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Shockeye
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on: May 19, 2005, 11:23:27 AM

Quote from: GameIndustry.biz
E3: Xbox 360 "backwards compatibility" explained
 Ellie Gibson 05:07 19/05/2005
Current-gen Xbox games to be "recompiled" for Xbox 360

Following earlier indications that the Xbox 360 will only be backwards compatible with some Xbox games, Microsoft has admitted that existing software will need to be recompiled before it can be run on the new console.

The problem, it says, is down to hardware incompatibility - since the current Xbox uses an Intel processor, but the 360 will use IBM's PowerPC architecture, while NVIDIA's graphics solution is being replaced with an ATI one.

As many commentators have pointed out over the last few months, this means backwards compatibility problems. The solution Microsoft has reached is apparently to recompiled current-gen Xbox games so that they can be played on the 360. First on the list, it says, are the best-selling Halo titles.

The news has raised more questions than it answers, however, as it suggests that gamers may need to purchase titles they already own in order to play them on an Xbox 360 - and almost certainly means that only a sub-set of Xbox games will ever be playable on the new console.

Sony and Nintendo have already confirmed that their next-gen consoles - the PS3 and Revolution - will play all the games in their respective back catalogues, offering consumers a huge choice of titles at launch. Microsoft was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

So if binaries have to be recompiled, then how do you distribute said binaries? The only two ways I can see is either through Xbox Live or by selling people another copy of a game they already own. Way to go Microsoft, you can't do anything right.
HaemishM
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Reply #1 on: May 19, 2005, 11:29:44 AM

And through X-Box Live means you'll probably have to purchase it again, in some way, unless you can somehow prove you have a legit copy of the game. Maybe you put the game in the drive and it authenticates it?

Fucking douchebags.

Merusk
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Reply #2 on: May 19, 2005, 11:35:58 AM

And through X-Box Live means you'll probably have to purchase it again, in some way, unless you can somehow prove you have a legit copy of the game. Maybe you put the game in the drive and it authenticates it?

Which sounds like a good idea, until they realize they have no way of checking which of the few million disks out there they're authenticating. Then smart people rent games, download the 360 version and get them for a bargin $3.00, or borrow their buddies' games and get them for free.  The best you can hope for on the "not having to buy again" front is that they offer some kind of disk exchange program and all you'll pay for is postage and the disk cost.

Quote
Fucking douchebags.

Well, it IS Microsoft.

Edit: Authenticating authentication is really bad.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2005, 11:47:59 AM by Merusk »

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Margalis
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Reply #3 on: May 19, 2005, 11:43:40 AM

Gee, this is surprising. rolleyes

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #4 on: May 19, 2005, 11:45:42 AM

Well, that just delayed my purchase of a 360 by at least a year. Or maybe I will just buy a PS3 instead- why bother with Xbox when my old shit doesn't work?


This makes me EXTREMELY FUCKING STABBY.

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Sky
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Reply #5 on: May 19, 2005, 02:15:17 PM

Gee, this is surprising. rolleyes
Exactly. This is what anyone with half a clue has been saying since they announced it was a ppc core. Remember the speculation when they bought up Connectix (makers of Virtual PC, emulation software for macs/ppc)? It often sucks to be proven correct.

Margalis
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Reply #6 on: May 19, 2005, 02:20:31 PM

Well, when they didn't announce they were backwards compatible and then later said "well we are kindof with some games" it was all the more obvious. They are backwards compatible if you buy the remake again, yay!

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Yegolev
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Reply #7 on: May 19, 2005, 02:46:00 PM

Quote
First on the list, it says, are the best-selling Halo titles.

I'm glad I read this.  I thought it might be Azurik.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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schild
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Reply #8 on: May 19, 2005, 02:47:51 PM

Quote
First on the list, it says, are the best-selling Halo titles.
I'm glad I read this.  I thought it might be Azurik.

I was pulling for Sudeki. Despite the lackluster sales, I really hope Chronicles of Riddick is high on the list, as well as Dai Senryaku and Phantom Dust.
Yegolev
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Reply #9 on: May 19, 2005, 03:04:46 PM

I really hope Chronicles of Riddick is high on the list, as well as Dai Senryaku and Phantom Dust.

I forgot my green tags, sorry.  I'm new here.  But you are right.  I have been hoping that more devs try to copy Riddick, or at least the fist-fighting element.  The Director's Cut was put out for PC a while back, and I can't imagine why it would not come to the 360.  Still, I think I will wait until they start making the 360s with the non-shitty DVD drives.  This compatibility issue is a real kick to the nuts.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
schild
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Reply #10 on: May 19, 2005, 03:05:56 PM

Speaking of Riddick and Starbreeze.

Hi-res video of The Darkness by Starbreeze.

