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Xbox 360 backward-compatibility requires HDD

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Nov 2005 18:16 User comments (49)

Xbox 360 backward-compatibility requires HDD Microsoft has finally given details on the "backward-compatibility" issue in question by many gamers who will be buying an Xbox 360 gaming console. It appears that Microsoft has chosen a "software" approach to allowing old Xbox games to be played on the 360. The bad point for many to-be Xbox 360 owners, is that you need to have a hard drive to play the old games (bad news for those who chose the cheaper package that doesn't contain the 20GB HDD). Microsoft will offer emulation software to Xbox live subscribers, through xbox.com as a CD image to burn or direct from the company on a CD.
Presumably the software is then installed on the hard drive (though Microsoft did not clarify on "installation"). It converts Intel x86 processor instructions from the original Xbox into their PowerPC equivalents. Microsoft has released a list of 212 games that will be backward compatible with the Xbox 360. You can read that list here. According to Todd Holmdahl, Corporate VP of the Microsoft's Xbox Product Group, the software will be updated as more Xbox games become certified as 360 compatible.

It is yet to be seen how gamers will take this approach to backward compatibility or if it will have any visible effects on sales. One of the major selling points of the PS2 when it was launched, was the backward-compatibility with old PlayStation games.

Sources:
The Register
Xbox.com (Game List)

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49 user comments

114.11.2005 20:00

Skrew Microsoft and Bill Gates

214.11.2005 20:42

Get a hold of that CD image, and we may be one step closer to using a hard drive of our choice.

314.11.2005 20:56

I am just glad we will be able to play old games. Pretty crappy that you can't use a disc though...

414.11.2005 21:11

presumably, if someone with a bit of knowledge could get a hold of that disk. they may be able to modify / or incorperate it into other software. to allow playing xbox backed up disks.

515.11.2005 1:21
mudearies
Inactive

' ' Microsoft will offer emulation software to Xbox live subscribers, through xbox.com as a CD image to burn or direct from the company on a CD. ' ' talking about emulation and haking and all that good stuff ,sweet. mudearies.

615.11.2005 1:31

Better this than nothing. I don't care if x360 supports old xbox games, because I won't be playing 'em.

715.11.2005 2:02

It's just a way for microsoft to make more money by selling more of the so-called "premium" packages. what a scam.

815.11.2005 2:07
Valor7
Inactive

If you dont buy the premium you shouldn't have bothered with a 360 anyways! Running a cd-r in a 360 after writing an image file to it......hmmmmmmm.....sounds like it could be made into an exploit! :)



915.11.2005 2:12

The CD will be signed. Any exploit at this level will be through save games. If you're not going to buy a premium package, then don't buy one. Buy a core for 299 then pay 99 for a 20 GB HD??? Screw that. I think the good news (atleast for fans) is that Halo and Halo 2 will be displayed in 720p and 1080i now...nice. The difference from composite to component 480i is noticable to all. And the differnece from 480i to 480p is also considerable. The games will look sweet. I will be playing xbox games for a LONG time to come...mainly because of my investment in modding...and also the fact that all the launch titles suck ass

1015.11.2005 2:33

Isn't this old news. They have been talking about there being an emulator since summer. This is why only some of the games were supposed to be compatible. A little late to be complaining now what's been out forever now.

1115.11.2005 3:15

the "boys are licking their chops for a chance to crack this baby! and now they have a starting point.

1215.11.2005 5:05

Quote:
It's just a way for microsoft to make more money by selling more of the so-called "premium" packages. what a scam.
Well you got this all wrong. Ms did this with software, because old xbox had nvidia's chip and new one has ati chip. If they had put that same nvidia chip to ensure that all old games would play on the new one, they would have to pay royalties to nvidia for every chip. They do have to pay royalties using this emulation software too, but it's much less than using that (and that chip would've cost too you know). Primary function of x360 is to run x360 games, so I find this whole backwards-compatibility unnecessary anyway. For example when I had ps2 I never played ps1 games with it. When concole generation changes, new games are usually made for both platforms. Which one are you going to buy, game for old platform, or for the new platform with hd-resolution and better looking textures etc. And about that "ms is ripping us off with premium x360!!". They made a low-end version of console, so it's easier for people to buy it, because it's 1/4 cheaper than the "premium" version. Later on they can upgrade their system with hdd if they want. We'll see if sony will make the same decision.

1315.11.2005 8:19

The original Xbox has a hard drive. To play the games in the new Xbox 360, it stands to reason that it would require a hard drive as well since the games are built looking for one. Granted, I'm not an xbox owner anymore so I don't know how the games utilize the drive, but it stands to reason that the 360 would require it as well.

