Xbox 360 backwards compatibility confirmed

Written by Wil Harris

May 20, 2005 | 14:08

Tags: #360 #backwards-compatibility #backwards-compatible #development-kit #xbox-360

Companies: #e3

The Xbox 360 will be backwards compatible with the Xbox, according to Microsoft.

However, current game titles will need to be 'recompiled' for the new hardware in the 360, the firm has told journos at E3.

Eurogamer has the scoop, and rightly questions just exactly what each recompile will involve.

Xbox games are written for Intel chips and Nvidia graphics, on a standard x86 architecture. The 360 is based on IBM PowerPC chips, and a next-gen ATI card. There will clearly have to be some substantial reworking done. Will there simply be a patch for each game, perhaps available over Live? How much work is needed to be done to each game to get it to run? The Microsoft statement that first on the list of titles to be compiled - note, not among the first, which would imply a quantity - are the Halo titles, rather indicates that it's quite a lot of work to get them done.

Whether or not we'll need to pay again for them is also unclear. We'd suggest that such a move would be a little suicidal.

Meanwhile, gamers have been expressing disappointment at the underwhelming nature of most of the Xbox 360 demo titles on display at the show. However, Anandtech has the reason : the games running at the show are running on current-generation development kits, comprised of Apple G5s and Radeon X800s. The actual hardware doesn't appear to be running in the public-facing area.

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