Carrier compatibility for the various iPhone X models

Like Apple has done with the iPhone 8/8 Plus, the iPhone X won’t have the same carrier compatibility for all variants. Whether you want to keep as many options open for switching to another carrier in the future, or would like to know which models will work for you if your first choice is out of stock as you go to preorder the device, follow along below…

AirPods

While GSM is the standard for most carriers around the globe, Sprint and Verizon in the U.S. still use CDMA. While Apple hasn’t shared the iPhone X’s exact cellular specifications on its website, it does let us know that the AT&T and T-Mobile variants will be GSM only and won’t work with Verizon and Sprint.

While Apple is clearly detailing that all models are unlocked when choosing a carrier variant, the Verizon and Sprint models will have the most carrier flexibility, until we see Apple offer a SIM free version.

If the iPhone X cellular specs are the same as the 8, all models will feature the same 24 LTE bands, but the differentiator will be GSM/CDMA support.

Easy enough to remember, but here’s a quick chart to visualize it:

There are a couple ways this information can be helpful. First, if you’re planning on purchasing your iPhone X outright, you have the ability to choose from multiple models to ensure you’ll have a shiny new X in hand on November 3.

The second option if you’d like to pay monthly, although a bit cumbersome would be if your first choice is sold out (or pushed back quite a ways)  to opt for a different carrier model with Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program (as a new line). Then cancel the carrier plan that you had to sign up for to order the new iPhone and pop your SIM card in from your current carrier. Because they are all unlocked phones and there are no contracts, you can cancel the new plan that you don’t need and continue on as before, making monthly payments to Apple for your device.

There is one caveat to keep in mind that I’ve experienced, along with seeing others deal with: carriers sometimes have a bit more difficulty activating unlocked devices, particularly if the IMEI numbers haven’t been preloaded into their systems. It may take a call to your carrier’s customer support or a visit to your closest store to get going, but it shouldn’t be a prohibitive issue if you’ve got an iPhone model that’s compatible with your carrier.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Original Xbox Backward Compatibility is Here for the Xbox One

The Xbox One got a huge upgrade on Tuesday, as Microsoft rolled out support for certain original Xbox games on its latest console. With the new release, the machine now supports titles dating back to 2001. It’s a big break from Sony and Nintendo, both of which generally ask customers to buy old games all over again if they want to play them on its new consoles.

The initial list of 13 original Xbox games joins the staggering 434 Xbox 360 games compatible with the Xbox One. In this first batch, set to expand over time, some cult favorites make their way over to the console, including mind-control platformer Psychonauts, party game Fuzion Frenzy, and first-person shooter Red Faction II. Just pop an old disc in the machine, and it will download a complete version of the old game.

Microsoft has pulled ahead with its support for old software on new machines. Sony’s PS4 is still only capable of playing certain PS2 games downloaded from the online store, with disc-based games and the company’s other two home consoles shut out. The Nintendo Switch, which h, also only supports older games downloaded from the store.

Fuzion Frenzy.
Fuzion Frenzy.

But why is it such a struggle? The PS2 was famous for its ability to play almost every PS1 game, and early models of the PS3 also had near-flawless backwards compatibility. But these machines contained chips from the old machines, an engineering decision that clearly isn’t sustainable in the long run.

When a game is made for a games console, developers try to use the hardware to its full potential. The game expects the processor to interpret instructions in a certain way, and in a race to claim the best-looking graphics, console makers want to offer the best to developers. Console chips can grow incredibly complicated and exotic: Sony reportedly spent five years and $400 million developing the PS3’s Cell processor.

The PlayStation 3.
The PlayStation 3.

Microsoft, unwilling to slap an Xbox-inside-an-Xbox, opted for a software-based route when it developed backwards compatibility for the Xbox 360, which used a PowerPC chip very different from the original machine. The team started working in 2007 on backwards compatibility again for the upcoming Xbox One, due to launch in 2013. Forward planning meant the team was able to shape the hardware slightly to make software emulation easier. In the summer of 2015, Microsoft announced the feature at the E3 electronics show.

