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Microsoft Dismisses Xbox Backwards Compatibility 146

Posted by Zonk
from the look-back-move-forward dept.
kukyfrope writes "In a recent interview on U.K. site Kikizo Peter Moore, Microsoft's head of the Interactive Entertainment business, claims that Microsoft has 'under promised and over delivered' Xbox game compatibility on the Xbox 360. He states that gamers are now looking more towards next-gen titles, forgetting about the majority of Xbox titles." From the article: "Moore's comments shouldn't be misunderstood. MS will be adding to its backwards compatibility list, but it hardly seems like a priority now that the 360 is hitting its stride and the original Xbox is getting less and less support."
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Microsoft Dismisses Xbox Backwards Compatibility

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  • backwards compatibility would become an immediate issue if the 360 games stopped selling or really slumped in sales. Otherwise, why should they worry about it if they're making money? After all, earning a profit to M$ is customer satisfaction, because if customers weren't satisfied, they wouldn't be buying more games still, right? /end of work day cynicism dump complete
    • After all, earning a profit to M$ is customer satisfaction, because if customers weren't satisfied, they wouldn't be buying more games still, right?

      How else would you measure it? By listening to rabid Slashdot Nintendo fanboys?

      "Still selling" is a great measure of satisfaction, next to hiring Zogby to do a survey.
    • Yeah, no clue what he's thinking, I love the option of playing NES and GCN games on my Wii or PS1 games on a PS2/PS3. Maybe it's "XBOX" gamers that don't care so much about it, because Xbox only has ONE generation to fall back on, and right now developers are basically only making souped-up "new versions" of games that already came out on Xbox!

      While I'm not extremly familiar with all the Xbox success story games, what new games have Xbox 360 developers announced that were NOT similar to something already on
      • You've got really good points, I want to add that maybe the market penetration just isn't there yet. For the more casual gamers that bought the Xbox when the price started to drop, they weren't rushing out to buy a 360.

        I've got one, and the only reason I bought one is because I had a nice little financial windfall come my way that wasn't really planned. If that money hadn't come in, though, I probably would have waited until the price dropped significantly.

        I think that if and when more people buy the

      • Yeah, no clue what he's thinking, I love the option of playing NES and GCN games on my Wii or PS1 games on a PS2/PS3. Maybe it's "XBOX" gamers that don't care so much about it, because Xbox only has ONE generation to fall back on, and right now developers are basically only making souped-up "new versions" of games that already came out on Xbox!

        Basically the Xbox had 3 genres (FPS/Sports/3rd person adventure) that were ever Xbox exclusive, all three of these genres generally get a brand new iteration every y
  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @03:48PM (#15448003) Homepage
    Why pay $60 USD for one XBox 360 game when you can get two or three XBox games for the same amount? If I was looking for a new console, I might get an XBox if backward compability is not there on XBox 360. (Not that I would pay $600+ for a console.) It'll be a while before there are some must die for XBox 360 games.
    • by Osty (16825) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @04:42PM (#15448488)

      Why pay $60 USD for one XBox 360 game when you can get two or three XBox games for the same amount?

      Most people don't go to the store and randomly buy a game. They have a goal in mind, like, "I want to pick up PGR3." Depending on the game they're looking for, it may not be available on other platforms. If I'm going to the store to buy a copy of PGR3 ($40-50), I'm not going to decide to pick up a copy of Burnout 3 and NFS:U2 ($20 each) instead. Games aren't as elastic as other products. If I go to a restaurant and order a Coke, you can give me a Pepsi or any other non-Coke cola product and I won't much care. If I go to the game store and ask for a copy of Halo, I will very much care if you hand me a copy of Killzone instead.

      If I was looking for a new console, I might get an XBox if backward compability is not there on XBox 360. (Not that I would pay $600+ for a console.)

      First, the Xbox 360 is $400, not $600 (that's the PS3 you're thinking about), assuming you're quoting in USD. Second, I think Moore is mostly correct about backwards compatibility. The goal is to provide value for your customers during the first few months of a console's life when there are not a bunch of games out yet (and those that are out are launch titles, which generally means "not all that great"). Sony does this with backwards compatibility. Nintendo has historically done it by keeping their launch prices low and expecting you to keep the previous generation console hooked up. Microsoft did it with the 360 by providing extra functionality like demos on Marketplace, Xbox Live Arcade, and Media Center Extender functionality. Backwards compatibility with Xbox games was tacked on because Sony's made it a mandatory bullet point.

