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Update on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time: It looks like Microsoft has patched this. If you go through the process detailed below, you will now end up with Hexic HD (which is crazy). If you’ve already downloaded Red Dead Redemption to your Xbox One, it will now ask you to download an update that doesn’t work. We’ve asked Microsoft for more information. 

I am playing Red Dead Redemption on my Xbox One right now.

Microsoft has made the Rockstar Western playable on its newest console using its Xbox 360 backward-compatibility feature. You can download the game now if you own it digitally (disc doesn’t work yet), and if you jump through a few hoops. Red Dead Redemption is one of the most beloved titles from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation of consoles. It never came to PC, and Rockstar has never confirmed a native release for the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. This makes backward compatibility one of the only ways to enjoy the most recent Red Dead release without breaking out an older machine. This is also another win for Microsoft as it tries to give gamers a reason to choose the Xbox One.

PlayStation 4 has outsold the Xbox One globally, and this is largely due to a perception that Sony has a console with better features and options for most players. Microsoft has tried to counter this by adding highly requested capabilities like backward compatibility. Since introducing the option to play select Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, people have made it clear that they wanted support for Red Dead Redemption. On the Xbox feedback site, the Rockstar open-world game is the third most requested for backward compatibility after The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. By giving players what they want, Microsoft is trying to show the public that it is listening. And this could help the company capture more of the multibillion-dollar console gaming market.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft to ask when Red Dead will start showing up in “My Games & Apps” for individuals who already own it. We’ll update this story with its response.

The process for getting Red Dead Redemption on your Xbox One is a bit confusing for now, and I won’t guarantee this will work for everyone even though it worked for me.

If you own Red Dead digitally, boot up your Xbox One.

  • Go to the “Find a Friend” option in the “Friends” menu.
  • Search for “RockoHoward” — this is important.
  • Once you find that user, view his profile.
  • Tab over to his following list.
  • Sort by just “Games” not “Friends & Games.”
  • Find Red Dead Redemption.
  • Click on “See in Store.”
  • The “Install” prompt should appear for you.

Let us know if you have any problems.

Here’s the game running on my Xbox One.

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