I <3 Majesco.
Yegolev
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Reply #11 on: May 19, 2005, 03:08:15 PM

Speaking of Riddick and Starbreeze.

Hi-res video of The Darkness by Starbreeze.

I <3 Majesco.

Damn corporate firewall!  Blocking gametrailers.com sucks ass.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Shockeye
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Reply #12 on: May 19, 2005, 03:34:58 PM

The Darkness E3 2005 Trailer
Yegolev
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Reply #13 on: May 19, 2005, 03:57:05 PM

The Darkness E3 2005 Trailer

Shiney.  You rock.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Shockeye
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Skinny-dippin' in a sea of Lee, I'd propose on bended knee...


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Reply #14 on: May 19, 2005, 03:57:46 PM

The Darkness E3 2005 Trailer

Shiney.  You rock.

I'm doing my part to atone for the Derek Smartage.
Trippy
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Reply #15 on: May 19, 2005, 11:05:07 PM

So far I've heard the following rumors regarding Xbox 360 backwards compatibility:

  • It will be
  • It won't be
  • It will be but you need to have the hard drive (will come with emulation libraries and stuff)
  • It will be but only with titles that eschewed writing directly to the hardware
  • It will be but only if the titles are recompiled
  • Nobody, including Microsoft, knows

I personally don't give that Gameindustry.biz article much credence given that it didn't quote anybody from Microsoft by name. Also if all it took was a recompile to make them work (i.e. no source code changes required) then that is easily something that can be done with emulation so that doesn't make any sense from a technical standpoint. The only rumor on the above list that holds any weight at all is the last one given that that's a statement from Peter Moore, Xbox Corporate Vice President.

As for how they would handle things if in fact a recompile was necessary the easiest way would be through Xbox Live as other's have been saying except that you would need the original Xbox disc in the drive to play since there would be no need to download all the game assets (textures, levels, models, sounds, etc.) again -- all you would need is the new executable. In other words you would download a recompiled multi-megabyte executable to your hard drive or memory card but the recompiled executable would read the gigabytes of game assests off your original DVD.

Edit: fixed typo
« Last Edit: May 20, 2005, 12:11:40 AM by Trippy »
Strazos
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Reply #16 on: May 19, 2005, 11:10:02 PM

I would just like some sort of solution. I don't need 2 big boxes taking up space.

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MrHat
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Reply #17 on: May 19, 2005, 11:14:19 PM

I would just like some sort of solution. I don't need 2 big boxes taking up space.

You could trade in yer system and all games next week.
Teleku
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Reply #18 on: May 19, 2005, 11:17:08 PM

Uh, would it really be that hard to make an on board emulator that can play the old xbox games?  Seems like it would have the power to easily play them through an emulator without a performance hit.  I guess it is if Microsoft is having this sort of issue it must not be that simple, but I just don't really understand why.....

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Strazos
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Reply #19 on: May 19, 2005, 11:26:34 PM

It's all about the hardware architecture, I am guessing.




Either that, or Money Hats.

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"Plato said the virtuous man is at all times ready for a grammar snake attack." - we are lesion
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Ozzu
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Reply #20 on: May 19, 2005, 11:29:10 PM

http://www.majornelson.com/2005/05/19/no-you-do-not-need-to-recompile-your-xbox-games/


"Ok, let’s stop this right now. There is some serious wrong information floating around, so I need to clear this up. I grabbed my favorite PR dudes, and they are saying what I was telling a few of you in email:

“We’re not sure where this came from, and is incorrect. At launch, Xbox 360 will be backward compatible with the top Xbox games. Our goal is to have every Xbox game work on Xbox 360. You will NOT need to purchase a new ‘version’ — your original games will work on Xbox 360.”

Case closed."
schild
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Reply #21 on: May 19, 2005, 11:29:37 PM

Thanks Ozzu.
Margalis
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Reply #22 on: May 19, 2005, 11:31:41 PM

Uh, would it really be that hard to make an on board emulator that can play the old xbox games?  Seems like it would have the power to easily play them through an emulator without a performance hit.  I guess it is if Microsoft is having this sort of issue it must not be that simple, but I just don't really understand why.....

Emulators take a lot more power than people think. Yes, the XBox 360 is supposedly 250 billion times better than the XBox but the fact is it isn't, and making an XBox emulator woud be pretty tough, especially with a totally different hardware setup.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Strazos
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Reply #23 on: May 19, 2005, 11:45:34 PM

http://www.majornelson.com/2005/05/19/no-you-do-not-need-to-recompile-your-xbox-games/


"Ok, let’s stop this right now. There is some serious wrong information floating around, so I need to clear this up. I grabbed my favorite PR dudes, and they are saying what I was telling a few of you in email:

“We’re not sure where this came from, and is incorrect. At launch, Xbox 360 will be backward compatible with the top Xbox games. Our goal is to have every Xbox game work on Xbox 360. You will NOT need to purchase a new ‘version’ — your original games will work on Xbox 360.”