      Seriously, how many PS1 games did you buy or play on your PS2 in the last three years? I think I played one (FFIX) and purchased none. And the only reason I played it on my PS2 was because it was already connected. I certainly could've dug out my PSOne and hooked it up.

      It'll be a while before there are some must die for XBox 360 games.

      That depends on the user. I know a lot of people who bought a 360 solely for Geometry Wars (they've since branched out, but that was their killer app). Yes, a $5 game sold them on a $400 console. Personally, PGR3 and Geometry Wars was enough to get me to buy. Oblivion and Fight Night Round 3 were worth purchasing, but I'm really looking forward to Forza 2 at the end of this year. If you're a Halo fanboy, you probably won't buy a 360 until late next year.

      • If I go to the game store and ask for a copy of Halo, I will very much care if you hand me a copy of Killzone instead.

        But if you ask for a copy of Halo 2, I have every right to reach from the "Used CDs :: Rock :: N" section and grab the other Halo 2 [wikipedia.org].

        how many PS1 games did you buy or play on your PS2 in the last three years?

        At least Lego Racers, a few Mega Man games, Dance Dance Revolution Konamix, and a couple other games that my PStwo's laser reads more accurately than my PS1's does. Little cousi

  • I will buy a 360 is if certain games are supported via BC, I didn't have an xbox but there were certain games that i did want to get. So until I can play JSRF, Panzer Dragon Orta, Shenmue 2. And then I will still only get a 360 after too human comes out.
  • Let's review (Score:3, Informative)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday June 01, 2006 @03:50PM (#15448036) Homepage
    • GameBoy Color - Played every GameBoy game, huge success
    • GameBoy Advance - Played every GameBoy and GameBoy Color game, huge success
    • Nintendo DS - Played every GameBoy Advance game (save one or two), huge succes
    • PlayStation 2 - Played every PlayStation game, huge success
    • Wii - Slated to play every GameCube game, as well as selected games from the last 25 years, probably a huge success
    • 360 - Said it would play every XBox game, doesn't. We'll see.
    • Re:Let's review (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 01, 2006 @03:53PM (#15448066)
      SNES: Huge Success
      Sega MegaDrive/Genesis: Huge Success
      NES: Huge Success
      • Atari 2600: Huge success
        Atari 5200: not backward compatible failure
        Atari 7800: backward compatible failure

        Somehow I think other market factors play into whether or not a console is successful aside from backwards compatibility.
        • I think you're onto something here. The controller of Holy Damnation had more to do with the failure of the 5200 than any backwards compatibility ever could have. Likewise, backwards compatibility couldn't save a console that launched with 4 year old hardware even if it did include the most excellent ProLine joysticks.
        • And don't forget everyone's favorite brick, the original Game Boy! 3
      • SNES: Huge Success
        The Super Famicom (SNES) was designed around the 65816 processor initially to retain backward compatibility with the Famicom (NES). Although the systems used a different cartridge layout, adapters [gamersgraveyard.com] do exist.

        Sega MegaDrive/Genesis: Huge Success
        The Mega Drive 1 and 2 used a Z80 to retain backwards compatibility with the Mark III (Master System). Sega manufactured and sold a device called the Power Base Converter [vidgame.net] to retain compatibility. The Mega Drive 3 as well as other systems (Nomad, CDX
        • Yep, the Famicom (NES) maintained backwards compatibility with all of Nintendo's existing multi-game cartridge based systems... meaning that there wasn't anything to maintain backwards compatibility with.

          I can also say that the NES didn't maintain backwards compatibility with any previous system.
    • Re:Let's review (Score:5, Informative)

      by l3prador (700532) <wkankla@gmaTOKYOil.com minus city> on Thursday June 01, 2006 @03:59PM (#15448134) Homepage
      360 - Said it would play every XBox game, doesn't. We'll see.
      They were pretty upfront about not being able to play every game.
      • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Thursday June 01, 2006 @05:21PM (#15448826) Journal
        Taken from the backward compatibility FAQ on the 360 web site:

        Q: Are you intentionally trying to keep a game off the list because you want us to buy the Xbox 360 version?

