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E3 XBox (Games) Role Playing (Games)

Xbox 360 Gets Backwards Compatible, Final Fantasy 455

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-raining-good-news dept.
databeam writes "The official Xbox 360 press conference was Monday evening, and an AP article has news that the 360 is backwards compatible, and that Square Enix will be releasing Final Fantasy XI for the console." Coverage also available at Gamespot. From the article: "Along with a firm release date and price point, the other big question surrounding the 360 was backward compatibility with the library of games from the original Xbox. Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer in the Home and Entertainment Division at Microsoft, made Xbox fans around the world happy when he announced that the 360 will indeed play Xbox games." Mostly. Gamasutra points out that backwards compatibility will be selective, with most but not all of the top selling games supported. Kotaku and the Guardian Gamesblog have firsthand accounts from the event, and to watch the conference for yourself Xbox.com has the footage. Update: 05/18 20:49 GMT by Z : Of course, not all the people there were people, if you catch my meaning.
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Xbox 360 Gets Backwards Compatible, Final Fantasy

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  • The heat is on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mister Impressive (875697) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:58AM (#12554428)
    ... now that both of the 2 fully announced consoles have their predecessors games to back them up, I feel it's actually a fair competition on which console has the games that people want.
    • Damnit, I was in a hurry after the good news. Let me rephrase.

      I feel now it's more or less a level playing field, where now it will boil down to which has the better _new_ games designed for that console.
    • The heat is on but PS3 has more power. If it is harnessed then there is more potential....

      Comparison from PS3 Post [slashdot.org]
    • Fun with emulation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Deathlizard (115856) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:23AM (#12554806) Homepage Journal
      Actually, with the amount of power these new consoles sport, they could easily have their predecessors, as well as their Competitor's predecessors games to back them up.

      Both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have more than enough horsepower to emulate not only their own previous consoles, but also each others previous consoles. the only thing that would stop them would be licencing issues, and the PS3 would have the edge since Nvidia is their partner and they designed half of the previous Xbox, which was based on a standard X86 PC to begin with. The only thing that would stop them is the Bios and the Xbox OS.
      • The only thing that would stop them is the Bios and the Xbox OS.
        (Emphasis mine.) The XBox OS? You mean the Windows kernel and graphics subsystem?

        Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the theatre?
      • "The only thing that would stop them is the Bios and the Xbox OS."

        Only?
      • "easily" (Score:3, Insightful)

        by autopr0n (534291)
        Emulation is never really that "easy". Unless the X-box and ps3's graphic controller is compatable, I kinda doubt it would be possible. And how on earth are you goin to split up X86 instruction code so that it can run on seperate parts of the cell processor?
      • by panaceaa (205396)
        Keep in mind that both Sony and Microsoft make most of their profits from licensing fees relating to game sales. So if Sony opened up their next generation console to Microsoft XBOX 1 games, they would stand to lose revenue.
      • "was based on a standard X86 PC to begin with"

        Not in the least. XBox may be x86-based, but it is by no means a PC. It's ceratinly "PC like" in several regards, but it has a very nonstandard BIOS, custom DRM chips, and a custom chipset that's not PC compatible.

        The closest thing to the XBox in the PC world is probably NVIDIA's NForce chipset, which is not surprising considering that it is derived from XBox technology. But NForce is still a long way from the XBox.
  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BoomerSooner (308737)
    Who really cares if it's backward compatable? If you have old games play them on the old system. Besides how many old games do most people play now anyway? Once you've beat Jade Empire or moved from FIFA 2003 to FIFA 2006 going back isn't usually a lot of fun. Maybe in 10 years or so.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kutsu119 (883719)
      I don't own an Xbox, nor do I want to buy one if the 360 will give me everything an Xbox could offer games-wise, and more. I want to play KoTOR, Jade Empires, Halo 2 or whatever, but only have a Gamecube at the moment. Tell me why this is a bad thing, for me?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chrismcdirty (677039) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:01AM (#12554480) Homepage
      After you shell out $350 for the console, you may only get one or two games. And if your shiny new console can play games from your cruddy old console, then you can trade in the cruddy old one, or put it into storage.

