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XBox (Games)

Pyschonauts Now Back-Compat on 360 64

Posted by Zonk
from the yay-for-psychics dept.
The much requested addition of backwards compatability for Psychonauts has reached the Xbox 360, reports the British Gaming Blog. The list also adds support for titles like Ultimate Spider-Man, Buffy, Shenmue II and ... Aquaman. The list was dropped early, so don't put the discs in quite yet and expect them to work. Still ... yay Psychonauts.
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Pyschonauts Soon Back-Compat on 360

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  • I don't understand why LSD is coming to the XBox 360 would be appropriate. Maybe it's a Baby Boomer thing to be psychonuts again.
  • It uses the common prefix "psycho". Not "pyscho".
  • Windows is backwards compatible to DOS, over 20 years of improvement, but from one console to the next they break compatibility. Why? I bet most people have more console games that they don't want to buy over then programs. What makes Xbox games so unique that you need to port each one individually? Or is this some sort of business decision? If so, Microsoft is hurting their console sales by forcing people to get rid of old games. So, once again, why?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yoda's Mum (608299)
      DOS runs on x86. Windows XP runs on x86.

      XBox runs on x86. XBox 360 runs on PowerPC.
      XBox uses an nvidia video chipset with NVidia-specific extensions.
      XBox 360 uses an ATI chipset with ATI-specific extensions.

      Take a guess why they've run into problems.
    • by revlayle (964221)
      Classic XBox uses an Intel architecture - XBox 360 Uses a custom IBM-Designed "Xenon" processor (appraently, IIRC, Microsoft bought the manufacturing rights to the processor) - so the CPUs are basically incompatible. The "backwards compatibility" is a slow process of evolving the emulator needed to run classic Xbox games
      • by MustardMan (52102)
        Just to clarify for those who, like me, find that name incredibly easy to confuse with the intel "xeon" processors... "xenon" is a multi-core powerpc-based chip.
    • The technology is different. Try playing some of your old DOS games in Vista. Can you play Monkey Island on Vista or XP? Not without an emulator like ScummVM. It's the same thing between the Xbox and the Xbox 360. Plus, you have the additional challenge of supporting games that moved from an x86 platform to PowerPC.
      • The technology is different. Try playing some of your old DOS games in Vista. Can you play Monkey Island on Vista or XP? Not without an emulator like ScummVM. It's the same thing between the Xbox and the Xbox 360. Plus, you have the additional challenge of supporting games that moved from an x86 platform to PowerPC.

        I can't? Want me to try?

        The catch is that you probably won't have sound or music.
    • by n0dna (939092)
      They changed video sub-systems. All the graphics need to be retooled for the x-box (1) emulator.
    • We're still on AT (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:40PM (#17218476) Homepage Journal

      What makes Xbox games so unique that you need to port each one individually?

      PC games write to hardware registers only through drivers, which are shipped as part of an operating system and can be replaced along with the operating system. Console games, on the other hand, ship the drivers with the game and often ship a game with drivers customized specifically for that game, often taking advantage of imperfectly understood quirks of the hardware. In addition, unlike old PCs and new PCs, the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles have different CPU architectures, and the Xbox 360 needs an emulator, in effect the opposite of Rosetta, in order to execute Xbox games' Intel instructions on a PowerPC architecture.

      Wii's backward compatibility is a result of the hardware upgrade being as transparent as that from Game Boy to Game Boy Color or from PC to PC/XT to PC/AT to what we have now. Other systems with backward compatibility (Sega Genesis, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PLAYSTATION 3) just include the previous generation console's CPU and a subset of its I/O hardware in order to run its games, which hardware may (Gen, PS2, DS) or may not (GBA, PS3) be used for some tasks in titles for the new platform. Microsoft could not do either in Xbox 360 due to contractual disputes with Intel and NVIDIA.

      • by StikyPad (445176)
        Microsoft could not do either in Xbox 360 due to contractual disputes with Intel and NVIDIA.

        I understand Intel and nVidia resenting that their next gen chips were not selected for the 360, but not allowing the old chips to be used? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but it seems like some profit is better than no profit. And given their symbiotic relationship in the PC arena, you'd think they would have been able to work something out for the console.
        • by hawkbug (94280)
          The keyword is profit. Microsoft was trying to strong arm Nvidia into lowering their chip prices below a point they wanted to. They had to battle it out in court for the original xbox hardware, so there was bad enough blood to not go forward with something similar in the 360. I'm not sure about Intel.
        • by Osty (16825)

          I understand Intel and nVidia resenting that their next gen chips were not selected for the 360, but not allowing the old chips to be used? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but it seems like some profit is better than no profit.

          Apparently Intel and nVidia were dumped in favor of IBM and ATI because the former would not release their IP to Microsoft. The upshot of this is that Microsoft could not take advantage of economies of scale to reduce prices (thus no Xbox-on-a-chip, without which it's impossible to incl

    • The answer is quite simple.

      It's both because of technical and business reasons:

      Technical first, because as you may know, the Xbox360 runs on ATI graphics, rather than Nvidia for the Xbox. This means that emulating the old games requires extra resources to be put in development.

