Xbox 2 to Not Feature Backwards Compatibility
Sources close to Microsoft's senior Xbox executives have confirmed that the company does not intend to make its next-generation console, which is set to be launched by late 2005, backwards compatible with existing Xbox software.
Speculation about the backwards compatibility functionality has been rife since it emerged that Xbox 2 - codenamed Xenon - will have radically different hardware to the original system, with a non-x86 processor, no hard drive and an ATI, rather than NVIDIA, graphics chipset, all of which would make running Xbox titles on the platform very difficult.
It was widely believed, however, that Microsoft had retained a team of hardware emulation experts to work on the problem - although concerns over the viability of such an endeavour were voiced by some experts, especially regarding the company's ability to emulate the functions of the graphics unit in the Xbox without violating NVIDIA's intellectual property rights.
GamesIndustry.biz has now learned that Microsoft does not plan to provide any backwards compatibility in the next-generation Xenon platform - and indeed, that senior executives at the company don't believe backwards compatibility to be an important feature for consoles.
According to a source close to the project, internal Microsoft figures suggest that only 10 per cent of PlayStation 2 purchasers were interested in the console's ability to play titles developed for the original PlayStation.
Although this still represents some seven million consumers on a global basis - which is around half of Microsoft's entire installed base for Xbox - the company apparently believes that allowing consumers to play existing Xbox titles on the next-generation hardware would not be a significant deciding factor for Xenon purchasers.
However, a report into the videogames industry published today by Wedbrush Morgan Securities senior vice president Michael Pachter disagrees with this conclusion - arguing that failing to provide backward compatibility could have the effect of alienating Microsoft's existing Xbox installed base.
"In the event that Xbox Next is not backward compatible, we think that the device will be very slow to grow its footprint," the report warns, while elsewhere it suggests that such a move could damage the company's long-term prospects for the console.
"We do expect Microsoft to launch its console first, perhaps as early as 2005," says Pachter. "Should it choose to do so without backward compatibility or significant third-party software support, we expect to see its first-mover advantage evaporate."
Xbox 2 to Not Feature Backwards Compatibility
It is a big deal in the industry believe it or not. If I was an Xbox guy I really wouldn't care. It means zero to me that Sony has it but Armbreaker is correct as always.
I agree. The lack of backwards compatibility is a strike against X2, at least IMO as an XBox owner.
That, coupled with the fact that MS is supporting the HD-DVD format (along with Toshiba alone), while Sony is supporting the Blu-Ray (along with 70+ major companies and groups), seems to me to really be stacking the deck against X2.
I love my XBox, but I have a sneaking feeling that PS3 will whomp the X2 when all is said and done, at least in terms of sales. MS's rush to get X2 out a year earlier will not be much of an advantage unless it is far, far cheaper than Sony's offering.
This sucks to me, as I would love to play the next-gen versions of Ninja Gaiden, Halo, KOTOR, etc., but as of now I'm leaning against that - it seems that it would be a better 4-5 year investment to get a PS3.
I dont see this as a serious issue.
If the system is superior, people will play it regardless of backwards compatbility.
If you want to play your old X-Box games you'll simply have to bust out the X-Box to do so, just like you would have years ago with older consoles (Sega & Nintendo) and PCs.
I think that they are jumping the gun a bit in releasing the X2. The Xbox user base and popularity are just now starting to grow and the games are just now starting to utilize the full potential of the Xbox hardware. Knowing that a new system will be released in less than a year will have a lot of people, myself included, wondering how much longer they are gonna be supporting the X1 with new software titles.
Sounds like a fucking stupid decsision.
I agree, hoss, I think they're jumping the gun.
However, I'm not tech-savvy enough to state that for sure. It seems to me that since the XBox came out a year or two after PS2, of course it was going to be technologically superior. Now, though, the PS3 folks will have an extra year to fine-tune their new creation.
For those who understand all the jargon about system specs and so on, what do you think about hte two next-gen consoles? Will X2 be superior even though it's coming out early? Will PS3 have a benefit by being a year out?
And also, I wonder how the libraries of games will evolve. Will the PS3 wind up having a ton of titles on launch, or will they be like XBox was two years ago and have fewer titles than their competitors?
"Speculation about the backwards compatibility functionality has been rife since it emerged that Xbox 2 - codenamed Xenon - will have radically different hardware to the original system, with a non-x86 processor, no hard drive and an ATI, rather than NVIDIA, graphics chipset, all of which would make running Xbox titles on the platform very difficult."