      I don't know about you, but I have something plugged into just about every input hole on my TV, and I hate switching cords around.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by WoBIX (819410)
      People who don't have a lot of shelf space for old consoles will care.

      One of the first games I got on my PS2 was Xenogears, a PS1 game, and I didn't enjoy it any less on the PS2 than I would have on the original.
      • I didn't enjoy it any less on the PS2 than I would have on the original.

        You probably enjoyed it more because the load times, rendering and texture routines are enhanced on PS2 for PS1 games. You have to turn it on but it makes a difference (not always good, though). I played through all of Final Fantasy VIII on my PS2. At that point I hadn't owned a PS1 for 2 years (I traded it in for Dreamcast games).

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:02AM (#12554499) Homepage
      Because most people would rather have one console next to their TV versus two or three.

      Can you imagine how asinine it'd be if every couple years DVD players were incompatible with prior DVDs?! Sure you COULD buy five DVD players, but that'd be asinine.
      • Re:Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by marat (180984)
        Or if DVDs bought in different countries each required own device... oh, wait!
    • I never had a PS1 prior to owning my PS2, so for me it was like getting two systems in one. Also, I think the price will drop on a lot of the 'older' XBox games that are stil highly playable and fun. Parents especially will have the choice of dropping 50-60 bucks on a new Xbox 360 game or getting 2 or 3 'classic' Xbox games for the same price.
    • Not everyone who buys an Xbox360 owns an original Xbox, just not everyone who bought a PS2 owned a PS1. Backwards compatability is a huge selling point for these types of buyers because instead of a handful of launch games, they also can play the huge selection of games from the older console, many of which can be had from the bargain bin for $10.

    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WapoStyle (639758)
      because some people still like to play great games even if those games don't happen to be newest thing. I still drop Street Fighter Alpha 3, Symphony of the Night, Xenogears, and several other Playstation greats into my PS2. I don't have room to have a dozen systems hooked up.

      Plus, if a game a truly great and worth paying $50 for than you will want to play it over and over for years to come. Take any Zelda game or Super Metroid for example. I've played through Super Metroid 5 or 6 times in the last 2 years

    • 1. You don't have to have to keep the old system around to play your old games.
      2. New buyers (people who did not own the original XBOX) will be able to buy old XBOX 1 games at the bargin bin. Though there will need to be some list of games that are and are not compatible, maybe get retailers to put stickers on old games saying XBOX 2 compatible.
      3. Games rentals, all those wonderful quirky games that are on the rental shelves for XBOX 1 can be kept around longer.

      All in all it gives old games a longer shelf
    • Space is a valuable commodity within the home entertainment system. Not everybody wants (or can have)a PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox360, and Gamecube all taking up real estate near the television. This is especially true in Japan, and it contributed to the original xbox not catching on in Japan -- it is a monster (size wise), and gamers could gets two consoles for the price of one with the PS2.

      Somehow I get the feeling that the new system doesn't have backwards compatibility built in as of yet, but they are banking
      • Seriously, I have enough issues with having the current big 3 taking up space in my entertainment center; I don't need *another* console to add to the pile of cables (especially since rewiring the damn component cables, AGAIN, would annoy me - the time for a one cable hidef A/V connection has come!)

        Those of us who actually *care* about how our home looks, about minimizing clutter, appreciate little things like not having to stuff another console in there. (Yes, I want to have my good looking home cake and
    • Backward compatibility matters to me. I don't have either an X-Box or a PS2 -- the kids are younger, we have a GameCube they got as a present. At the moment when I bought a system, it'd mean a lot to know it worked for the older games.

      It would matter to me for early adoption -- to pick up a handful of bargain bin older games for cheap, so we could play something.

      It would matter to them because their friends with other games could bring them over for sleepovers or whatever.

      And it would matter to me

    • by hab136 (30884)
      Who really cares if it's backward compatable?

      Because you can start playing the system the day you buy it, with hundereds of games. For someone without the previous console (for example, someone with a PS2 but no Xbox), they could buy the Xbox360, the few launch titles, and maybe a few old Xbox games to keep them busy.