1415.11.2005 12:17

Well I'm not getting a Xbox360 but i do have to admint the premimnum is a good deal and $300 is not a bad price for the lanch of a new console like the 360. I hope the PS3 wont have to use an hdd just to play ps2 and ps1 games. I hope someone gets a hold of that software and make it possible to have a perfect xbox emulator for pc or maybe make it possible to play xbox on ps3.

1515.11.2005 14:14

i'm not buying the 360 either but they said they are going to upgrade the software to make more games playable that sounds great. I played the 360 at a local store just now not bad. I played the kong demo, i didn't get the feel of it right away but the visuals were great and the extra shoulder buttons and the start and select buttons being in the middle made the control really easy to use.

1616.11.2005 3:04
Earlacey
Inactive

All I can say about this Xbox 360 and this hard drive B.S. is...MISTAKE! By making the hard drive optional they have forced developers to not necessarily take it to account when they make games. If there are a line of games that will require the HDD and those that will not Microsoft is already dividing their customers into separate camps. With gamers already in the Sony / Microsoft / Nitentdo camps all this will do is hurt Microsoft in the end. I mean they already pulled the HD-DVD drive they were boasting at the last minute. Probably just waiting to see what happens when the dust settles regarding Blue Ray of HD-DVD but that will just be on more "add on" you may have to purchase later. (Another use for the seemingly useless USB port on the system.) So anyone at Microsoft that reads this... Mistake...Mistake...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Nov 2005 @ 13:00

1716.11.2005 3:44

Quote:
By making the hard drive optional they have forced developers to not necessarily take it to account when they make games.
Well basically games use hard drive for game saves. The same problem is with ps2 then, you can't save without memorycard. You could buy a memorycard for x360 too, but it's 64mb and costs half less than the hard drive.

1817.11.2005 9:29

I played Call of Duty 2 at Wal-Mart, and I thought it was pretty good. Like when you throw smoke grenades, you can't see through it! On Black Hawk Down, you can see through the smoke grenades with your rifle scope, even while you go prone behind the smoke! lol. BHD is fun though, I think.

1917.11.2005 10:15

Yeah, call of duty 2 looks good, but it's not so good game. Started to play today and I already finished soviet campaign and went few missions on british campaign too. Just shooting dumb crouching enemies whole way through.

2017.11.2005 22:06

CoD2 takes place way back when, of course they're gonna be crouching! lol They probably say QUE!? at the word cover! :P

2118.11.2005 4:28
armyjon
Inactive

One Question they have MS flag ship Halo where is Lucas arts Battle Front I and II isn't that the latest cash cow i know i bought it and i also bought 360 the 600.00 package i'm ticked off Thanks Billie G

2218.11.2005 7:53

This software emulation, requiring an HDD, etc is a non-issue and just an excuse for some people to bitch about. The die-hard Xbox fan is far more likely to buy the HDD-equipped version of the 360 so what's the problem ?? The first-time Xbox buyer won't have old games to require backwards-compatibility and can get the non-HDD box.

2318.11.2005 8:31

The problem in your analysis is the non-"die-hard" fans of the xbox who would like to keep their old games (some which could be deemed classics) hanging around, and save some storage space (as well as some inputs on the tv) by having one system play both games types. (If you haven't noticed, the new 360 is bigger than the old one. I'm still trying to figure out how that works.) I am glad to see that they at least give us an option, although I'm not too fond of their methods.

2418.11.2005 11:53

I think it's part of the Microsoft Philosophy. They take a good thing in principe, something with great potential, and them screw it up in the end. I own an XBOX. I bought it because I thought (still think) it was a better piece of hardware than Sony's. Now, if Bill Gates keeps screwing his fan base (so to speak), he'll be digging his grave in the gaming field. If I ever buyanother console, it's not going to be Microsoft built.

2518.11.2005 12:54
Reasons?
Inactive

That is obvious, so many people could have told you that a year ago. We've known for ever the architectures were different and emulation if required. Who else here knew when they first announced IBM was doing the cpu? I hope someone else did.

2619.11.2005 0:03

Well I think that ps3 has to emulate ps2 games too. Unless they include that old ps2 chip in ps3 (like there was ps1 chip in ps2). But I doubt that they will not include it, because it would make ps3 cost even more (it will cost more than x360 anyway).

2719.11.2005 7:31
Reasons?
Inactive

Don't jump to conclusions, all we know is Sony plans for full compatibility to PS1 and PS2. It would be in their best economic interests to do what Microsoft is doing, if I made the desicion, it would be the one MS made.

2819.11.2005 10:13

Quote:
Don't jump to conclusions, all we know is Sony plans for full compatibility to PS1 and PS2.
Yeah, I shouldn't. But if Sony plans to sell ps3 with 600$ or something like that, then I say screw the backwards compatibility. Although that was just the thing that made ps2 popular, but that matter is different now. MS made some cuts (like no hd-dvd drive) and ps3 has a bluray drive. We're going to see that in ps3's price.