        A: Not at all. Our goal remains to get every game to be backward compatible. The only things influencing what games we're working on are how popular the title is, and how easy it is to make backward compatible. Several original Xbox games on the list already have Xbox 360 counterparts.


        Emphasis mine.

        Seems that eventually they want all games to be compatible. True, Microsoft hasn't claimed that every game is compatible right now. From what they've said, they certainly leave you with the impression that games on the compatibility will run fine and anyone with a 360 knows that is simply not the case. Compatibility is improving every month, but regardless of what Microsoft claims there will be many games that never make the list. It's just not worth the effort.
        • Sure, that statement, taken out of context, could be interpreted to mean they intend to make every single game compatible no matter what, but I think in that context it's pretty clear that he was not making that claim. His comment was in reply to the question of if they were intentionally keeping a game off the compatibility list. I understood his response to mean "No, we are not intentionally trying to keep any game off the list. We would like every game to be compatible."

          So I'd agree that they want
    • Said it would play every XBox game

      Actually it didn't. It said it won't play XBox games at all, and very close to release it announced it'll play some, with more to come... and this is what happened.
    • You're forgetting about the 7800, and the add-ons for the 5200 and Colecovision
      • We're far from anything like the console crash that hit the 80s. Actually, what caused it ("Why buy your kid a toy when you can buy them a REAL computer that takes him to college?") is currently being reversed.
    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      360 - Said it would play every XBox game, doesn't. We'll see.

      "In other news, shooting yourself in the foot still hurts". I think this quote is appropriate.

    • >PlayStation 2 - Played every PlayStation game, huge success

      actually no it doesn't, the original ps2 was incompatible with some PS games and the newest JP PS2 model (the silver slim model) is incompatible with some ps2 games.
    • PlayStation 2 - Played every PlayStation game, huge success

      Don't think so. I don't own very many PS1 games, but of those Driver barely loads on the PS2 and crashes very quickly, and (the excellent and hugely under-rated) Terracon [gameplanet.co.nz] doesn't work at all. I don't think that PS2 backwards compatibility was all it was cracked up to be and I found that very annoying when I bought a PS2.

    • Should I bother pointing out the Atari 7800?

      If you're going to do an analysis like this, at least be fair and include the consoles which had backwards-compatibility and completely bombed.
    • As mentioned by others, there are some Playstation compatibility issues, with games that either don't play at all or have major issues. Tomba! is one that springs to mind.

      But you also forgot to mention that there are some Game Boy Advance compatibility issues too. Not many, mind you, but there are some games that don't work correctly. A good example is the GBC version of Mortal Kombat 4; if I recall correctly, the audio and voice samples turn into a nice high pitched screech in the GBA.

      That said, bac

  • Well, I for one have been looking forward to more backward compatibility. I hope they don't stop or even slow this down. Considering Nintendo will have its entire library of old-school titles available, ignoring, even partially, backward compatibility seems as though it would be a bad move. I never had an old XBox, and I am looking forward to playing some of the titles I haven't yet. It also immediately builds a catalog of titles up that are available for a system. And what about those people that paid good
  • Back in my day you couldn't force an NES cartridge into an SNES even going uphill in the snow. It just laughed at you til the plastic broke! Backwards compatibility. HA!
  • For example, it seems very tempting, if you are a video game company, to make a PS2 game that will play on the PS3, than to make a PS3 game. After all, if you make a PS2 game, you can sell for both platforms. But if you make a PS3 game, you can only sell on the new platform.

    Where as, if there is no backwards compatibility, you are more likely to make games for the new platform than the old.

    So I would say that backwards compatibility can be a problem. If you are spending a lot of money on a new box, you want
    • Historically this hasn't happened. There is a cross-over period once a new console launches where you still get a lot of games being released for the older system but there are few cases where publishers opted out of doing a PS2 version because they could just to a PS1 version. I think some "edutainment" companies did this, but not mainstream publishers. If you look at upcoming game development on the Xbox you can see that 360 development is gearing up in a big way whereas the older Xbox has pretty much be
    • The biggest game buying forces want games for the latest generation of whatever flavor console/s they have (Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo). If your going to make a game for a Sony system, do it for the PS3. Likewise for the other systems.