  • Patches? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Metaphorically (841874) * on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:59AM (#12554442) Homepage
    Since they can't change the game, I wonder if they'll do this by working over some of the code that the ships in the Xbox360. They do something like that [microsoft.com] in Windows.
  • Emulation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chode2235 (866375) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:59AM (#12554446)
    Backwards compatability will be selective? Does this mean that they will be emulating the xbox hardware? Thats pretty amazing if it works, but I have my doubts that it will even run as smooth as the current xbox. Hopefully this means a much faster virtualpc, so I can play pc games on my mac.
    • technically, all they'd have to do is patch the emulated directX calls to the native API. The other stuff should be light enough to emulate if it ran on a 700MHz celeron.
      I'm thinking the new xbox has enough oomph to do that.
      • Re:Emulation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AusG4 (651867) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @12:13PM (#12556291) Homepage Journal
        Well, no...

        The new XBox obviously is going to be based around the PowerPC instruction set, whereas the old XBox is based around the IA32 instruction set. They would need to emulate the CPU in realtime, translating IA32 instructions into PowerPC instructions. This is the biggest issue.

        Beyond that, though I'm not sure yet, I'm imagining that XBox360 will actually run Windows, the same as the current XBox. Windows NT for the PowerPC was still a shipping product in the 3.51 days, so technically, porting the Windows 2000 variant OS that is current the on the current XBox to PowerPC is obviously possible. That said, this will obviously include all of the DirectX API's, and as a result, the API translation step is not strictly necessary.

        The actual hardware emulation part is pretty clear - Microsoft recently purchased VirtualPC (which lets you run Windows on the Macintosh, which of course is PowerPC based). Anyone who thought they did this simply to have a nice, new Macintosh product is insane... clearly, they intended other uses for this beyond just the "Windows Virtual Server" product they have released, and I'm betting that emulating XBox on XBox 360 is the big one.

        As I said, if they are using Windows/PPC on 360, then this saves them some of the overhead of VirtualPC strictly, in that they have the native API's available directly. Obviously a new version of DirectX is going to be used on 360, but shimming the old version in shouldn't (relatively speaking) be a huge problem.

        Additionally, any games that multithreaded on XBox1 will obviously be able to have the NT kernel map those threads on to the multiple cores of the 360.

        Long and short... am sure this can be done - is just a matter of how compatible they'll make it; though if Live has shown us anything it's that Microsoft is a little patch-happy with the XBox (a little too much, some would say).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:07AM (#12554560)
      They only need to emulate two games.

      Halo and Halo2.

      Dead or Alive 3 will be replaced by internet porn and a port of Mortal Kombat.

    • All access to XBox hardware goes through a hardware abstraction layer (mainly DirectX), to which Microsoft have the source code. If they re-compile this for the XBox 2, then the only thing that needs to be emulated is the core game logic. Considering how much more RAM the XBox 2 has than the XBox, this can almost certainly be cached once it has been JIT compiled by a VirtualPC derivative into PowerPC code. It's non-trivial, but it's not that hard.
  • by CaseM (746707)
    I don't know which is bigger news, the backwards compatability or the fact that MSFT was able to get Square to bring the FF series to the 360!

    Excellent news on all counts.
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by badasscat (563442)
      I don't know which is bigger news, the backwards compatability or the fact that MSFT was able to get Square to bring the FF series to the 360!

      They only announced XI - which was actually "announced" in so many words years ago by Square. It's actually surprising it took them this long - it was supposed to come out on the original Xbox.

      (I don't recall the original quotes they used, but it was something like "coming for next-generation systems", which at the time only meant the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube...
  • by Stibidor (874526) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:00AM (#12554476) Homepage
    It seems odd to me that they would/could make the new system backward compatible for some but not all games. I'm clearly not very well informed, but I would be pleased if someone who is fairly well informed would explain to me how this works. Do the old games run in an emulator-style environment? If so, how hard would it really be to emulate a few more instructions?