2919.11.2005 13:56

yea true. I don't really care about ps1 games. The only one i used to play on my ps2 is metal gear solid. But i think they should add ps2 compatibility.

3019.11.2005 18:31

Didn't the PS2 emulate the PS1 and not have a PS1 chip inside it?

3119.11.2005 19:11

yep and the same will happen with the PS3

3220.11.2005 4:03

Quote:
Didn't the PS2 emulate the PS1 and not have a PS1 chip inside it?
Emulation was hard to make, so they just included ps1 chip in ps2. So ms is first do this with emulator. And if sony doesn't do it, then next will be revolution.

3320.11.2005 11:05
Reasons?
Inactive

Sony is shooting for $400 for the barebones system, the PS3, cables, wired controller. It is very reasonable and they will be losing much more money than MS is losing on the 360.

3420.11.2005 11:17

Quote:
they will be losing much more money than MS is losing on the 360
Yeah, and 360 will be cheaper when ps3 launches. It's going to be hard time to sony, but ps3 is far more anticipated console than 360. So it will not be likely that ps3 will sell alright. And about that backwards compatibility... Microsoft decision has an clear advantage. Old xbox games (those which will even run) will run with better graphics. Like we saw with ps2 (which had ps1 chip included), ps1 games ran with same crappy graphics that they run on the original ps1 games.

3520.11.2005 13:32

$400 is a lot of money you could do a lot of stuff for that much money not to mention the $60 for the game plus tax damn thats just too much money I think I won't buy more than one console this time around at least not right now. $400 to have fun I think I'll just go out and play basketball with my buddies.

3620.11.2005 15:15

Last I recall, Sony originally had the ps1 hardware in the ps2, yes, but then switched to an emulator solution once they found it viable and more cost effective. (Some games I do believe were at one time not compatible with it, and could possibly be the case for the xbox emulator on the 360 as well.) I could be wrong, but that's the last I heard of the story.

3721.11.2005 4:45
Reasons?
Inactive

The stakes will always get higher because mor ean dmore poeple are interested in gameing now, and want to, and will pay for, serious performance during the five years the console is around. Think about this though, $300 for a 3 core 3.2GHz power pc CPU, that alone stomps the top $1000 CPUs on the market today. It is a very good deal, they are losing money, not making $960 in profit like is made on $1000 CPUs. You heard me, manufacturing costs of a CPU is $40 to $60, they just charge what you will pay. And $400 for the cell is extremely good, you're looking at a new architecture capable of handling 9-10 threads at a time, and is designed very well for massive CPU networking and resource sharing. It's revolutionary, and should be a big hit for Scientific purposes that will put ten of them together without payign a supercomputer price.

3821.11.2005 6:27

I'd really like to see a game use 9-10 threads. I would like to see just about anything (a single program, not an os) use 9-10 threads (and really makes good use of all of the threads). I know someone will find something for me... "massive CPU networking and resource sharing"? Although I do recall the cell going to be used in other devices, how do those advancements affect gaming? If you don't mind, I'd like to know what you mean by cpu networking, are you talking about something like resource distribution like folding@home or the like? How does it benefit gaming on a gaming machine? Anyways, isn't the technology involved in the new gpus coming out in the ATI R580? That's (supposedly) not too far away. Just give processors time, and you use a "standard" processor for much more than just gaming. (Well, at least I do. :) ) Alas, your argument does have relevance though. Speaking of which, I think it'll be interesting to see how some of the new games on the 360 stack up to the PC versions. (After all, the 360 should be better, right? :) ) Somewhat off-topic: I thought the 360 pre-release demo of Call of Duty 2 somewhat unimpressive myself. It just looked unpolished. I expect more from a demo; don't show what you're not finished with. Strong policy, I know. (I thought the king kong demo was pretty impressive though, and I'd like to see what it's like on the other systems.)

3921.11.2005 7:40

I played Call of Duty 2 in 360 as well, and wasn't particulary impressed. I've seen it run better on PC's. Expensive PC's though. I'm a PS2 Owner, one of the very firsts when it came out, and I'm considering to buy the 360 if the PS3 price is too high. I believe that a next generation console for $299 is a great deal, but I won't make the mistake I made when I bought the PS2. This time I'll wait to see and test both systems to choose the best and let the price lower a bit as well. Hopefully, by then the better games will arrive. Most current XBOX 360 titles suck. As for backward compatibility, I kind of look forward for it on the 360, since I didn't had an XBOX and couldn't play most of the old games. But not too much. For the PS3 I don't care, since I have 2 PS2's at home and I won't be playing any old titles that I already played.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Nov 2005 @ 8:14

Razengan!!!