      The reason why each game has to be ported "individually" is because the emulation done here is not a full console emulation (probably due to performace / time to dev reasons), but I suspect rather something similar to High Level Emula
    • by DrXym (126579)
      The reason is simple. Microsoft chose to reimplement just about everything in their architecture from the CPU out. It's not even the same instruction set. And as the original XBox was basically a PC, they couldn't just shrink the whole lot down onto a chip and ship that as a component of the 360. Therefore the only other option is emulation.

      I expect that MS secretly hoped that Sony would say the PS3 was not backwards compatible. But when Sony announced full backwards compatibility Microsoft was forced to

    • The PS2 is backwards compatible because it, literally, includes the hardware of a PS1. The PS3 is BC because it, literally, includes the hardware of a PS2.

      Microsoft could not include an Xbox in the 360 without paying huge chunks of change to Intel and nVidia. One of their requirements for the 360 was to own the designs of the cpu and gpu, so they could go thorugh the usual shrinking and redesign to save money down the road, and is one of the reasons they dropped Intel and nVidia.

  • But nothing about the fact that Double Dragon is coming to XBox Live Arcade ? The only thing that would be better than Double Dragon is multiplayer River City Ransom.
    • by MuNansen (833037)
      "The only thing that would be better than Double Dragon is multiplayer River City Ransom." ...or Gunstar Heroes on Virtual Arcade.
  • ... but it still doesn't play Panzer Dragoon Orta or Jet Set Radio Future, the two games that I still bother to keep my old Xbox around so that I can replay.

    JSRF is a first-generation game, it shouldn't have been pushing the Xbox's limits too hard. What on earth were Sega doing to the console that is so hard for MS's 'emulation ninjas' to reproduce?
    • by antime (739998)
      It doesn't need to push the hardware particularly hard, but if it's the only game using that particular engine Microsoft may think they're getting more bang for their buck by focusing on games using some common component.
      • by Osty (16825)

        It doesn't need to push the hardware particularly hard, but if it's the only game using that particular engine Microsoft may think they're getting more bang for their buck by focusing on games using some common component.

        On the other hand, JSRF was one of the pack-in games for a good 2+ years of the Xbox's life. You'd imagine that there are a large number of copies out there that people may want to play.

        And on the other, other hand, only the Emulation Ninjas (yes, that's their job titles. No, really,

        • I think it has to be some kind of graphics trickery that Smilebit were doing. None of the games they produced for Xbox are backwards compatible, and all three did some pretty impressive stuff in the graphics department, especially Panzer Dragoon Orta.
  • The backwards support of the 360 is a huge letdown. It amazes me they even advertise it anywhere as backwards compatible. I can barely play two of my original XBox games. Boo on MS, and I am afraid what PS3 and Wii has in store.
    • Boo on MS, and I am afraid what PS3 and Wii has in store.

      Though I can't speak for the PS3, the Wii has been 100% compatible with all the GC titles I played, (including Progressive Scan over the Wii Component cables) with no issues so far. In fact I haven't heard of a list of any GameCube games reporting issues with the Wii. The Wii plays the games and can use most of the GC peripherals as it has 4 controller ports, and 2 Memory card slots.

      Some peripherals don't work though. The Gameboy player won't wo

      • Interlaced -> Progressive isn't quite the same thing as actually rendering the game in 720p, which is what Microsoft is doing with the original xbox games on the xbox 360. Original Xbox games actually look noticably better on the 360 because of the increased resolution, texture sharpening and FSAA that the Xbox 360 does.

        Of course if all the licensing issues weren't there and the hardware was more compatible with the old generation Microsoft most likely would of taken the easy way out of rendering the ori
        • by trdrstv (986999)
          Interlaced -> Progressive isn't quite the same thing as actually rendering the game in 720p,

          Agreed. Just FYI, the GC games did support 480p. I was just commenting that the B/c mode of the Wii supported it as Well.

          Of course if all the licensing issues weren't there and the hardware was more compatible with the old generation Microsoft most likely would of taken the easy way out of rendering the original xbox games exactly how they were rendered before.

          Agreed. They backed into Backwords compatibi

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Osty (16825)

      I can barely play two of my original XBox games.

      Which two? What other games do you have? Are you sure they're not supported? The BC list has something like 200-250 games on it now, and while there are still some big-name games missing (the second and third Prince of Persia games, for example), it does cover a fair amount of popular games (which, BTW, is what Microsoft said they were going to do). It also covers some silly or bad games (Barbie Horse Adventure, Aquaman), but those are by-products of m

      • by SScorpio (595836)

        The PS3 is backwards compatible with PS2 (though there are some games with problems, the PS3 essentially includes a PSTwo Slimline-on-a-chip). It's not longer backwards compatible with PS1 games (which were only backwards compatible on the PS2 thanks to a PSOne-on-a-chip). Instead you get to re-purchase your PS1 games this time around so you can play them on your PSP. Like the Xbox 360, your old PS2 peripherals won't work with your new PS3.