    Don't get me wrong. As long as it plays Halo, I'll be happy. I'm just curious.
    • by Reignking (832642) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:04AM (#12554530) Journal
      Mostly backward compatible? Is that like being "mostly dead"?
    • by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:11AM (#12554629)
      Look at how emulators work on PCs for the answer. The chances are that XBox backwards compatibility is a near total emulation of the earlier platform, at least the machine code instructions. Some games might be more CPU intensive than others and might not run fast enough on the new box. Others might bypass the system or play cute tricks to get the most out of the GPU and not work either. Others might run, but look imperfect due to differences in the graphics or audio.


      Fixing all of this is non-trivial. I guess MS could ship with the emulator in firmware or sell it as an add on DVD - it could install onto the hard drive so they're not constrained by firmware.

    • If I had to guess I'd say games which use the proper APIs will work, and those games which "bang the metal" (ie use the hardware directly rather than telling directx or whatever to do it) will have issues.

    • It may turn out that it is not "perfectly" backwards compatible: so what the XBOX 360 guys need to do is run and validate specific XBOX titles, and ensure that the specific title works properly. It may turn out that for any unvalidated titles, it's a case of "suck it and see": they may or may not work.

    • All the other systems that are backwards compatible (Playstation 2, Gameboy Advance, NDS) contain the processor or a workalike that the previous system contained. For instance, the PlayStation 2 uses the original PlayStation CPU to control the Dual Shock controllers (all that pressure sensitivity and rumble levels, I guess).

      The NextGen systems are looking like there's not gonna be enough room (in the budget or the design) to support this concept. I'm looking at Sony to have the best option (finally fixi

  • Connectix? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:01AM (#12554482) Journal
    Now we know why Microsoft bought the company that made the best x86 emulator for PowerPC on the market. Actually, we might have guessed that earlier - nice to have it confirmed though.
    • Re:Connectix? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by leonbev (111395) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:15AM (#12554671) Journal
      I think that they bought them to get Virtual PC, so they would have a competing product for VMWare. Virtual server products are getting more popular now, and development teams are spending big money on them.

      Having a good emulation team for the XBOX 360 is a nice bonus, though.
    • The motivation could run deeper - Microsoft may jetison x-86 altogether and bring Windows onto a proprietary platform. They'd need x-86 backward compatibility to get the market to follow. Xbox may be just the first step.
    • Several Slashdotters picked up on that idea some time last year. I agreed with that this would be very feasible. For one, a game that uses the system's API a lot would benefit more as the API could be ported and non-API sections could be emulated. A multiple core 3+ GHz CPU should be able to easily emulate a ~700MHz PIII this way.

      Some have claimed something about nVidia IP rights would either prevent it or require costly licencing, but I really don't understand that. nVidia's IP shouldn't be in Microsof
    • Have you ever tried playing a PC game on the Mac using VirtualPC? Performance is downright AWFUL. The Mac side has been trying to do this for over a decade. The only thing that really worked well was OrangeMicro's OrangePC card, which was basically an x86 processor and memory on a NuBUS or PCI card. Even then, you paid a lot of money for an x86 processor that was years out of date, so again, games were out of the question.

      If MS goes the hardware route (adding the extra processor), I suspect that they will,
    • Now we know why Microsoft bought the company that made the best x86 emulator for PowerPC on the market. Actually, we might have guessed that earlier - nice to have it confirmed though.

      Actually one of the biggest trends in data centers is server virtualization. Buy one big box, run Vmware, and get 8 servers that don't need 100% of the CPU/RAM/disk/network. Big savings not only in space, but electricity and heating/cooling.

    • Indeed.

      I've heard that Sony used a lot of Connectix's tech to make the PS2 backwards compatible. Connectix used to make a really great PS1 emulator that Sony failed to sue into oblivion and then just bought outright. Soon after - PS2 plays playstation games.
  • by Psykechan (255694) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:01AM (#12554483)
    From TFA:
    Microsoft Corp. said on Monday its new Xbox 360 will run video games developed for the earlier generation of its gaming machine

    This doesn't state backwards compatibility. It could just mean that older games will be ported to the 360.

    Bach said that it won't necessarily run all of the older Xbox titles but instead, run the "top-selling" games.

