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The big change coming to Xbox One's backwards compatibility

Backwards compatibility
Free Witchers and big release changes

Microsoft has announced a significant change to the way it's going to release its new backwards-compatible Xbox One games.

No longer will it be releasing them in monthly blocks, as it has been doing since it kicked off the project back in November – from now on it will release backwards-compatible games as soon as they're available.

"Rather than having a set monthly launch date," Microsoft explained, "titles will go live once each has received the engineering and publisher stamp of approval".

The final monthly block of games features a full ten new games, including the sword-tastic SoulCaliber and the finest detective duo in the world, Sam and Max.

But the biggest of the new titles is the outstanding The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – and you don't even have to own the original to get it up and running on either Xbox One as a backwards-compatible game, or as a native game on the Xbox 360.

Until February 5 (8am GMT) you can download The Witcher 2 for free at, if you live in either the US, UK, Canada, France or Germany. Sorry Australia, the white-haired lothario's second adventure still costs money in your 'hood.

Red Dead Redemption

Maybe next time…

Hopefully, the fact that newly minted backwards-compatible games will be released as and when they're re-engineered for the Xbox One means it won't be long before we start to see some of the games on the wishlist.

Microsoft has confirmed that CoD: Black Ops, Bioshock Infinite and Halo Wars are all in progress, but that's still only three from the top 20 most-requested games on that list.

There's no official word on whether Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption will be getting the necessary treatment, although with Fallout 3 currently topping the list of the top 10 backwards-compatible games at least Skyrim's porting looks likely.

Components Editor

Dave (Twitter) is the components editor for TechRadar and has been professionally testing, tweaking, overclocking and b0rking all kinds of computer-related gubbins since 2006. Dave is also an avid gamer, with a love of Football Manager that borders on the obsessive. Dave is also the deputy editor of TechRadar's older sibling, PC Format.