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Microsoft Dismisses Xbox Backwards Compatibility

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the look-back-move-forward dept.

146

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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it was a priority until they sold some (3, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15447938)

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

Re:it was a priority until they sold some (2, Insightful)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15447988)

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.

Re:it was a priority until they sold some (1, Flamebait)

kukyfrope (889948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448694)

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 Xbox? Developers are mostly sticking by the safe bet of what was successful on Xbox and not branching out into other types of games for fear of alienating their fanboys.

So no wonder Xbox gamers shouldn't care about previous generation of games for their system, the developers are just making flashier graphics for the new versions of the same games so consumers can pay $60/game and $300+ a system to play essentially the SAME GAME again in better graphics.

Why not address the real issue here, Peter, and stop generalizing your company's fanboys with the entire rest of the world of video game players.

Re:it was a priority until they sold some (1)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449367)

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 360, they're going to start wanting to play some titles from their "legacy" collection without having to maintain seperate hardware.

It's a tough call, though. Nintendo and Sega did it for years. Sony was the first one to get it right (although the Game Boy has had some level of backward compatibility)

My big beef is that for the games that are backwards compatible, there's no way to transfer your saved games over from Xbox Vanilla to Xbox 360.

In other words.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15447964)

...count the number of Xbox 1 titles you own, multiply that by around $50, and multiply the result by "PWN3D!"

Re:In other words.. (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448151)

Because all Xboxes magically disappeared the day the 360 came out.

The SNES didn't play NES games, and it wasn't the end of the world. Why? Because everyone who had NES games.... also had an NES.

Re:In other words.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448277)

No, but hard drives in Xboxes are magically starting to fail.

The console's been out for almost five years, so we're nearing the MTBF on the hard drives, and the hard drive locking [xbox-linux.org] makes them nontrivial to replace.

I've got a fifteen-year-old SNES that still works (aside from my having to replace a broken power jack). How many XBoxes are going to have a fifteen-year lifespan?

Re:In other words.. (1, Interesting)

emmetropia (527623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448327)

I'd done some research and I would like to think I know what i'm talking about. I did a study of the hardware in most consoles, and their average lifespan. According to the twelve theorem, which states the following:

Twelve.

I am lead to believe that the answer to your question is: twelve.

Re:In other words.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448909)

Troll? What? That's funny as hell!

Re:In other words.. (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448385)

I think milestones were set by Sony when they built what was essentially a stripped-down PS1 into the PS2, and Nintendo with its endless chain of GB upgrades. Being able to use those towering stacks of old games on the new machine - with optional upgrades, even! - is a damn neat feature that is going to sway some of the consumers nowadays.

Re:In other words.. (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448478)

You can't play any GB game older than GBA on the DS. I believe you can ONLY play GBA games on the GBA Micro.

Is the PS3 fully compatible with the PS1/2? I had heard it wasn't going to be.

Re:In other words.. (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448521)

not 100%. the only games the guaranteed would be playable are games that abided by sonys requirement sheet. so a handful of games that resorted to obscure programming tricks not officially supported by sony may have more glitches than normal, or may not play at all. backwards compatibility is going to be the same as it was for the ps1 on the ps2 basically. [that is what i heard in a interview w. sony, so take it with a grain of salt...]

Goomba Color (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448928)

You can't play any GB game older than GBA on the DS.

O RLY? [pocketheaven.com]

Re:Goomba Color (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449333)

Okay, I guess I should have said that "You can't play any GB game older than GBA on the DS... unless you modify your DS or get some sort of homebrew add on." But c'mon, that's a little ridiculous. Also judging from the page you linked, it's not completely compatible, even with that.

Re:Goomba Color (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449406)

But c'mon, [Goomba Color is] a little ridiculous.

It's less ridiculous than trying to emulate previous systems on an Xbox. Homebrew on the GBA or Nintendo DS is a lot easier to get working than homebrew on the Xbox, given the completely external modification (MAX Media Launcher + SuperCard vs. hoping you get a 1.0 version of MechAssault, which has the exploit, and not the corrected version) and the more legit compiler (devkitARM vs. pirated XDK).

Also judging from the page you linked, it's not completely compatible, even with that.

Neither is the silver slim PS2 "completely compatible" with PS1 games. Nor is the PS3 expected to be compatible with any PS1 or PS2 games that use a custom controller, such as Time Crisis series or Dance Dance Revolution series.

Re:In other words.. (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448511)

Endless chain? The chain kinda ended, actually.... GBA Micro won't play GBC and lower. Likewise with DS. I predict anything after DS won't play GBA. DS compatibility is suspect also, unless the next step just uses the same (Basic) form factor cartridge. (Maybe have some little thing on the side that's just to prevent it from being inserted into a DS).