    Uh huh. This sounds very much like ports to me. This sounds very much like Sony's PSP running old PS1 games.
    • The PS2 does not play ALL PS1 games. So it's not an unheard of travesty that the XBOX 360 won't play ALL XBOX games. From http://www.psextreme.com/features/faq.htm [psextreme.com] "Is the PS2 backward compatible with all PlayStation games? According to SCEA, there are a handful of PS One games that experience problems when played on a PS2. These games include: Arcade Party Pack, Arcade's Greatest Hits: Atari 2, Fighter Maker, Final Fantasy Anthology, International Track and Field, Judge Dredd, Monkey Hero, Mortal Kombat T
    • Shader replacement (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Namarrgon (105036)
      Nah, video games developed for the earlier generation does not mean video games redeveloped for the newer generation, I think that's pretty clear. It'll run your original Xbox discs.

      Obviously a version of MS's newly-acquired VirtualPC will be used to handle the CPU emulation, and the DirectX layer will cope with redirecting most of the the gfx calls smoothly enough. The tricky part is the patented nVidia shader code used in Xbox games.

      The only answer that make sense is that the emulator will intercept

  • Microsoft waited to hear if the PS 3 was going to be backwards compatible before saying the same themselves. I wonder what this does to their release plans.
    • That is a distinct possibility. It really sounds MS-like to me.

      I'll be disappointed if the majority of games don't work. That will mean MS can't decide to build something complicated and build it like Apple.

  • Excellent. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Golobarti (733832) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <olatsozs>> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:05AM (#12554534)
    Now, where do I get the modchip?
  • A more important question about these consoles is not if FFXI is going to be released on them, but on what console any FF's after XII be released on. That's going to be the deciding point for me at least. Has square-enix issued any news on this?
  • crazy idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kebes (861706) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:09AM (#12554599) Journal
    This is a crazy idea I've had in my head lately. Would it be possible to build a gaming console that runs XboX 1, PS 1, PS 2, Gamecube, and even PC games? I know it sounds crazy, but listen.

    Projects like Wine, PearPC, MAME, etc. show that it is possible to re-implement someone else's software or even hardware API. If you emulate a different hardware architecture, you take a performance hit obviously. This makes it impracticle to emulate the latest gaming consoles (like the 360 or PS3 of course). However, would it not be possible to create emulators for older gaming consoles?

    So the idea is that some company sells a small dedicated computer (with good graphics card, etc.) that runs some emulation software (probably based on linux, using things like wine as a starting point to at least enable running of PC games). The unit cannot run any modern games, but it can run basically *ALL* of the older games, from any console. I think there would be a market for this.

    The obvious problem is legality. Reverse engineering is permitted to a certain extent, and re-creating someone else's API is allowed. Notice that I haven't talked about copying other vendor's games onto a hard-drive. You put in your officially purchased copy (on CD or DVD) of a game into this new uber-console's CD/DVD drive, and you play it. You bought the game, after all. Is that allowed? Are there any laws I'm not aware of? Does the EULA of a PS2 game say that you are only allowed to play it on approved hardware platforms?

    I guess the real answer is that no company would ever attempt such a thing, since the big players in the market would all be aligned against them, and they would be crushed in a legal nightmare. This just means that we'll have to wait a bit longer for the homebrew solution I guess.
    • Re:crazy idea (Score:2, Informative)

      by Vicsun (812730)
      What, like the infamous phantom [phantom.net] console?
    • Re:crazy idea (Score:5, Informative)

      by pnice (753704) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:45AM (#12555102)
      After modding the original Xbox I have:


      ColecoVision/Adam Emulator
      Apple ][ emulator
      Atari 800/5200/130/320/XL/XE Emulator
      Intellivision Emulator
      Nintendo64 emulator
      Laserdisc Arcade Emulator (Dragons Lair, Space Ace)
      Sega master system Emulator
      Game Gear Emulator
      Sega CD
      Sega 32X
      Nintendo
      Super Nintendo
      Gameboy / Gameboy Advance
      Killer Instinct 1 and 2 arcade
      Turbo Graphics 16
      Atari Lynx
      Mame
      NeoGeo CD
      NeoGeo Pocket Color
      Wonderswan
      Playstation
      and
      Scumm (Lucas Arts Games)

      ...and I may be missing a few. The Playstation emulator sucks a bit but everything else works like it should. I gives the option to play almost all the games of the past...and that's more that I'll probably ever play.
  • Steel Battalion and it's sequel.