If all of this is true then the xenon/xbox 2 will be the end of Microsoft in the console world.
Backwards compatibility aside, I cant see how they imagine they will bring the PC/Console world together with X2 if they dont have a hard-drive, etc. Its like taking 10 steps back to the memory card world.
How can the PS3, XBOX2, and Nintendo's new console possibly improve on the graphics and sound that the current consoles have?
The PS3 will be an improvement over the PS2 for obvious reasons, but how can the XBOX 2 become more powerful than the current XBOX?
Will we be able to tell the diffenrences in games for the XBOX2 and the current XBOX? Look at games like Halo 2, Riddick, Rallisport Challenge 2, etc. How can they possibly make these games look any better?
How much more powerful do consoles need to be?
There is always room for improvement, I though that the Sega Genesis had unbelievable graphics when it came out and look how things have changed since then.
pretty dumb .. Hoss is correct n i aggree with the fact of the growing numbers of Xbox blasting up they need to just be able to create games not CONSOLES just becuz of PS3.
Xbox technology can be added n all that as we have seen ...there is no need for a console... i believe froma sales perspective it will hurt the company due to the fact that modding n upgrading is galore ... there isnt anything u CANT do with Xbox as it is its mindblowing. with all the investment ppl put in Xbox in that venue and getting a second xbox n all that... i doubt ppl will trying to trash that investment n time over a new console.
I understand that there is always room for improvement.
Going from a Sega Genesis to an N64 or Ps1 in terms of graphics and sound was a very big step forward.
But how much better can they possibly make the graphics on the XBOX2 that much better than on the current XBOX? Will our eyes notice the difference?
The graphical leap between the NES, SNES, N64, and GC were pretty significant. The same can be said for the PS1 and the PS2. I'm sure that the leap in graphics will be noticeable in the PS3.
BUT, the XBOX is already the most powerful console in history. How much more power does it really need?
LOL,I don't think I'm getting my point across.
"But how much better can they possibly make the graphics on the XBOX2 that much better than on the current XBOX? Will our eyes notice the difference?"
Yes, but probably not much as far as detail is concerned. There are still some graphical limitations on all the current consoles, but the main reason for making a new console at this point should be improving gameplay while not having to sacrifice any of the graphical detail for the system to handle it. A more powerful system should allow more characters on-screen, longer distances before stuff would have to "disappear" into the distance, etc. Alot of games still have problems with this stuff, so a better console should make it easier to develop games that can look as good as Fable, and at the same time put entire armies of shit to fight on the screen, like Dynasty Warriors.
When will games look like real life. So it will look like youre playing a movie?
"how can the XBOX 2 become more powerful than the current XBOX?"
In comparison to a current mid range-PC the Xbox has about a 1/4 of the processing power and is 2-3 generations behind in terms of graphics processing. There is a massive amount of room for improvement in terms of raw hardware specs.
"Will we be able to tell the diffenrences in games for the XBOX2 and the current XBOX? Look at games like Halo 2, Riddick, Rallisport Challenge 2, etc. How can they possibly make these games look any better?"
Well these games are not really that graphically impressive when compared to say Doom 3 or Lock On:MAC. The really big improvement for consoles however would be when they can support high-resolution devices without sacrificing graphical quality. Consoles have got by in the past by using low-resolution TVs that 'free-alias' or blur the image output. If you think that a PC monitor is displaying roughly 4-8x as many pixels as a standard television, you can see the need for the extra power. Hi-res TVs are going to be increasingly phased in in the coming years so consoles will need to keep up.
bubble tits rock the chilly chicks
if they dont make it backwards compatible, im not buying the new version
"if they dont make it backwards compatible, im not buying the new version"
Why, planning on selling xbox 1 for a cool 50 bucks or something?
LOL@Playing current generation of games in 2006... Let's hope the industry moves forward in that time, rather than regressing.
This will affect the 'Mother' sales in which they're convinced b x shopping assistant that backwards compatibility is really a requirement... You still have your first xbox!
More over, someone new to M$, is hardly goign to buy an Xbox 2 in hope of playing the xbox games he missed out on... From 2-3 years ago.
Backwards compatability is way overrated, IMO. Who wants to play shitty old games? I had a PS1 and I have a PS2 and after I got the PS2, I never played that old crap again.