Re:In other words.. (2, Informative)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448505)

The console's been out for almost five years, so we're nearing the MTBF on the hard drives, and the hard drive locking makes them nontrivial to replace.

I have a friend who replaces Xbox hard drives and other parts for parts+$20/hour. It can't be that hard to do. Besides, they still sell Xboxes, if you are that hard up for one. True, they won't in 10-15 years, but by then, I really doubt people will care that much. Also by then, most of the games will be available as downloads for whatever consoles are the succesors of this current gen.

Re:In other words.. (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449453)

--Can you post your friend's contact info? (Mebbe in your profile / blog for those of us who might be interested?)

Re:In other words.. (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449404)

Plus, many of the Xboxes came with Thompson DVD drives, which are horrible and have stopped working right.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15447984)

Hmm ok.

your mom humps on my dad .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15447986)

http://example.com/ [example.com] will auto-link a URL

Backward compatibility is very important... (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448003)

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.

Lack of Backward compatibility is important to MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448203)

I think the lack of backward compatability has always been important to Wintel computers. I've got a bunch of devices (printers, cards, etc) that are Windows 95/98 only, some of which worked with 2000, and most of which don't work with XP. I expect most of my hardware won't work with Vista.

I don't think there's any technical reason for this (seems the debian guys keep supporting them in the newest releases; so you can't say MSFT doesn't have the resources) -- so I think it's a deliberate strategy, where Microsoft and it's partners plan the end-of-life for products just to make people upgrade.

In this case, I think they're hoping people have to buy the Xbox360 version of the game they already have for the XBox - and everyone wins except the consumer.

Re:Backward compatibility is very important... (4, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

halo two (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448657)

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 cousins who don't take care of CDs can be a female dog, no?

the only way (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448008)

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.

Re:the only way (1)

va.va_va.va (973230) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448568)

Amen.

Let's review (3, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448036)

  • 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 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448066)

SNES: Huge Success
Sega MegaDrive/Genesis: Huge Success
NES: Huge Success

Re:Let's review (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448117)

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.

Re:Let's review (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448553)

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.

Re:Let's review (1)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449480)

Hey! I liked the 5200 controller. Although I wish I'd had just one game that used the freakin' number pad.

I was also six. I didn't know any better.

Re:Let's review (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449872)

And don't forget everyone's favorite brick, the original Game Boy! 3

Re:Let's review (4, Informative)

l3prador (700532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448134)

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.

From the 360 web site... (3, Informative)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448826)

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.

Re:From the 360 web site... (1)

l3prador (700532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448929)

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 every game to be compatible, but I don't think that's the same as promising that they will make it so. I mean the whole action of publishing a list is making it clear that many games are not compatible, and that there are no promises that they ever will be.

Re:Let's review (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448146)

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.

Re:Let's review (1)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448241)

You're forgetting about the 7800, and the add-ons for the 5200 and Colecovision

Re:Let's review (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448470)

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.

Re:Let's review (2, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448396)

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.

Re:Let's review (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448510)

>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.

Re:Let's review (1)

JuliaNZ (17473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448913)

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.

Re:Let's review (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449459)

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.

I hope they continue (1)

cyborat (718885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448038)

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 dough for the titles they bought in the old day? If their old XBox dies, are they supposed to just throw 'em out the window? Hopefully they'll keep moving full steam, to try to reach the goal of making all (or most all) of the old titles have a profile for download.

Microsoft knows best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448041)

My guess is that they simply looked at the stats on XBox Live to see how many systems are being used to play non-360 games. It must be a rather low number, otherwise Moore wouldn't be making such bold statements.

On the other hand, people who have the 360 may not have owned the original XBox or its games, so the data might be a bit skewed. However, this is not whom Moore is addressing here.

Re:Microsoft knows best (1)

qodfathr (255387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448454)

Hun? But if the 360 CANNOT play those games, then the stats are going to be low, no?

In fairness, I understand your point w.r.t. the games that DO work. For my part, I've tried to put in some solid time with some of my original Xbox games in the hopes that XBL will 'see' this and convince them to continue to work on more back compat.

Re:Microsoft knows best (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449529)

I've spent as much time playing Spyro: Dragon's Tail as I have playing Dead or Alive 4. The difference is that DoA is Live-aware, and Spyro is not... so there's no way to collect ratings data from it.

Unless next time I connect to Live, they send which save-games I have over the wire and construct ratings data from that.

You youngins and your backwards compatibility (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448051)

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!