    No controller ports.

    Fun game, though, worth the money and I still play it, so I'll still have an Xbox hooked up somewhere.
  • Hrm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by His name cannot be s (16831) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:12AM (#12554638) Journal
    Somehow, I doubt that my old modchip is gonna work in the new xbox.

    Backward compatable my ass!

  • I don't know but doing a backward compaitability on the xbox is a lot of hard work. Different architecture, different GPUs.. don't like the idea ... but. There is always the blue screen of death.
    Let's see what they have to offer.
    I am selling my PS2, gamecube and xbox on ebay after the summer and starting to save up for the PS3 and xbox360.
    take care
    -A
  • I'll bet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:14AM (#12554667)
    that this is a kneejerk announcement by Microsoft in response to the PS3.

    There's probably lots of Microsoft engineers now trying to figure out how to hack backwards compatability into an almost-finished product, after a 'just make it happen but don't change the deadline' directive from the boss yesterday.

    Like all projects with that mandate, quality is the first to go. To the end user, that means many old games will probably not work well, if at all.
  • by l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) <arch_angel16.hotmail@com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:15AM (#12554681) Homepage
    PS3's backwards compatibility is simple: In addition to the Nvidia-driven gfx and hardware of the PS3, it has the PS2 emotion engine circuitry built-in. And since the PS2 had the PS1's circuitry built-in, you get 2 generations of backwards compatibility.

    Xbox is more or less a P3+Geforce4 design. Somehow I don't see it being feasible for Microsoft to miniaturize the xbox logic and slap it onto the Xbox360 motherboard. Xbox360 will probably require a xbox-live download for emulation instructions that allow it to play whatever selected Xbox game you want to run.

    Nintendo revolution's backwards compatibility is relatively simple as well: From all accounts, its architecture is an extension of the gamecube's architecture: GC had a custom IBM Power chip called "flipper", and a simple yet powerful gfx solution by ArtX (later acquired by Ati) that uses embedded 1T-SRAM. Revolution is supposed to have an IBM Power-based cpu and an Ati gfx solution that, surprise surprise, uses embedded gfx memory as well. I'm betting the new hardware's just a superset of the old.
  • PowerPC and x86? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Theovon (109752) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:15AM (#12554682)
    For the backward compatibility, does the Xbox 360 have an x86 processor in addition to the PowerPC? Or does it emulate the x86?
  • Some impressions (Score:4, Informative)

    by News for nerds (448130) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:17AM (#12554703) Homepage
    Most European friends say meh to XBOX 360 apparently.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid= 8834 [gamesindustry.biz]
    E3 Opinion: Xbox 360 is outgunned and outclassed by Sony's PS3
    http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=59 135 [eurogamer.net]
    Xbox 360 fails to convince in LA
  • I read both the Reuters and Gamesport articles, and didn't see a mention of price whatsoever. I know, usually consoles debut at the $2-300 range, but there have been oddbals (3d0 or Neogeo, anyone?)

    Am I just blind, or was there no mention of price at all here?
  • This is big news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 0kComputer (872064)
    I remember the backwards compatabilty/Final Fantasy argument being the mantra of just about every ps2 or nintendo fanboy. I'm sure this has something to do with the influx of game designers who have been getting snatched up by microsoft in recent months. Now if RockStar games moves, or even offers on both consoles, that would be a death blow.
    • Deathblow of what? Even without backwards compatibility and FF, the PS3 can still hold its own against the XBox 360.
    • I'm sure this has something to do with the influx of game designers who have been getting snatched up by microsoft in recent months.

      I think it has more to do with the fact that Sony locked out Final Fantasy XI on the new PS2s.

  • Don't forget Live (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @10:25AM (#12554831)
    Remember, Live is now part of the system package, available to everyone for free. My guess is that backwards compatibility will require the hard-drive add-on as well as a Live connection. This will allow Microsoft to "patch" the game, allowing it to run on a 360.