      Developing for the older system comes off as more cheap/bargain bin style. Even if it was the best thing just a few months previous.
    • Where as, if there is no backwards compatibility, you are more likely to make games for the new platform than the old.

      Or not at all?

      Given the cost of Sony's PS3 developer package, this isn't as insignificant a problem as you might think.
  • by Jorkapp (684095) <jorkapp@h[ ]ail.com ['otm' in gap]> on Thursday June 01, 2006 @03:53PM (#15448072)
    I applaud microsoft for having backwards-compatibility on the X360. Sure, it's not perfect compatibility, but it does allow me to play some of my old XBox games on my X360, making for a nice transition as I acquire more X360 titles.

    Certainly, it could be more compatible, but you do have to give them credit for what they have done. Sony was able to do this better as they did not change the underlying architecture (PS1 - MIPS R3000, PS2 - MIPS R5900), whereas Microsoft has (XBox - x86 P3, X360 - PPC Cell).

    I can say from experience that writing programs for PPC is a whole new ball game when you're used to x86, and I can only imagine emulating x86 code on PPC being somewhere along the lines of a total nightmare.

    Certainly, I do have some disappointment that it isn't 100% backwards compatible, but at least they didn't pull a Nintendo by offering absolutely no backwards compatibility.
    • Certainly, I do have some disappointment that it isn't 100% backwards compatible, but at least they didn't pull a Nintendo by offering absolutely no backwards compatibility. If we're talking this generation in which Nintendo hasn't released their system yet... you are aware that the Wii can play ALL GameCube games as well as will have all of Nintendo's back library available for download... right? It seems like Nintendo will be the only ones to get backwards compatibility right this go-round.
      • Nintendo has a history of suggesting that their next console will have backwards compatibility and then pulling out later. (Talking about home consoles here, the GameBoy/DS line is a different matter.) It looks like the Wii will definitely have backwards compatibility. The SNES processor (a modified 65c816) had a compatibility mode for the NES processor (a (modified?) 6502) because they originally planned for the SNES to accept NES but then decided not to.
    • "pull a Nintendo" .. by offering 100% backward compatibility over multiplle generations?? I can only guess thats certainly what you mean, since the 360 sure as heck doesn't.
      • You're talking about the Gameboy line and GP is presumably referring to the fact that Nintendo had the SNES, N64 and Gamecube which all went without backward compatibility. Given that the Xbox and Xbox 360 are home consoles while the Gameboy line is portable, this is an obvious inference.
        • Nintendo had the SNES, N64 and Gamecube which all went without backward compatibility.

          True about the Nintendo 64, but the Super NES could play 99 percent of Game Boy games through the Super Game Boy accessory. (The exceptions were a few games that required the link port, as the upgraded "Super Game Boy 2" that had a link port was never released in North America.) The GameCube could play 98 percent of Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games through the Game Boy Player accessory. (The major e

          • a) Not once in there do you mention anything resembling BC to a home console (the Wii will be an out-of-the-box first in that realm with its GC compatibility). In this discussion, compatibility with a portable just doesn't count.
            b) All of that GB/GBA compatibility is accomplished with accessories. We're talking about either integrated, or at least free (by hooking up to Xbox Live "Silver"), backward compatibility.

            I would note, by the way, that I have the Gameboy Player attached to my GC and I think it'
            • Not once in there do you mention anything resembling BC to a home console

              Yes I did, albeit involving two accessories: GameCube + Game Boy Player + GBA Movie Player + CF card with PocketNES emulator = NES games on GameCube.

              • Then I retract the word "resembling." Unless the process you describe allows you to plug NES carts into the Gamecube, again, I consider it irrelevant to the discussion. By that standard, the Xbox is backward compatible to the Atari 2600 (and almost every other popular console).
                • Unless the process you describe allows you to plug NES carts into the Gamecube

                  You plug the NES Game Pak -> CopyNES -> PC -> (optional) text translation, cheats, or other mods -> CF reader -> CF card -> GBA Movie Player.

                  By that standard, the Xbox is backward compatible to the Atari 2600 (and almost every other popular console).

