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Xbox 2 will not be backward compatible

Further evidence that Microsoft is not interested in supporting older software. Have they invested a lot in hardware businesses recently?

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=dev&aid=3645

David Jordan
Monday, June 21, 2004

Eh, backward's compatibility isn't all that important. That's why I have the original XBox lying around.

Even though the PS2 had backwards compatibility with the PS1, I still have the PS1. I remember back when the Sega Genesis had backwards compatibility with the Sega Master System using a special adapter. Wasn't that big a deal.

Ankur
Monday, June 21, 2004

Video game consoles need not be backwards compatible for several reasons:
* kids outgrow the systems entirely
* kids outgrow the games / game genres
* you beat a game, you'll never play it again.
* most people who are heavy gamers will just get the latest and greatest anyway.

Video games are their own little world where typical software market forces need not necessarily apply.

Sassy
Monday, June 21, 2004

*Historically* backwards compatibility for game systems hasn't mattered.  The only real exception has been the Gameboy -- I can play my original Tetris on my new Gameboy Advance (and I do!).

I think it's a dice-roll whether backwards compatability matters now.  Who knows if the PS3, when it comes out, will be compatible with the PS1 or PS2.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, June 21, 2004

You're right it's not important. It's just precieved to be an important  selling point in the console industry.

I've always found it strange that video game bundits point it out as a negative for a console not be backward compatible. Historically most console have not been natively backward compatible. The only exception being the PS2.

I do bielive that this quest cost Sega the console market. Instead of focusing more energy on the next console, it realeased a string of bad upgrades: Master drive for genesis, CD drive for genesis, 32X...

Funny thing is that it's not important to game players. Most people still keep thier original system if they want to play thier old games. I remember when someone brought up the "Mom factor." The idea being that mom would flip if you had to toss your old games and get new ones to play on the new console.

I think people sometimes forget that "It's the games Stupid." The success of the new XBox it more tied with the list of exclusives title thay can get. Halo is just not enough. They should pay PC developers for exclusive console rights and buy a few console developers.

They should have bought out sega while they had a chance. Rare does not count since thay are not a japanese company. That's what it realy takes to get a foothold into that market. Didn't they learn from the controller debacle?

Stopping now. I might put this i a blog later :)

anon-182
Monday, June 21, 2004

What happens when my Xbox dies and I have to get a new one? Let's say I have hundreads of Xbox titles, if buy Xbox 2 none of these will work on it.

Anon
Monday, June 21, 2004

"The success of the new XBox it more tied with the list of exclusives title thay can get."

But a backwards-compatible system instantaneously has a nice heap of convenient exclusives.  Halo alone may not be enough, but the sum total of all the Xbox 1 exlusives (only partially depreciated in value) plus all the Xbox 2 launch exclusives may be enough.

The way I see it, backwards compatibility is primarily important for the first console released in a generation.  That console's main business strategy should be do a landgrab, including trying to suck up as much of the "I'll only buy one console every five years" crowd as quickly as possible.  And that particular group (in my perception) is most heavily influenced by the lure of backwards compatibility.

Pierce
Monday, June 21, 2004

"What happens when my Xbox dies and I have to get a new one? Let's say I have hundreads of Xbox titles, if buy Xbox 2 none of these will work on it."

The same thing would happen if your NES, N64, GameCube, Sega saturn, Dreamcast, Gensis,  Atari Jaguar, NeoGeo, NeoGeo CD... died on you. You had to buy another one.

anon-182
Monday, June 21, 2004

Exclusive titles are exclusive for a max of one year.  Then the licenses typically get passed around.  Once a game is done, it's done.  People don't keep playing the same games over and over and over, they buy the new ones.

By the time the next gen console comes out the graphics and gameplay are typically an order of magnitude better than the previous generation.  What you can expect to see is a firesale on the first-gen system 1 year after the release of the second gen.

Sassy
Monday, June 21, 2004

Boy, that is amazing!

I have to assume that backwards compatibility don’t matter here.

That is a surprise here!