Case closed."


Again, no M$ source. As usual, this feature is vaporware; I'll believe when I use it.

Fear the Backstab!
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Trippy
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Reply #24 on: May 20, 2005, 12:02:08 AM

Emulators take a lot more power than people think. Yes, the XBox 360 is supposedly 250 billion times better than the XBox but the fact is it isn't, and making an XBox emulator woud be pretty tough, especially with a totally different hardware setup.
I agree with you in general that emulating is not simple, however Sony is saying they can do it and they arguably have an even more difficult problem than Microsoft -- differences between PS2 and PS3 GPUs >> differences between Xbox and Xbox 360 GPUs, among other things -- so Microsoft is looking prety bad right now with all their heming and hawing.
Evangolis
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Reply #25 on: May 20, 2005, 12:56:32 AM

I don't doubt it could be done.

I don't doubt it should be done.

I don't know it will be done.

"It was a difficult party" - an unexpected word combination from ex-Merry Prankster and author Robert Stone.
Ozzu
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Reply #26 on: May 20, 2005, 02:48:29 AM

Again, no M$ source. As usual, this feature is vaporware; I'll believe when I use it.

"At launch, Xbox 360 will be backward compatible with the top Xbox games," Xbox PR manager Michael Wolf told GamesIndustry.biz today. "Our goal is to have every Xbox game work on Xbox 360. You will NOT need to purchase a new 'version' - your original games will work on Xbox 360."

*Update: Added Microsoft comment.  <--- At the bottom of the article that's linked to at the top of the thread.

http://gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=8996

Strazos
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Reply #27 on: May 20, 2005, 07:09:24 AM

Kthx.

Fear the Backstab!
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Margalis
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Reply #28 on: May 20, 2005, 08:03:13 AM

"At launch, Xbox 360 will be backward compatible with the top Xbox games," Xbox PR manager Michael Wolf told GamesIndustry.biz today. "Our goal is to have every Xbox game work on Xbox 360. "

Some people will fall for anything. I have NEVER heard anyone qualify backwards compatibility before. Either you have it or you don't. There may be occasional outlying games that do something really funky, but that should be a handful.

To say that it will be compatible with "top Xbox games" is a joke. And who cares what their goal is? They clearly aren't going to reach their goal or they wouldn't be qualifying their support in the previous sentence.

It's good you don't need to purchase a new game, I suppose you will DL it over Live. But it certainly doesn't sound like it's going to be pop in your old disc and just play. Because if it was that simple, they would just come out and say that.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
Murgos
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Reply #29 on: May 20, 2005, 08:25:53 AM

I'm guessing It probably means that they have to write some kind of custom wrapper for each game to allocate resources properly, especially if they did any kind of optimization to the original like tweaking a loop in assembly.  Games that only used standard library components will probably only need a standard module which you will probably load off of teh intarweb but the good games that pushed the envelope will probably need custom tweaking and so only the top ones will get that kind of attention.

Sort of like how Wine works.  I would actually be surprised if they are using Wine, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they've been over the Wine codebase in prep for this...

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Shockeye
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Reply #30 on: May 20, 2005, 10:30:29 AM

Quote
"At launch, Xbox 360 will be backward compatible with the top Xbox games," Xbox PR manager Michael Wolf told GamesIndustry.biz today. "Our goal is to have every Xbox game work on Xbox 360. You will NOT need to purchase a new 'version' - your original games will work on Xbox 360."

Nothing there indicates NOT having to recompile things or distributing said binaries over Xbox Live.

Also this is a PR person. They lie 24/7.
Yegolev
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Reply #31 on: May 20, 2005, 12:00:46 PM

The PS2 didn't emulate a PSX as much as it just had a miniature PSX inside it.  As far as I remember, and without bothering to verify myself, that is.  This was easy enough for Sony since they owned the tech, more or less.  MS does not own the Xbox tech, and to do the same thing the PS2 did would require at least one Nvidia and one Intel chip in each X360.  What about software emulation?  Do you think Nvidia would be happy when they think about MS not licensing their tech (giving them money) and subsequently writing an emulator for their hardware?  Especially when ATI is getting its fee per X360?  How about Intel, who has been fighting IBM for years, trying to get major share in large corporate computing solutions?  It's all about licensing and corporate dickwaving.  I'm not a programmer so I can't tell you what might need to be changed in a Xbox game, but I am going to guess that it's anything which makes an Nvidia-specific or Intel-specific call.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
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