                  The difference is that with the Game Boy Player + GBA Movie Player:

                  • You don't need to install a modchip of disputed legality. Lik-Sang was forced to stop c
        • I think he was referring to the Wii, given it's the same generation as the '360, and so comparing like with like, you'd compare the BC of the Wii to the BC of the '360.
      • Backward compability only goes till the GameboySP, both the NintendoDS and Micro no longer offer full backward compability, which is quite a shame, since even without extra hardware it would have been trivial to do it in software.
    • (XBox - x86 P3, X360 - PPC Cell)
      The Xbox 360 does use a PPC processor, but it's not a Cell. See Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ffor more info.
    • Backwards compatibility in the PS2 is actually achieved by including the PS1 CPU. Normally it acts as sound and I/O controller, but when you run a PS1 game it becomes the main CPU. The fact that they both use MIPS architectures is more or less irrelevant.

      Now that the PS2 has been shrunk to basically a single chip maybe Sony will use the same approach in the PS3 and include a complete PS2 (which in turn contains a PS1)?

      • Backwards compatibility in the PS2 is actually achieved by including the PS1 CPU. Normally it acts as sound and I/O controller, but when you run a PS1 game it becomes the main CPU.

        This is similar to the Sega Genesis's emulation of Master System games, which could be done because the Genesis's sound processor was the same as the SMS's main processor.
    • Sony was able to do this better as they did not change the underlying architecture (PS1 - MIPS R3000, PS2 - MIPS R5900), whereas Microsoft has (XBox - x86 P3, X360 - PPC Cell).

      Someone will no doubt correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the 360's CPU, while PPC-derived, is not part of the Cell line.

      Your comment also leads me to think about the prognosis for Sony's backwards-compatibility. The PS3 architecture is vastly different from the PS1 and PS2 -- how well can we expect Playstation titles compile
    • I can say from experience that writing programs for PPC is a whole new ball game when you're used to x86, and I can only imagine emulating x86 code on PPC being somewhere along the lines of a total nightmare.

      Never mind the little bit of trivia that a few years ago, MS bought out a company that was emulating x86 on a PowerMac, and doing it decently enough that it should be able to emulate a 600 MHz celeron on a 3.2GHz PPC.

      (Actually, a more important problem is that they changed GPUs, so shader programs and

    • I find it rather amusing that you say that backwards compatibility is impossible because of architecture changes, and that Microsoft isn't "Pulling a Nintendo".

      Another poster already mentioned that the PS2's architecture is vastly different from the PSX, and backwards compatibility was maintained by adding the PSX CPU to the system, giving it the task of I/O. Not to mention that the PS3 (apparently) is fully compatible with the PS2 despite even more radical changes. Presumably this is done through soft
  • Easy to say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by freshman_a (136603) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @03:55PM (#15448089) Homepage Journal

    He states that gamers are now looking more towards next-gen titles, forgetting about the majority of Xbox titles.

    Try telling that to my friends who own Xbox360s and complain that they have to keep their Xbox around to play a couple games they really like. Maybe they aren't the majority, but I know a few. I don't mean to come off sounding fanboy-ish, but that's one thing I think Sony did well. I only need to have my PS2 hooked up to play all of my PS1 and PS2 games.
    • Try telling that to my friends who own Xbox360s and complain that they have to keep their Xbox around to play a couple games they really like. Maybe they aren't the majority, but I know a few. I don't mean to come off sounding fanboy-ish, but that's one thing I think Sony did well. I only need to have my PS2 hooked up to play all of my PS1 and PS2 games.

      Ah, but those friends of yours ALREADY HAVE an Xbox360. Sure, they may grumble about it a little but it obviously hasn't been a dealbreaker as far as buying
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @03:57PM (#15448121)
    That's some nerve to quote this from the article:

    Moore's comments shouldn't be misunderstood. MS will be adding to its backwards compatibility list

    and still call the article

    Microsoft Dismisses Xbox Compatibility ...
  • Best Selling Games (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Slugburn (862526) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @04:01PM (#15448150)
    My major complaint would be that they seemed to focus on the low hanging fruit, the games that were easiest to do, rather than on the best-selling games as was promised. I just checked the list and see that Soul Caliber II still isn't on it. I'm pretty sure that it sold very well. On the plus side, I see that they've added DOA 3 and Ninja Gaiden since the last time I checked, so they are indeed still working on it.
  • I call bull (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon (735973) * on Thursday June 01, 2006 @04:03PM (#15448165) Journal
    Look, sorry, I love my 360, think MS are probably actually now heading to win this round of the console wars and all that stuff...