Re:You youngins and your backwards compatibility (1)

Vanigard_Man (884763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448201)

Although I do distinctly remember a special adapter cartridge that one could get to play NES games on a SNES. (it was made 3rd party by a company super eight, reference: ahref=http://www.emulationstation.com/systemlist.a sp?ID=15/rel=url2html-19958 [slashdot.org] http://www.emulationsta tion.com/systemlist.asp?ID=15/>

Re:You youngins and your backwards compatibility (1)

Vanigard_Man (884763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448215)

fixed link Although I do distinctly remember a special adapter cartridge that one could get to play NES games on a SNES. (it was made 3rd party by a company super eight, reference: http://www.emulationstation.com/systemlist.asp?ID= 15/ [emulationstation.com]

Backwards Compatibility Can Be A Problem... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448052)

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 to make sure they are going to be developing games the fully use its capabilites.

Re:Backwards Compatibility Can Be A Problem... (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448142)

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 been dropped.

Re:Backwards Compatibility Can Be A Problem... (1)

CarnivoreMan (827905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449082)

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.

Good move on their part (4, Informative)

Jorkapp (684095) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Good move on their part (1, Insightful)

ScislaC (827506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448152)

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.

Re:Good move on their part (2, Insightful)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448268)

"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.

Re:Good move on their part (2, Informative)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448423)

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.

Re:Good move on their part (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448730)

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 exceptions were tilt sensor games and a few GBA titles that relied on full-motion video, where the publisher didn't want people videotaping the FMVs.) The unofficial GBA Movie Player accessory [movieadvance.com] combined with the Game Boy Player to emulate hundreds of NES games in PocketNES.

Re:Good move on their part (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448864)

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's great. It's how I played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. That said, I still don't consider my GBP-enabled Gamecube in any way "backward compatible."

Re:Good move on their part (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448886)

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.

Re:Good move on their part (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448949)

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).

Emulators on GBA vs. on Xbox (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449119)

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 carrying modchips but still proudly carries the GBAMP.
  • You don't need to download an illegal copy of anything comparable to the XDK to compile emulators or other homebrew. You just need GCC for ARM architecture [devkitpro.org] .

Re:Good move on their part (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448823)

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.

Re:Good move on their part (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448283)

(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.

Re:Good move on their part (2, Informative)

antime (739998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448359)

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)?

Re:Good move on their part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448501)

Why not? A PS1 can almost fit into a $2 FPGA.

Re:Good move on their part (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448489)

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 compiled for a MIPS CPU to run on the Cell? Will compatibility be limited to selected titles as Microsoft as done, or will the older hardware be completely emulated on the new hardware (possible for PSX, unlikely for PS2)? Or will there be no backwards compatibility to speak of?

Sony themselves have been very quiet on the issue. I can't say I blame them, as they seem to be running out of toes to shoot off.

Re:Good move on their part (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448547)

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 other stuff are not directly compatible.)

Re:Good move on their part (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449325)

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 software emulation, as legacy hardware doesn't seem to be included.

But back to my point about pulling a Nintendo, let's talk about the GBA and NDS. The GBA is very different from the GB or GBC... how was backward compatibility maintained? By creating a special cart reader that would read all the carts, and including the CPU from the GBC in the GBA. The GBC CPU isn't normally used, and there's a hardware switch inside the cart reader that will activate the power to the right CPU based on cartridge size. How does the NDS do it? Well, they included an entirely seperate cartridge reader for GBA games, and included a GBA CPU. The GBA CPU is actually used for NDS specific stuff, such as sound, input, wireless, etc. when a NDS game is selected, but disables the ARM9 (NDS primary CPU) when a GBA game is selected.

So... no, Microsoft is pulling a Microsoft. Rather than include legacy hardware or write a proper emulator, they are just saying that they did a good job and patting themselves on the back.

Easy to say... (4, Insightful)

freshman_a (136603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448089)


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.

That's some nerve... (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

Slugburn (862526) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Who really thinks the PS3 will be %100 compatible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448156)


The ps2 managed this by putting a ps1 in as the sound chip.

It's new hardware this time and the ps2 hasn't shrunk enough to put on a chip
so there must be a fair bit of emulation going on.

Anyone have any solid knowledge about this?

Re:Who really thinks the PS3 will be %100 compatib (1)

rikkitikki (91982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448598)

They have the cpu (EE) and graphics portions (GS) combined on a chip.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_2 [wikipedia.org]

They could slap that into a PS3 and emulate the rest. Backwards compatability won't be as big of a problem on the PS3 as it is on the 360.

Re:Who really thinks the PS3 will be %100 compatib (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449305)


And have they?