“It was literally the proudest moment of my career,” Kevin La Chapelle, the Microsoft veteran at the heart of the project, told IGN. “The room erupted. I teared up. It was perfect validation of all this effort.”

Beyond cost savings on hardware and a simplified design, the other benefit of the software-based route is enhancements to original games. The Xbox One X will play certain 360 games at higher resolution, with greater color depth and new filtering techniques. It can’t add in better graphics, but it can give old games a welcome polish.

The Xbox One X.
The Xbox One X.

PS4 owners reading this and gearing up to dust off their old games might want to hold off. While PlayStation Now offers the chance to stream games from a PS3 sat in a building somewhere to your home PS4, proper local gameplay doesn’t sound likely.

“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Jim Ryan, head of PlayStation Europe, told Time in June. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”

For now, it seems Microsoft players will have all the old-school fun for themselves. Here are the initial games set for backwards compatibility on the Xbox One:

  • Black
  • Bloodrayne 2
  • Crimson Skies
  • Dead to Rights
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies
  • Neowave: The King of Fighters
  • Ninja Gaiden Black
  • Pirates!
  • Prince of Persia
  • Psychonauts
  • Red Faction II
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

First 13 Original Xbox Games Announced for Xbox One Compatibility


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1080p resolution with better framerates and loading times too.

Microsoft has revealed the first 13 backwards-compatible original Xbox games for Xbox One to IGN – several of which we got to play. These first 13 will be available tomorrow, October 24. All are enhanced with 1080p resolution, higher and/or smoother framerates, and faster loading times.

These are the first 13 games you can play on any Xbox One if you own the title, beginning tomorrow:

  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Ninja Gaiden Black
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Psychonauts
  • Dead to Rights
  • Black
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies
  • Sid Meier’s Pirates!
  • Red Faction II
  • BloodRayne 2
  • The King of Fighters Neowave

If you still have your original Xbox disc, just insert it into your Xbox One console. If you own it digitally, that will also work. Many of these games can also be purchased from the Xbox Store in digital form for $9.99.

Above: A comparison between Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic running on the original Xbox versus it running on an Xbox One.

For titles that support System Link multiplayer, it still works – even across the Xbox family.

For titles that support System Link multiplayer, it still works – even across the Xbox family. I got to play a four-player round of Crimson Skies, with me on the original Xbox, another person on an Xbox One X, another on an Xbox One S, and the fourth on a launch Xbox One. Online multiplayer is not supported, however, as servers for original Xbox games were shut down years ago.

I also got to play a bit of Star Wars: KOTOR, Ninja Gaiden Black, and Fuzion Frenzy. All three looked clearer and crisper than ever thanks to no longer being restricted to 480p (or for many at the time, 480i) resolution. Most still run in their original 4:3 aspect ratios, though Ninja Gaiden Black natively supports 16:9 widescreen so it looks particularly modern.

Above: A comparison between Fuzion Frenzy running on the original Xbox versus it running on an Xbox One.

“This detail has always been there, but the technology of the day was holding it back,” said Xbox principal software engineer Eric Heutchy as he pointed out the orange bill and black outline now clearly visible in 1080p on a duck icon in Fuzion Frenzy’s “Twisted System” minigame. “Forgive the clunky tutorial start,” KOTOR lead designer James Ohlen told IGN with a laugh when asked what advice he’d have for players trying KOTOR for the first time. “It’s definitely a product of his time.”

As for what original Xbox games will be brought forward next, the team is being careful to keep expectations in check – though they have a good reason. “A curated list of key games was the way to go with this,” Xbox platform lead Bill Stillwell told IGN, noting that many original Xbox game publishers either don’t exist anymore, or the contracts are missing (because they were done on actual paper!), or there’s a licensing issue with a particular song, etc. As such, while it might be technically possible for Microsoft to make them compatible with Xbox One, it might be legally impossibly or unfeasible.