    But...

    This article is bullshit.

    Seriously, the backwards compatibility on the 360 was disappointing at launch, but we were promised it would improve. Since then, it has barely improved and many of the old A-list X-Box titles are still missing from the compatibility list. Hell, there are still major releases coming out for the X-Box which aren't compatible with the 360. Given we're now 6 months after launch, this is taking on the tone of a bad joke. The very few updates to the compatibility list that have appeared have been extremely short and have mostly been for C-list titles.

    Burnout 3 (which I much prefer to Revenge), MechAssault 2, Chronicles of Riddick, Panzer Dragoon Orta and Star Wars Republic Commando aren't "forgotten" titles. They're titles which, as recently as 12 months ago in some cases, were being promoted as major, front-line titles. They're games I still get the urge to play on a regular basis. Hell, they're good. Many of these are among the later wave of X-Box titles which did so much to reclaim its credibility as a platform for games other than Halo. To still have these unplayable on the 360 is a farce.
    • It's more than a farce. It's an atrocity! Microsoft Xbox executives should be brought before the Hague! I can't find a single game in this entire list [xbox.com] worth playing, nor can I find an original Xbox anywhere! Unless every remaining Xbox game is added to the list immediately, I don't think we have any choice but to get the UN involved.
      • I can see 5 games on there that were quite good
        Halo
        Halo 2 (granted not revolutionary -- but well implemented and fun)
        Crimson Skies
        Ninja Gaiden (one of the best games ever made -- pure and simple)
        Tony Hawk 4
        Tony Hawk underground 2

        OK, so six

        Also,
        winning eleven soccer
        super monkey ball

        So, if you can't find anything that you would like, then that is your fault. There are 8 games that span quite a range of genres that were well implemented and fun to play. Some single player, some multiplayer. The only thing r
        • Note: I was being sarcastic (and can name more Xbox games there that I've enjoyed beyond the list you provided). It probably goes to show how the word "atrocity" has been diluted in recent years... :)
    • Re:I call bull (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Keeper (56691)
      Everyone expected Microsoft to announce that Halo, Halo2, and maybe half a dozen other games would be back-compat at launch. They delivered over 200. To me, that qualifies as exceeding expectations...
    • Re:I call bull (Score:3, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662)
      Hell, there are still major releases coming out for the X-Box which aren't compatible with the 360.

      This is what is puzzling me, wouldn't it be rather trivial to allow developers to compile their newly released games for XBox360 as well and then just ship both binaries on the same DVD, so that the game could run on XBox as well as XBox360 out of the box? This however doesn't seem to be the case, this is a comment from the developer of Dreamfall, a recently released XBox Title:

      Will it run on an xbox360 (

      • This is what is puzzling me, wouldn't it be rather trivial to allow developers to compile their newly released games for XBox360 as well and then just ship both binaries on the same DVD, so that the game could run on XBox as well as XBox360 out of the box?

        It's far from trivial. Different CPU and different GPU. It's like porting a Windows game to run on a Power Mac. Except harder, because there is bound to more low-level code-tweaking going on to optimise performance. Ports often take a few months and a

        • Re:I call bull (Score:4, Insightful)

          by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Thursday June 01, 2006 @07:27PM (#15449643) Homepage
          ### It's far from trivial. Different CPU and different GPU.

          Both architectures however are programable with DirectX, so unless you have something highly optimized for one architecture, it should be trivial to port via a simple recompile, especially when the porting is already taken into account right in the beginning. And even if there are differences in the API, it should be trivial for Microsoft to fix those. That 'porting' wouldn't be meant to create a full XBox360 version, but just a XBox version running on a XBox360, so I really don't see where there would be much difficulty involved.

          ### It's like porting a Windows game to run on a Power Mac.

          PowerMac doesn't have DirectX, but OpenGL, thats a whole different beast. Porting apps from PowerPC to IntelMac for example is simple, different arch, but same API, porting apps from IntelMac to Windows PC on the other side is extremly hard, same arch but very different API.
          • The trouble is that games do have low level optimisations that aren't trivial to port. And then there's the shader programs that would have to be rewritten for the different GPU.