I call bull (4, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448165)

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.

Re:I call bull (0)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448480)

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.

Re:I call bull (1)

VendingMenace (613279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448804)

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 really missing is a good RPG and if that is what you are after, then why are you even looking at the XBOX list??

Re:I call bull (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448904)

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 (2, Insightful)

Keeper (56691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448556)

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...

why buy burnout 360 if you can play burnout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448707)

Not really in their interest to get BC working for that particular title...

Re:I call bull (2, Interesting)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448896)

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 (emulated xbox) ?

Not for the time being, no. Microsoft alone makes the call whether or not to support a game through emulation, and if so, they'll issue a patch for download at a later stage. I hope they do, of course, but we have absolutely no say in that decision. They're good people, and they like the game, so maybe we'll get lucky. Fingers crossed.

http://ragnartornquist.com/?p=145 [ragnartornquist.com]

This really doesn't look like Microsoft has much of a plan on how to handle their backward compatibility properly when not even the developers themself have any say in XBox360 compatibilty.

Re:I call bull (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449567)

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 fair bit of money.

Actually, I suppose developing for PS2 and Xbox would be a better comparison. It's more than just a recompile to get it working on both consoles.

Re:I call bull (3, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449643)

### 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.

Re:I call bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448947)

Panzer Dragoon Orta

Thanks, before I'll buy any console, I want to have 3 games that I want to play on that console, and I was using that as one of the reasons to get a 360. Now I can save my money a little bit longer.

Or maybe I'll buy a used xbox cheap.

Re:I call bull (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449432)

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 Xbox until they either add PoP: TT support, or I beat the game. Annoying.

That said, Panzer Dragoon Orta is an *awesome* game, and I wouldn't mind seeing it in 360-style HDTV or playing through it at least once more.

What the hell are they thinking? (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448298)

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 century technology. And it didn't cost 600 bucks either.

Sadly, this, like Vista (also suffering compatibility issues), would rather see you purchase new titles than allow you to enjoy your old ones.

If Microsoft ran an MMO, all your armor would break every time you gained a level.

Pretty much the XBox 360 philosophy in a nutshell (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448460)

This is pretty typical. The XBox 360 marketing push seems to be all about, "if we messed it up, it wasn't important anyway".

Backward Compatibility, which the Wii and PS3 have and the XBox 360 doesn't: Not important, gamers didn't really want it anyway.

A tilt sensing controller, which the Wii and PS3 have and the XBox 360 doesn't: Not important, gamers didn't really want it anyway.

Free online, which the Wii and PS3 have and the XBox 360 doesn't: Not important, gamers didn't really want it anyway.

1020p, which the PS3 has and the XBox 360 doesn't: Not important, gamers didn't really want it anyway.

An HD-DVD/Bluray drive, which the PS3 has and the XBox 360 doesn't: Not important, gamers didn't really want it anyway.

But:

HDTV video, which the XBox 360 has and the Wii doesn't: Something gamers need!

Fancy nerd-porn graphics with lots of cores and shaders, which the XBox 360 has and the Wii doesn't: Something gamers need!

And of course, let's not forget that invisible line that separates $400 (A reasonable price!) from $500 (extortion).

Apparently it's easier to try to convince gamers they didn't want a feature, than it would have been to get that feature right in the first place.

Re:Pretty much the XBox 360 philosophy in a nutshe (1)

aiken_d (127097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448820)

Er, what do you think MS bases their decisions on, if not their beliefs about what gamers want? Do you think that somewhere in MS headquarters, someone is cackling with glee, saying "Wow, 1080P is really important to gamers, but we're not going to offer it just out of SPITE!"?

I guess I just don't see the (implied) incompetence or evil intent. If they thought something was important, they'd do it, no? And if they don't do something, presumably that means that they don't think it's important (enough) to gamers. They may be wrong, and the market will show if that's the case, but it sounds like you're trying to cast MS as somehow in the wrong about basic product design decisions that they have absolutely no incentive to be wrong about.

-b

Re:Pretty much the XBox 360 philosophy in a nutshe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449126)

Er, what do you think MS bases their decisions on, if not their beliefs about what gamers want?

Personally?

I think MS based their decisions with the XBox 360 on a desperate, obsessive desire to beat Sony to market, overriding all other concerns.

I think if Microsoft had been willing to ship the XBox 360 in Q4 2006 instead of rushing themselves, the XBox 360 would have been a very different system indeed.

They may be wrong, and the market will show if that's the case

This is in fact exactly what I personally believe will happen.

Re:Pretty much the XBox 360 philosophy in a nutshe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15449120)

Wow, sounds a lot like Nintendo with the Gamecube.

