Author Topic: XBox 360 Backwards compatiblity confirmed!  (Read 2643 times)

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Offline mikeha

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XBox 360 Backwards compatiblity confirmed!
« on: May 17, 2005, 12:56:57 pm »

They said it will be backwards compatible with the "top selling XBox games" which either means they are covering themselves in case one obscure title doesn't work, or they mean it will only be compatible with certain selected titles. Probably the first, IMHO.

Offline UndeadScottsman

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Re: XBox 360 Backwards compatiblity confirmed!
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2005, 04:11:27 am »
There's two ways of doing backwards compatibility.  The first way is to put the hardware of the prior console into the new one. (The PS2 did this; there's actually the PS1 hardware inside of the PS2; same thing with the GBA.)  The PS3 seems to be going this route AFAIK.  The upside of this method is that it usually highly compatible with the past library.  The downside is that you have to include the older hardware, which in space saving conditions like the GBA, is kind of a drag.  IIRC, the PS1 hardware in the PS2 doubled as the Input/Output interface as well. :D  Good way to save space, I guess.  However, in the case of the 360, the Nvidia graphics card is basically owened by Nvidia to hte point where Microsoft can't really afford to stick a micro version of it into each 360. (You've seen the specs, they're going to be losing money on the console hand over fist.)

The other way to do backwards compatibility is through emulation.  Now if every game utilized the hardware of a console in exactly the same way, emulation would be an ideal solution (provided there's enough processing power to keep the speed adaquate), however this is rarely the case.  Basically when a console is first made, the developers usually stick to the included API's (Like DirectX for the Xbox), however as a console's life continues, the developers start rewriting the API to better utilize the hardware, coming up with hacks and tweaks that push the hardware to the limits.  Unfortunately, this means the you cannot guarrentee every game uses the hardware in exactly the same way, so an emulater has to either make provisions for these modifications, or it won't work with the game.  That requires going through each and every game to make sure it works with the emulator; and when they don't, finding out why and fixing it.  (Here's a link describing that in more detail.)  That's a time consuming process and pretty much unfeasible process for the Xbox 360's release window.  I would speculate that Microsoft finally decided to screw it and just make sure the emulator works with the games people would be most likely to use it with.  Obviously the Halo series will be amoung them, hopefully alongside the Team Ninja games.

If we're REALLY lucky, Microsoft will continue to update the emulator (If that IS how they're doing it) through Xbox Live in the future, increasing the list of games that are backwards compatible.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2005, 04:14:19 am by UndeadScottsman »

Offline syphonbyte

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Re: XBox 360 Backwards compatiblity confirmed!
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2005, 09:39:09 am »
Emulation seems like a logical choice, since the console is certainly powerful enough to emulate an Xbox. Although that would mean people would try to hack the emulator for use on PC.

I'm rooting for the emulator.