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Old 06-21-2004, 08:38 PM   #1
Rubeus
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No backward compatibility in Xbox 2

No backward compatibility in Xbox 2


http://www.gamesindustry.biz/conten...me=dev&aid=3645

Rob Fahey 16:15 21/06/2004

Because two boxes under the TV are as good as one, apparently

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."
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Old 06-21-2004, 08:49 PM   #2
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It could change, but it probably won't, which is a tremendous mistake.

Why Xbox wants to change the big things that are currently working for them with their next gen system is beyond me.
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:35 PM   #3
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Stupid idea.... backwards compatibility is one of the reasons why many bought a PS2. Plus I don't like the idea of not putting in a HDD (but that's just me).
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:22 PM   #4
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It be bad for M$, all those good online games now...on a console that's no on the main hook up. Just to play, you have to unhook and re-hook the Ethernet cable from the Xbox2 to the Xbox. Unless you just got a router near by 2 Ethernet cables just for that convince. If not (and I highly believe that's the case.) Then talk about inconvenience.
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Old 06-22-2004, 05:55 AM   #5
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How is Xbox Live gonna work without a HD? They'll probably just make you buy it as an add on. Which means far less Xbox Live users, and incompatibility with the existing Xbox Live.

Ya gotta keep in mind that Peter Moore is working for them now, and he is one whopping moron.
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Old 06-22-2004, 08:26 AM   #6
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Sounds like MS is really cutting back on the extra features that make X-box stand out right now in favor of a more Nintendo approach to consoles. Kind of stupid to put out a product as your next console and not have it meet or suprass the features of your previous attempt. Given that launch titles are generally pretty weak, backwards compatability helps to fill that gap. You can get one or two good games out of a system for its first few months. But that's about it. For PS2 users, it was a good year before they had a worthwhile title by my standards. But being able to pop in PSX games like Symphony of the Night made the wait easier.
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:34 AM   #7
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The lack of backward compatibility would probably hurt the Next XBOX. It just gives people an additional reason to switch to another console since people won't be able to play current XBOX games no matter what next gen console they buy.

But I suspect that MS might just be holding back the backward compatibility at the beginning and if it became clear that back compatibility is what people want, software/hardware emulator would be release (at a co$t) to accomodate the need.
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:56 AM   #8
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No Xb2 backwards compatibility---the PS3 will probably cost $500 because of a ton of TIVO-related gimmicks completely useless to gaming (as if they haven't learned anything from the failure that is the PSX); so far I am completely unimpressed with next-gen systems.
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:22 PM   #9
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Notice how the author only holds this as a negative for MS, while Nintendo has not offered backwards compatibility on any of it's consoles. SNES could not play NES games, N64 couldn't play SNES games, and the GC can't play N64 games.

If anything, MS is following Nintendo's model this time around which has proved successful.

Clearly, this website, or at least the author & editor, has an axe to grind against MS, and are attempting to attack the Xbox2 console before it's even released.

Backwards compatibility ultimately only offers one thing: convenience. Assuming your Xbox is still hooked up to the ent. center, along with the Xbox2, how hard is it to put a disc in X1 and change the input if you want to play an X1 game? The space savings you would gain wouldn't be very much at all. The Xbox doesn't take that much space compared to home theater components.

Really, there is very little benefit for the Xbox2 to be backwards compatible, outside of a marketing gimmick. History has shown that some consoles do not need this gimmick to succeed - all of Nintendo's consoles, Sega Genesis, while others use it purely as marketing, Sony PS2.
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Old 06-22-2004, 01:31 PM   #10
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The reason they are probably talking about M$ most in this articles is because Nintendo and Sony both have some kind of plan for backward compatibility next gen.
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:17 PM   #11
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It is going to be even easier to put off buying an Xbox2 than it was an Xbox.
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DBJAY
.... SNES could not play NES games, N64 couldn't play SNES games, and the GC can't play N64 games.

If anything, MS is following Nintendo's model this time around which has proved successful.
Not offering backward compatibility might be a successful model back in the days of NES and SNES (because no one was doing it). Now that Sony has started backward compatibility with PS2 consumers' expectation might have changed. People would start to think that it "make sense" for a new generation console to be able to play previous gen's game, pretty much like it's on the PC platform. If PS3 offer B/C and XB2 not, the latter would be perceived as lesser given that the next gen consoles would be more or less equal in power (yes it is marketing gimmick but market also decides which will be the next winner). After all, I think MS is aiming to compete with Sony. why would MS follow the model of a company that hovers in the 2nd or 3rd place and not the model of the one in 1st place. Unless there is major cost concern or issue with NVIDIA's intellectual property rights as mentioned in another post.
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:27 PM   #13
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So when looking for a new console, a buying decision is based on backwards compatibility?

Obviously not a factor for GC owners. Did anyone not buy a GC because it couldn't play N64 games? No. They bought the console for the current, and the promise of, future GC games.

As far as Nintendo being accurate with any kind of statements they are giving right now, consider their track record. Revolution may or may be the GC successor, DS is not the successor to the GBA SP as a new GBA is under development. They have not exactly clarified any of their plans, and indeed frequently make contradictory statements about the next wave of products.

Sony, even though right now they claim the PS3 will have that feature, don't bet on in it. The PS2 was promised to do a lot more in it's early hype phase than it currently does. Ditto with the PSX. A lot of hype built, but the actual prodcut did not deliver and had features cut.
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:42 PM   #14
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It depends. For example, currently I own a PS2 and a XBOX. There are a few games on the Game Cube I like (such as MGS:TS, Metroid 1 & 2 and the new Zelda coming up). I am not going to buy the GC just for four games (even its only $100, call me cheap)
But if GC's successor is backwardly compatible, I would give it some serious thoughts because it would let me play the GC games I like plus more of next gen games. There are some very impressive games on each platform in this generation. Unless you are really hardcore you are not likely to own all three concoles. However, if one next gen console offers the function to play previous gen's games, it would have better chance to pull fans of competing console in previous generation. Also I am interested to know what percentage of GC owner are Nintendo fans who had bought the console regardless of what they are getting. To these fans B/C of course won't be an issue. Also looking at the market environment, hypothetically speaking IF Nintendo offered B/C on GC successor and XB2 didn't as reported above, it would put MS in a more disadvantageous position. Of course it is just a hypothetical situation nothing is firm at this moment.
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Old 06-22-2004, 05:05 PM   #15
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Imo, just because Sony used the feature in the PS2, doesn't mean that it is now the expected standard. If the industry followed Sony's example in every instance, the GC would have two controller ports instead of four, Xbox would also only have two ports, would not have a hard drive but an overpriced peripheral HD version with limited software support, and rely on overpriced memory cards, not offer HDTV support, or DD 5.1 surround sound, or offer custom soundtrack options.

Because BC has only been featured on one console since the dawn of the 16 bit era (I beleive Atari offered it first 2600 to 7200?), it's tough to say that it is now an expected feature.

It's more important for MS to find out what are the critical elements of hardware features that are going to drive sales. If research shows that only a small percentage of users would use BC, or a hard drive, or a modem, it's better to keep the core costs of the X2 low than offer people features that are not wanted but drive up the cost.

The PS2 offers amazingly few hardware features, yet sold at 300 bucks for quite some time, and has been the highest priced console for nearly the entire run of this gen. With those negatives, it still sells incredibly well.

Actually, what I think we will see is the Xbox1 re-designed and retail for under 100 bucks or less. Similar to how the PS1 got a major facelift and then resold to the budget crowd, which also was done on prior systems. For example, like the Sega Genesis went through a re-design and then sold for a budget price.
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