        Actually the PS3 plays PSX games just fine. Sony has a compatibil

        • by aikouka (932902)
          You're right, and that's because the Slim PS2's chip is not the same as the original PS2's EE. When Sony created the Slim-PS2, they integrated the Sound & I/O controller from the original PS2 (i.e. the PSX's original hardware) onto the original PS2's EE, therefore consolidating the main processing into one unit. When sony included the Slim PS2's chip on the PS3, it essentially enabled all functionality (excluding controller use and memory card use (without an adapter)) of the Slim PS2.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by damiangerous (218679)
        The BC list has something like 200-250 games on it now, and while there are still some big-name games missing (the second and third Prince of Persia games, for example), it does cover a fair amount of popular games

        That's just not true. I posted this recently, but it deserves a repost. As of the June update the 360 was backwards compatible with 27% of the top 300 games [cheapassgamer.com] (32% of top 100), and about the same percentage of the entire Xbox catalog. To be fair, 8 of the top 10 are BC and almost half of the to

      • Two points:

        1. Some of the supposedly supported games actually run so bad that they are effectively unplayable.
        2. At least one person cares about BC even a year after release: Me.
      • by Dwedit (232252)
        Backwards Compatibility is nothing new to Nintendo. Just look at the GBA and DS. The GBA can play GB/GBC games, and the DS can play GBA games.
        • by Osty (16825)

          Backwards Compatibility is nothing new to Nintendo. Just look at the GBA and DS. The GBA can play GB/GBC games, and the DS can play GBA games.

          And that's why I qualified my statement by explicitly stating consoles and that I was ignoring handhelds. Yes, the GBA can play GB/GBC games and the DS can play GBA games, but until the Wii no console from Nintendo could play previous-generation games. As I stated, the SNES could not play NES games, the N64 could not play SNES games, and the Gamecube could not p

      • by Taulin (569009)
        Games I have that are not supported include: DOA Ultimate, Castlevania (the new 3d one, can't remember the subtitle), Shenmue2, DOA Extreme, Jet Set Radio, Capcom collection. The two that do work are Ninja Gaiden and DOA 3. I do have the silver account, and get updates when available.
  • Aww, Psychonauts is the name of some game? And here I was hoping there was going to be a resurgence in the availability of LSD. Open your source, open your mind, Slashdotters.
  • by mbourgon (186257) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:32AM (#17219206) Homepage
    Like platformers? Go buy Psychonauts.
    Hate platformers but love adventure games? Go buy Psychonauts.
    Love those old Lucasarts games like Day of the Tentacle, Maniac Mansion, etc? Go buy Psychonauts.
    Have a PC? Go buy Psychonauts. Have a console? Go buy Psychonauts.
    Something for the girlfriend to help you play? Go buy Psychonauts.
    Want to support digital distribution? Go buy it through steam.
    Wanna help indies? Go buy it period.

    Yes, I'm raving about it - it's worth doing so. Yes, okay, technically it's a platformer - but written by Tim Schaefer, a damn funny writer. It's equal parts platformer, hysterical humor, and adventure gaming. It's not just fun to play, it's funny at the same time. The sense of joy, and the sense of humor, is astonishing.

    Ye gods, this sounds like a plug. Here - go play the demo. Then go spend the $20 or $30 or whatever it costs. I WANT MORE!
    www.gamershell.com/download_8864.shtml
    www.fileplanet.com/152193/150000/fileinfo/Psychona uts-Demo
    • Actually, don't buy it on a console... at least not the PS2... if you hate long load times.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jerf (17166)
      I just finished this game three days ago on the Playstation 2.

      I'd put it this way: If you have ever complained about the lack of originality in gaming, you are morally obligated to pick this up. New copies through Steam, other copies through the usual channels.

      And play it slow. Poke around in corners, soak up the details usually missing in games. This was very well done.

      Particularly pick this up if: You like stories that partially take place inside of characters heads, innovative platforming (you have got t
      • by cyberon22 (456844)
        Amen.... the Milkman level was pure brilliance. I'd even go so far as to say that this was the best game released on the XBox. What the oblivious posters above don't understand is that backwards compatibility with this game just made me and probably a lot of other people 360 owners. There are plenty of FPS game designers. Sadly, there is apparently only one Tim Schafer.
      • by leland242 (736905)
        This is too little too late, but I just bought a brand new PS2 version for a whopping $5 on Amazon about 2 weeks ago.
    • by glenrm (640773)
      Thanks for the Steam tip, I was going to buy it used for the XBox but I enjoy my NVDA PC much better. Plus buying through Steam supports the developer and digital distribution as you stated.
  • 360 Backwards Compatibility has actually been pretty good in my experience. Just last night I dropped my new-to-me copy of the Futurama game into my 360 tray, et voila! it worked! I like playing my original Xbox games on my 360 mostly because I vastly prefer the 360 controller to my old wired ones, even over my beloved Dukes. Buffy is good news to me, because I just acquired both it and Chaos Bleeds, and the (inferior) latter was the only one the 360 would play.

    And I also cheer for Psychonauts, what an a

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