – Microsoft couldn't announce hundreds of new Xbox One games at E3, but it did the next-best thing -- adding a few hundred older titles to its library. This holiday season, Xbox One will receive backward compatibility for both digital and physical Xbox 360 titles. Almost every game from Microsoft's last system should work with the Xbox One.

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, made the announcement at Microsoft's E3 2015 press briefing today (June 15). The details appear to be very straightforward: come this holiday season, over 100 Xbox 360 titles will be available to play on Xbox One. You won't need to pay any additional money for the feature.

MORE: Here's Every Xbox 360 Game You Can Play on Xbox One

Here's how it works: Xbox 360 titles bought digitally will show up in your Xbox One library automatically. If you own physical discs, you can put them into your Xbox One, and the console will download a digital version of it. (Microsoft did not specify whether you will need to hang onto the disc after that.)

Spencer also clarified that this is not a developer-dependent process; Microsoft will take care of most of the heavy lifting. All a developer needs to do is give Microsoft the OK, and the company's game will show up on the Xbox One. In theory, this should make the vast majority of Xbox 360 titles available on the newer platform.

For Xbox Preview members, select titles will be available today. Spencer did not expound upon which ones, although he showed off Mass Effect at the briefing. For everyone else, backward compatibility will become available during the holiday season. Tom's Guide will investigate the feature once we get some hands-on time with it.

Marshall Honorof is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.