Xbox One owners will be able to play their old Xbox 360 games on the new console, as Microsoft announced it was introducing backwards compatibility for the system.
Up to 100 Xbox 360 titles will be available to play on Xbox One later this year, with both digital and disc-based games included in the move. Xbox Preview members will be able to play the games immediately.
Announcing the move, Xbox head Phil Spencer leveled a jab at rivals. "We won't charge you to play games you already own," he said.
Microsoft managed to keep the move under wraps, with attention focused in recent weeks on its partnership with Oculus to bring Xbox One games to the Rift headset, and the opportunity to see more details on Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of Tomb Raider and Forza Motorsport 6.
“Our mission is simple: to put you the gamers at the centre of everything we do,” Spencer said.
“If you’ve been waiting to move from your Xbox 360 now is the time.”
The company also showed off the customizable Xbox One Elite controller, which has swappable parts, button remapping and a hair trigger lock.
There were the usual blockbuster games announcements and premiers of trailer, with Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of Tomb Raider and new title Recore all making a splash. Developer Rare also revealed an Xbox exclusive, Sea of Thieves, while announcing a collection of its classic games would be available in August on the Xbox platform.
But Microsoft had something else up its sleeve: a demonstration of how Hololens, its holographic computing project, can work in gaming, with a version of Minecraft for the platform. It also announced a partnership with Valve to bring virtual reality gaming to the Windows. “We will be working closely with Valve to make Windows 10 the best platform for virtual reality gaming,” Microsoft’s Kudo Tsonuda said.
Microsoft’s independent developer programme, ID@Xbox, was also given some stage time, with Cuphead, Beyond Eyes and Ashen all demoed on stage. There are more than 1,000 developers making games under the ID@Xbox programme, Microsoft said.
A new programme, Xbox Game Preview, will allow gamers to buy games still in development, offering a free trial to give players the chance to decide if they want to pay for early access to the game. Among the initial games available on the scheme are Day Z , The Long Dark and Sheltered.