Cortana on Xbox One
Microsoft's Xbox One console. Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 is coming to the Xbox One with "hundreds of games" coming this Christmas at no additional charge to players.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer made the announcement during Microsoft's E3 press event to rapturous applause from those in attendance. The unprecedented move could well represent a big shift in the Xbox One's fortunes against Sony's PS4.

Microsoft has also confirmed to Eurogamer that Xbox 360 saves and Gamerscore progress will carry over to Xbox One. Microsoft executive Kudo Tsunoda said to them: "You can pick up a game wherever you left off on Xbox 360, on Xbox One," clarifying that it works via saves uploaded to the cloud.

Among the Xbox 360 games coming to Xbox One are Mass Effect, Perfect Dark Zero, Halo Reach, Borderlands, Shadow Lands and Gears Of War 3. Both disc and downloadable games will be playable on the new gen device.

You can also see box art for Fable 3, Super Meat Boy, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts And Bolts and Viva Pinata. There is no news yet on whether the game's will be playable online through Xbox Live.

Xbox Preview users will be able to play a small collection of 360 games from today.

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