My current new computer with xp pro can still run old dos software from 1981 (this ability did not come free, but takes effort on ms’s part).

I can still develop with a old vision of windows 3.1 ms-access 1.0 if I want. This stuff works on a new computers. I have clients running old FoxPro code from the late 1980’s on brand new pc boxes.

So, over the years, MS has had the best compatibility compared to the other pc venders by a HUGE country mile. Competitors just constantly handed market share to MS as they constantly broke compatibility (apple comes to mind here). MS don’t do this a rule.

So, this is big news, but perhaps it don’t matter in the game industry as some pointed out…


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, June 21, 2004

anon-182 writes:

"I've always found it strange that video game bundits point it out as a negative for a console not be backward compatible. Historically most console have not been natively backward compatible. The only exception being the PS2."

The PS2 completely dominates the video game console market and they are the only one to be backwards compatible.  Yet you wonder why people think it is important?!?!

just some guy
Monday, June 21, 2004

>>The PS2 completely dominates the video game console market and they are the only one to be backwards compatible.  Yet you wonder why people think it is important?!?!

I was just about to comment on that fact. In the gaming industry, Sony really is the dominant player (in fact, I believe that x-box is fighting for scraps in the 3 rd place with Nintendo. My gosh!).

It is possible that since x-box has no significant presence in the market place, then previous compatibility is not such a issue!

However, if you are a major player..then previous compatibility likely is important.

So, likely ms with the desktop, and Sony’s complete and utter monopoly of the gaming market does hint that compatibility does help..but at what point in the marketplace?


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, June 21, 2004

I think they get the new console because they want the new games, not because its compatible with the old ones.

Also, being backward compatible might hurt new game sales as well.

hoser
Monday, June 21, 2004

"since x-box has no significant presence in the market place"

I wouldn't call 25% market share "no significant presence"...

Game Programmer Bob
Monday, June 21, 2004

PS2 is backwards compatible because it can be.  it's a feature, not a requirement. 

These systems are not about usefulness.  They are a vehicle for a game.  The games have shelf lives which can be measured in months (at 70-80 bucks a pop).

Console games biz is just a very different market than PC's or software.  These systems are sold in toy stores, malls, discount retailers.  They don't interop.  People buy em' anyway.

Sassy
Monday, June 21, 2004

"since x-box has no significant presence in the market place"

"I wouldn't call 25% market share "no significant presence"

Games market history tends to favor a single dominant system.  That said, will a lack of backwards compatibility hinder X-Box - a system which was really supposed to bring PC-level gaming to the masses (has that even happened?)

Sassy
Monday, June 21, 2004

>I wouldn't call 25% market share "no significant presence"...

Gee, I did not mean to offend any x-box fans.

I had no idea that anything remotely over 5, or 10% had been obtained. The last article I read mentioned that the struggling Nintendo which was not doing well , was STILL OUTSELLING x-box during the Christmas season. Perhaps, this fact of being even with Nintendo is not important.

If x-box is up to 25% of the market, then that is more significant, and then the issue of compatibility now does came back into play….

I going to do some googling on this…..


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, June 21, 2004

Backwards compatibility doesn't matter in the games industry because its an arms race.  Unlike music which competes using the same media, platforms compete for games, games cost the equivalent of a small motion picture.

The only way to grow the market is largely to churn it.  Ok 14 years olds turn into 21 year olds that buy their own X Box but that's a horribly long sales cycle.

So, platform makers sell the same thing with chromier knobs on to the same people that bought the last box on the basis that they'll be able to buy new games and that new games _won't_ run on the old hardware.

Simon Lucy
Monday, June 21, 2004

I just hope that most kids drop off the games market place around 16-21.  Just ain't healthy.  Its like frosted flakes and Saturday morning cartoons.  You're supposed to grow out of them.

hoser
Monday, June 21, 2004

"The PS2 completely dominates the video game console market and they are the only one to be backwards compatible.  Yet you wonder why people think it is important?!?!"


Yes it does. And a few years ago Nintendo dominated the console market with no backward compatability.