4021.11.2005 7:59
Reasons?
Inactive

Gaming you now see may not e multi-threaded, but the PS3 and the cell are for more than just games. The PS3 will run linux, a plus for me, I will take full advantage of Linux on a 9 thread CPU. Gaming in the future, which happens to be these consoles, will utilize individual threads for sound, graphics, physics, etc. Eveyrthign your CPU and GPU handles now will be divided up to increase what they can do with the game. The 5.1 surrond on the xbox 360 is likely optimized ot run on it's own thread. You get my drift?


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

4122.11.2005 6:23

Just as long as they can handle the deadlock and other possible conflicts, I'm all cool with that. :) Just think, they could even run multiple versions of their ps2/xbox emulator on the ps3/360! (Oh, wait, there's only one drive, oh well, there goes my grand vision. :) )

4223.11.2005 15:00
Reasons?
Inactive

I got two premium packages, and here is a super short summation- Very Loud, Very Very Hot after 20 minutes, this whole thing is a vent the top the bottome the sides and the back, except for the pretty front. And it still gets blistering hot. The Power Supply more than doubles the weight and is probably just as big in volume, just thicker and more rectangular. It's cords weren't long enough to make it from it's position in my rack mount A/V system to the power supply, I had to move the power supply which wasn't far away. The high def cables were plenty long. The protective stickers over the crome left a strange residue that still haven't come off with Goo-Gone, I am just going to srape it with something that won't damage the crome. Hard drive capacity when formatted and leaving room for drive caching in game, is 12GB, that's an 8GB loss. It blew me away. Loading times were ridiculous for a next gen console, it took about 30-45 seconds, but this is including the very valuabled drive caching. The overall construction is very cheap, the plastic flexes and opens the joints uncomfortably for me who prefers this system says it'll last five years. NOT IMPRESSED, the cheap construction and HIGH HIGH build up of heat scare the hell out of me. The wireless adaptor to play Xbox live is not built in like the spec sheet CLEARLY STATED, go look. It pissed me off, it's an extra $100 USB device. All the serious dissapointments aside, gameplay is beautiful and AMAZINGLY detailed, damn it's o sweet. The control feels ooo good too, i love it. That's all I got for the good things though. Overall, if you are getting only one system, I'd wait for PS3. I have a bad feeling about this one, and it definitely didn't impress like it should have. The graphics on Perfect dark Zero Weren't up to snuff as the call of duty 2 demo displayed. But don't get me wrong I will not touch PS2 and Xbox again, this thing is such a breathe of fresh air. Questions anyone? I have Perfect Dark and two premiums, and I'd be glad to answer them. Or someone post me a link to a thread that has this topic.


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

4323.11.2005 15:26

I wonder if rubbing alcohol would help at all? Not sure about the reactions if you were to use it though, I know if you were to use it on your cars paint it'd mess it up royally. I'd make a HUGE complaint about the wrieless adapter that was supposed to be there. Perfect Dark Zero and Call of Duty 2 looks so fun, how was it like?



4423.11.2005 19:22
Reasons?
Inactive

Perfect Dark Zero doesn't really have a solid story line, but it is there. Gameplay is fin, very addicting and worth it, it may be because it's my first game for it though. I'm not going to put any more chemicals/liquids to it, when i feel like I scrape it off with discretion.


Fanboy is a term used to describe someone who is utterly devoted to a single subject. This generally is followed by the devotion and support even when proved wrong.

Anecdotal, by my definition, it's the way too many people here think. It's also all the evidence you have.

Xbox 360 GT: NEGATIVE 273K

My advice: Wait for PS3.

4524.11.2005 11:50

i dont care about the backword capatable soon there going to stop selling the xbox and ps2 games its a matter of time before xbox and ps2 games gets sent out to goodwell for 25cent a game lololololol

4625.11.2005 12:29

Please Advise arcanix & Reasons?: My Sony Viao has an 845GV w./64MB dynamically shared memory Graphics card. Would either one of you (or both) want to recommend an upgrade (as well as Audio card), $ amount to upgrade my Vaio? ALSO, what do you two have to say about Alien Ware gaming P.C.'s? I've been kind of eye-balling those rather than upgrading mine, but boy are those pricey! I like your discussions & any input you two would share would be GREATLY appreciated. You might be able to tell that I am still just a novice & humbled by your knowledge.

4725.11.2005 21:11
Reasons?
Inactive

Is your Vaio a Desktop or Laptop, I'm not familar with the brand specifically. And is you can figure out what slot your card goes in whether AGP or PCI-E or if it's embedded.

4829.10.2006 16:31

has any1 done this update and was it worth it i seen someone on ebay selling the disc to upgrade for 5 but i was wondering is it free to download.

498.12.2008 16:59

Thank you most kindly for your response Reasons?. I recently built my own P.C. from the box to the motherboard. My Vaio's back up & running as a back-up (my Wifey's P.C. now). Don't need any other input there.

But thanks again for posting.

-Lone Wolf

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