Weak third party support: that's okay, gamers want First Party Nintendo games.

No Online Support: that's okay, gamers don't want online

No Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound: that's okay, gamers don't want 5.1

And for the Wii -

No HD support: that's okay, gamers don't care about hi-def

No, what gamers wanted was GBA connectivity to the Gamecube (which I find hilarious that Sony is going to do with the PSP), Luigi, and Kirby games, and the ever important and innovative eReader! pardon me if my faith in Nintendo is not at an all time high.

Also, you fail to mention that the online models for Wii and PS3 haven't been released yet. Yes, they say they're free, but how much will you have to pay for NES games, how many games will be online enabled, etc... You don't think Sony is going to charge for things in it's online store?

What about Xbox Live Silver? Gamers do get free time (too much if you ask me). Xbox Live is well worth the money. You have centralized servers, one gamertag, everything is connected. I know if a friend is playing UNO - and I know this while I'm playing GRAW. I don't have to remember myriad usernames and passwords, I don't have to deal with as many kids acting like fools, because they will get banned, rather than just creating a new user ID.

Have you tried the DS Wifi multiplayer (which Nintendo says the Wii online will be based on)? Yeah, I know I like to keep track of a friend code more reminiscient of a Kid Icarus save code.

1080P? How many televisions currently support it? It's not even a standard for goodness sake!

Blu-Ray? Again, not a standard. With the impending format war, I'd rather decide which to go to, rather than having the choice made for me. Take Blu-Ray out of the PS3, and you may have an affordable system.

Backwards Compatibility? Advantage Sony - they've done admirably in this department, but then again, until the PS3 is released, it's unproven. Do you think Nintendo is going to have every NES, SNES, N64 game playable on day 1? It was my hope, and MSFT's expectation (from E305) that eventually, Xbox games would include the emulation for the 360. It hasn't panned out yet.

And tilt sensing controller? Unproven yet again. Let's see it in action, see if it actually adds to gameplay instead of feeling like a gimmick. Yes, people are excited about it, but I remember the PowerGlove being all the rage for a short time, and people were pretty stoked about the Virtual Boy too.

I know it's fashionable to pound MSFT for everything they say or do, but what business doesn't put a spin on their product's highlights and shortcomings?

Re:Pretty much the XBox 360 philosophy in a nutshe (0, Flamebait)

SSCGWLB (956147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449121)

AC (aka Moron), in cased you haven't neither the PS3 nor the Wii has been released. Currently, its vaporware, which is easy to pump up. Its a bit early to assert they have free online or '%100 backwards computability'. That might be the claim, but Sony has occasionally lied before.... Given the wildly divergent architecture and hardware, I would bet a tidy sum that many games will not be playable. Also, blu-ray is not needed for today's games. If you can fit Oblivion on a DVD, the space crunch is over-hyped.

~nate

Re:Pretty much the XBox 360 philosophy in a nutshe (1)

Twisted64 (837490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449520)

In discussing what the consoles have or don't have, let's not forget what we, the consumers have. We have... the Xbox 360. Until the other consoles come out, they might as well not have anything. All Microsoft is competing against at the moment is ideas.

They can do that for a simple reason (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:They can do that for a simple reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448787)

As far as I know, the firmware on the drive has been hacked so you can play backups but no homebrew, yet.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15448853)

XBox: Hacked
XBox 360: Hacked [google.com]

Swing and a pop fly (2, Insightful)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 8 years ago | (#15448681)

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 the set along with the new one. Sony spoiled me. At least I know I am spoiled though.

Re:Swing and a pop fly (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449443)

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.

Wrong...backwards-compatibility is important (2, Interesting)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 8 years ago | (#15449600)



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 backwards-compatible with all games, and have done the best job of it out of all of the major consoles. Nintendo is sensitive to retro-gamers to a lesser extent (it's not just a coincidense that the SNES, N64, and GameCube all have the exact same RCA cable/plug,) and now the Wii will be able to play GameCube games and will introduce the virtual console. Microsoft missed the boat on this one--backwards-compatibility is an extremely convenient feature, and the way it's been halfassed on the 360 is next to worthless compared to what the competition is offering.

I'm going to be entering college in the fall and living in a dorm room with 1-2 other guys. Obviously, space is commodity, and backwards-compatibility saves space. Is backwards-compatibility a make-or-break feature? No, but it's still part of the whole, and in my view, it demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to Xbox owners is limited to those who only bought topselling games.

Sorry Microsoft, your unenthusiastic attitude towards backwards compatibility is another decision that's tipping the scales against the 360.
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