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Backwards Compatibility Pranks Bricks Xbox One Consoles


Circulating message describes how Xbox One users can configure their consoles to enable them to play Xbox 360 games.

Brief Analysis

The message is a nasty prank. Following the instructions in the message will stop the console from booting properly thereby rendering it unusable. If you see this message, DO NOT follow the instructions it contains. And let your friends know that the claims in the message are untrue.


Xbox One Prank

Detailed Analysis

According to this message, which is circulating in the form of a graphic, Xbox One game console owners can enable backwards compatibility by following a few simple instructions. The message claims that after following the instructions, gamers will be able to play their old Xbox 360 games on their Xbox One consoles.

Such a backwards compatibility option is one greatly desired by many Xbox users, so the message has spread rapidly.

But, the message is just a nasty prank.  Following the instructions will render the console unusable. A December 9 Extreme Tech article on the issue notes:
The prank exploits a known vulnerability within the Xbox One framework. Each Xbox One can be activated as a dev kit through the use the box’s developerconsole. However, you need authorization from Microsoft to do so. The graphic that has been floating around, seen to the right, provides a simple set of instructions that will invoke the developer console and claims to activate backwards compatibility once a certain ID is entered. That string of commands, though, will trap the Xbox One in an infinite loop of rebooting.
Microsoft's Larry Hryb warned users about the prank via a December 6 tweet, which noted:
To be clear there is no way to make your Xbox One backwards compatible & performing steps to attempt this could make your console inoperable
The prank reportedly originated on the 4Chan website. A screenshot of what appears to be a 4Chan thread discussing the prank reveals that its anonymous perpetrator offered other uses the chance to "contribute to the greatest hoax of 2013".

It is not yet clear if Microsoft will make a fix available for consoles bricked due to the prank. 

If this message comes your way, DO NOT attempt to follow the instructions it contains. And, make sure your friends are aware that the message is a hoax.

Last updated: December 10, 2013
First published: December 10, 2013
Research: Matthew Christensen, Brett Christensen
By Brett M. Christensen
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Xbox One consoles bricked by backwards compatibility prank
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Fake Xbox 360 backwards compatibility instructions brick the Xbox One
4Chan Thread