Above: Another comparison between Fuzion Frenzy running on the original Xbox versus it running on an Xbox One.

For much more on backwards compatibility, don’t miss the report on our day with the compatibility team at Microsoft to talk about why and how they did this, as well as the just-announced Xbox One X-specific enhancements for four high-profile Xbox 360 games.

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and Xbox Guru-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.


It’s almost time for Original Xbox backward compatibility …

Some of the names that you may see when the Xbox One flips the switch on backward compatibility to the original Xbox include Dead to Rights, King of Fighters: Neowave and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

That’s according to users seeing listings for the games in the marketplace on their Xbox One and in Xbox One communities. Leaks of Xbox 360 backward compatible titles were seen in the same places in 2015 as the Xbox One approached that feature’s debut. And yes, Crimson Skies — the often-namechecked favorite of Xbox boss Phil Spencer — is in one of the images.

Spencer announced at E3 2017 that backward compatibility to the original Xbox would be coming to the console soon. The Xbox One X launches in November, and when Xbox One was made backward compatible to select Xbox 360 games beginning in 2015, that also happened in November of that year. It’s console video gaming’s biggest month, after all.

The image posted tweeted above also lists crowd pleases like Ninja Gaiden Black, Psychonauts, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Bloodrayne and Sid Meier’s Pirates! Pirates! originally launched on Xbox in 2004 and was one of the first games compatible with the Xbox 360 when it launched a year later. That was a messy process for disc games, however, and it later reappeared in the Xbox 360’s marketplace

Reddit user Krvavi_Abadas notes that the pages on which these games appear are unfinished and their interaction with the rest of the Xbox One ecosystem either goes nowhere or delivers a glitch.

In any event, like the Xbox 360 back-compat rollout, we’re not seeing wishlist-type rumors here — no Morrowind, for example. KOTOR makes sense as BioWare is now owned by EA and, well, it’s gonna be nonstop Star Wars from November to the end of the year. Of course, KOTOR has long been playable on PC.

[Rumor] Original Xbox Backward Compatibility List Leaked

One of Microsoft’s most exciting announcements at E3 this year for longtime fans was the extension of the Xbox One’s Backward Compatible program to original Xbox games. Not only would digital purchases from the Xbox 360’s Xbox Originals program carry forward, but original discs would load up and system link would be supported across the entire Xbox family of consoles. All years, rumors have swirled regarding what games would be available on the Original Xbox Backward Compatibility List. This morning has brought about a rumor with a bit more credibility.

Known Microsoft source “WalkingCat” has posted an official-looking image on Twitter containing a sizable list of games. The Original Xbox Backward Compatibility list will seemingly include:

  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Red Faction II
  • Dead to Rights
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • The King of Fighters Neowave
  • Ninja Gaiden Black
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Bloodrayne
  • Psychonauts
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies

Several games have already been confirmed working on current generation hardware. Crimson Skies was one of the marquee games during the E3 announcement of the service and Fuzion Frenzy has been running on Xbox One at recent press events. Outside the program, Grabbed by the Ghoulies has already been ported over via Rare Replay, and Red Faction II is available on PlayStation 4 with a host of other legacy releases by THQ Nordic.

No official word on when these titles will be available, but it should be close to the Xbox One X’s November 7th launch. Since Reddit users have dug up store pages being set up, it seems that the program’s start will be sooner rather than later.


Quick Take

All the listed titles are already a part of the Xbox 360’s backward compatibility program, which some have assumed would be a limiting factor for Xbox One’s implementation. That list is pretty long, about half of the entire Xbox library. Still, notable dream titles like the original MechAssault and Metal Wolf Chaos are nowhere to be found. Here’s hoping that the team is working on transferring over the full breadth of the original green box.



Alex Santa Maria


Reviews Editor

TechRaptor’s Reviews Editor. Resident fan of pinball, Needlers, roguelikes, and anything with neon lighting. Owns an office chair once used by Billy Mays.