    Think of it as a pseudo-port of top-selling XBox games.
    • Re:Don't forget Live (Score:3, Informative)

      by toriver (11308)
      emember, Live is now part of the system package, available to everyone for free.

      A very limited Live Silver package is for free - you get game updates and can buy/sell on the "micromarket". For Live gameplay you need to upgrade to a paid subscription - like today's Live.
  • How do they maintain backward compatibility when switching from a x86 to a PPC processor? Sounds like B.S. to me. Some software based black-magic emulator will do the translation and I bet performance will suck.
  • Why would you go to the trouble of emulating a x86 game on a PowerPC (then testing to see if it is playable), the games companies won't have lost thier source, can't they just recombile for for the PowerPC. As long as M$ has put some backwards compatablity in the APIs.

    THey could just download the new code via XBox Live when you inserted an old CD (still reading the media content from the CD).

    This way they could market the XBox 360 as plaing version 1 games "Better then the original!", given people a reaso
    • by iansmith (444117) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @11:36AM (#12555866) Homepage
      [ ...the games companies won't have lost thier source, can't they just recombile for for the PowerPC... ]

      You never worked for a game company before, have you?

      The game industry moves so fast that in many companies by the time a gold CD ships, the team is already broken up and working on other projects that are late with nobody left over to tidy up.
  • Well.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shoptroll (544006) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @11:13AM (#12555489)
    I wouldn't exactly call FFXI a hot-ticket item. The game has been in decline for a bit now. This just sounds like S-E trying to expand their user base to the XBox fanboys who dropped the PS2 when XBox came out.

    Future collaborations sounds vague at best. Although the rumor mill has been saying that the exclusive contract with Sony is almost up (I never knew one was ever in existance or with a time limit), and Square-Enix has been branching out over the past few years.

    S-E will ultimately go wherever they think they can perform the best. Which is why they left Nintendo (cartridge would severely limit their options) and if MS is truly poised to dominate the market, then seeing them switch to XBox360 is a no-brainer. Also, they seem to be following Sakaguchi's coat-tails with Mist Walker announcing its two RPGS for XBox360.

    Finally, this could be a good move for MS with the 360, since the original Xbox didn't have a large library of RPGs, which is something the PS2 had an abundance of.
  • by goochman (303570)
    hince incompatible with lightgun and STEEL BATTALION. This may just be a "CYA" type "selective compatibility" since all the games work with the wireless controller.

    just my $0.02
  • by duerra (684053) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @11:38AM (#12555897) Homepage
    With "some, but not all" games being supported for backwards compatibility, there's no reason to believe that *any* games will work as originally intended. You can't call it backwards compatible if... well, it's not backwards compatible.

    I can just see it already. Microsoft will heavily promote the XBox 360 as being "Backwards Compatible**"

    ** But not really. Actually, only Halo2 is compatible. Everything else is subject to this nice little disclaimer here.
  • by AzraelKans (697974) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:51PM (#12557581) Homepage
    Nice of you to show up with an article to an actual important presentation, then water it down with the "nay saying" comments of blogs. "The Xbox Suxors! news on eleven"

    I mean the second comment (blog) started: "(actual comment) Im going to give out the win to PS3 because their graphics were a lot cooler. (/actual comment)"

    Point 1: Sure thing bub! I mean why dont you just skip that theres going to be xbox live for FREE in each 360? that you'll have a cool IM system, with some tivo like features mentioned? or that you could even design and sell stuff for games online? (not buy, SELL even I can see a benefit there!) I mean those are totally not worth talking about features right?

    point 2: this is slashdot land of the "gameplay first, graphics second! damn it!" motto, and now it turns out we are completely signing out a console because the other flashed some pretty graphics at us? nice bias there bub!

    I admit some games shown had lesser graphics (in some cases not, I mean check out gears of war!) but they were all ONLINE capable. In ghost recon 3 each window that pop out was an online partner trying to tell you something or showing you a location in a map, doesnt that add a lot to strategic gameplay?

    Is a bit too early to cast out an opinion on this, at least an intelligent, unbiased opinion that is.

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