It is one thing to use existing technology on modern day consoles to emulate the older generation of consoles and their games, but just one generation behind might prove to be a far more difficult mountain to climb. According to Microsoft’s Frank Savage, they are thinking about the possibility of emulating the Xbox 360 on the Xbox One, when asked about such plans at the recent BUILD 2014 conference, saying, “There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. 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.”
The Xbox One does not seem as though there is adequate horsepower underneath the hood to perform emulation for complex, high end titles, although when it comes to pure DirectX and XNA games, that might be more than possible. Of course, Microsoft has its fair share of options should they decide to implement an emulator, such as allowing you to make use of current game discs for free, or perhaps to charge an import fee (not too popular a move, I believe), or perhaps giving you access to your Xbox Live Arcade library. Oh yeah, we also cannot rule out the possibility of charging the full price for downloadable Xbox 360 games that can be played on the Xbox One.