It's funny, except for gameboy, the Big N has not released a backward campatible console. They are not calle don it. When game cube was announced, did anyone in the industry think it would be backward compatible? No.

Will their next console be backward campatible? I don't think so. But look for articles pointing that as a negative.

Sony took the market from Nintendo for reasons not tied to backward compatibility.

- Nintendo's adherence to cartidges until gamecube, keeping costs high for game makers. Remember the publishers paid nintendo to manufacture cartidges for them.

- Insane 3rd party exclusivity. If your where a "gold"  parntner it was almost impossible to get an N64 license.

- Bad 3rd party support. Sony came along with excelent support and a fr

- Exclusivity. Remeber the cartridge. Well developers like Square shunned nintendo because of this. They just couldn't sqeeze a 600 meg CD on a cartridge that cost under $70( I don't remember the real cost but it was estimated at several thousand).

- Expensive license fee. Put simply Sony asked less per unit than Nintendo.

Backward campatability is only as important as a marketing tool to beat the competition with. In the end it only adds more cost, forcing comsole makers to eat more per unit, making that hardware break even point farther away.

anon-182
Monday, June 21, 2004

Just a thought Ive had all along.

As I understand it, Xbox2 will be based on PowerPC architecture (or a similar IBM chip). Ive always thought that part of the reason MS bought the VirtualPC technology may of had something to do with providing backwards compatibility for the original Xbox games on Xbox.

I dunno, just a thought

Dan G
Monday, June 21, 2004

For most of the older consoles you can find howto guides on how to fix them and diagrams of their innards so you can get out the soldiering iron and fix it yourself.

Last year I had to fix my Dreamcast myself as there is a reasonably common fault that happens in the machine that makes it reset (the console now has a larger vent!)

Any reasonable electronics/video repair place could fix it for you also.

Tim
Monday, June 21, 2004

Don't forget that a potentially very nice feature of a backward compatible Xbox would be HD capability, more colors, higher framerates, etc.  I remember the UltraHLE emulator for Nintendo 64, playing Wave Racer on my PC in 1027x768@60mhz... Much nicer than the original console.

Dave
Monday, June 21, 2004

anon-182,
I know I have to buy another one. But if Xbox2 is backward compatible my old games will still work on the new one. Otherwise I might have buy on old Xbox.

Anon
Monday, June 21, 2004

Regarding xbox market share, the figures I saw (for January 2004) were:
- US 29%
- Canada 42.9%
- New Zealand 37%
- Australia 44%

and that's all I could find quickly. I'd like to see some numbers on Europe and Asia. No point to make, just thought some people might be interested.

Rex Adventure
Monday, June 21, 2004

The Xbox is nothing but a PC -- Pentium III running Windows.  If Xbox2 is not backward compatible, it will be only because MS did so deliberately to screw people.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the standard way of doing business in the gaming world.

Made Up Name
Monday, June 21, 2004

"MS did so deliberately to screw people"

Just because the Xbox is a glorified PC doesn't mean that they can keep compatibility.  The biggest change between the Xbox and Xbox2 is not the main processor but the graphics system.  They are going with chips from ATI rather than Nvidia and there is no way to reconcile the incompatibilities from that.

The Xbox2 is shaping up to be not a PC...

Almost Anonymous
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Then they can't call it an XBox 2.  They can't call it an XBox _anything_.  The thing with consoles is they either had meaningless numbers or distinct names, and having an XBox 2 out there that can't play XBox 1 games is going to freak a lot of casual gamers out.

Talkative
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/6152/Xbox-2-Backward-Compatibility-Rumors-Debunked

a
Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The reason us gamers like backwards compatibility is purely monetary.  When we go buy a PS2, we sell our PS1 to somebody else who's a couple years behind the curve, but we can still play our old games on our brand-new PS2.

Otherwise we'd have to choose between not playing any of our old games, or keeping a second box around which we could otherwise sell.

It's a weaker effect than business software, but it's not negligible.

X
Saturday, June 26, 2004

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