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Microsoft warns of Xbox One backwards compatibility prank

A set of tips purporting to make your Xbox One play Xbox 360 games could actually break your console, Microsoft has warned.

If you've seen a set of tips telling you how to make your Xbox One play Xbox 360 games, don't follow them. They're a hoax, and could actually break your console, Microsoft has warned.

The tips have been doing the rounds on forums and social networking sites, The Verge reports. They promise to make your Xbox One backwards compatible, through six quick steps. But they do nothing of the sort. Microsoft's Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson), director of programming for Xbox Live, took to Twitter to warn gamers about the hack.

"To be clear there is no way to make your Xbox One backwards compatible & performing steps to attempt this could make your console inoperable," he tweeted.

A Microsoft spokesperson told me: “Changing the setting in the Developer Console menu is only intended for developers for the Xbox One, and this alone does not turn the console into a development kit. We strongly advise consumers against changing these settings as it could result in their Xbox One becoming unusable. Customers who have put their consoles into this developer setting can revert by restoring factory defaults under Settings / System, select Restore Factory default." If you are experiencing this issue and require assistance, Microsoft suggest contacting their support centre, Xbox Support.

This week, it was revealed how you can access the Xbox One's developer menus. These let you make your own games using your console. The fake set of tips doing the rounds claim -- falsely -- that using these developer menus could let your Xbox One play games made for the Xbox 360.

The image containing the tips is titled 'Xbox One Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Unlock'. It claims that going to the system menu, pressing LB, RB, LT, RT quickly in order, selecting the Developer Console, checking the "Enable devkit" box, changing the sandbox ID to "freezone.reboot" and then selecting "Reset Home Console" will make your One play Xbox 360 games. But it won't, so don't follow any of those steps.

Instead, doing so will enter the console into an endless reboot cycle, which will brick it. And then you'll be left with a very expensive but very useless box under your telly.

Some Xbox Ones arrived bricked, but Microsoft doled out a free game to anyone affected. "Only a very small number" suffered hardware issues, according to Microsoft. Some gamers have complained about issues with the console's disc drive as well.

What do you think of the Xbox One? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Update: Added comment from Microsoft spokesperson.