            Even going from Power Mac to Intel Mac isn't trivial for complex programs. It's more then just a recompile for high-perfromance programs, particularly if they address hardware directly.
            • ### The trouble is that games do have low level optimisations that aren't trivial to port. And then there's the shader programs that would have to be rewritten for the different GPU.

              Microsoft has a emulator for running XBox games on XBox360, so whatever technique they used in that thing should be moveabel down into API space so that developers can make use of it. Or if all fails they could simply let the devolpers tweak the emulotar so that it will run their game *before* shipping it. However as it is now X
              • Emulators are not perfect. To perfectly emulated complex hardware is quite difficult. I imagine there are come concerns from Microsoft that it could lead to lower quality games for the 360, or less incentive for developers to make proper 360 games. And if the emulator was a late addition tot he 360 there may not have been time to turn it into a properly documented API for developers.

                An API would possibly have been nice for consumers, but I can understand Microsoft's decision to not do it.

                This is a strange.
    • Re:I call bull (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      What bothers me most is that Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, which I bought maybe a month before I bought my 360, I can't play on my 360.

      I don't really mind the 360 not being able to play titles like Panzer Dragoon Orta (as it was basically a release title for the original Xbox, IMO, it should be near last-priority), but it should *certainly* be able to play all original Xbox titles released *after* the 360 was released! If only to not confuse shoppers looking for new games.

      So now I can't pack up my old
  • What's with the comment about gamers not paying attention to older titles? Did Microsoft suddenly release them as freeware? No... so there's a regonizable commercial demand for them, yes?

    Some of my favorite titles took backwards compatibility to the next step - importability. Like with the old Might and Magic games you could import characters from the previous game. The sega genesis had a hardware piece that would let you play master system games on the newer 16 bit console. That's right folks - 20th
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @04:47PM (#15448535)
    XBox: Hacked.
    X360: Far from it.

    That's pretty much what it gets down to. A game company, facing the choice between releasing a game for a hacked (and "old") console or one for a new, unhacked, will release for the latter. For a few good reasons:

    Yes, there are fewer X360s than XBoxes around. But many people who have a 360 also have an XBox. I.e. they'll get it, whether it's for the X or the 360. If it's for the old X, they might get a copy instead of buying it. Can't do that for the 360.
  • Moore added, "More [updates] are coming, but at some point, you just go, there's enough, let's move on, or people aren't as worried about a game being backwards compatible - and I like to think we've upheld our end of the bargain in making at least two or maybe three hundred games backwards compatible."

    And this attitude is what is irritating me. There are some must play titles that are still not on the list. Some games are just cool to play and how corny is it to have to keep the old xbox hooked up to th

    • I agree, I don't think M$ have come anywhere near fulfilling their "end of the bargain" as Peter Moore put it. There's still loads of games that either don't work or have masses of slowdown, if M$ just dump the backwards compatibility I will be very pissed off.


  • The Xbox 360's selective backwards-compatibility is one of several reasons I chose not to invest in one. Sure, I can play Halo on my 360, but what if I want to play more obscure games like Otogi and JSRF? I have to haul out the Xbox.

    Seriously, everyone has a handful of older and less-well-known games in their collection that they like to come back to now and then, but having to haul an entire console out of storage and hooking it up to the TV is a hassle. Sony is aware of this and made the PS2/PS3 back
  • I see a lot of people trying to compare the backwards compatibility issues with the XBox to previous systems in previous generations, good thought, but it really isn't a practical comparison. Who cares if the SNES didn't have BC, yet was a huge success; at the time the SNES came out, there was no standard of backwards compatibility. Heck, there wasn't any standard as to what a "next generation system" was supposed to be, as it was the first HUGE second generation of any particular line of consoles. We only

  • Microsoft made a bad mistake by not ensuring full backwards compatibility. Firstly, because with the PS2 Sony has made it an expected feature. It pointless saying "Oh, the SNES never had it, and the N64 never had it", the fact is the PS2 *did*, and the PS3 and Wii will, so it's now a major factor in a console's viability.

    Secondly, because by positioning the 360 and original XBox as entirely separate consoles, they are now in a position of competing with themselves for marketshare. Whereas Sony were happy en

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