Xbox 360 backwards compatibility

Discussion in 'Games' started by Rocksaurus, May 17, 2005.

  1. Rocksaurus macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

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    #1
    I assume everyone has noticed that Xbox 360 will be backward compatible with the first Xbox, but it got me wondering...

    The first Xbox had a x86 processor, and the new Xbox has a PowerPC... So will this mean anything for Mac emulation of x86? I'm aware consoles handle things differently, but today's G5's are more powerful than the Xbox 360 and they run Virtual PC pretty slowly... To be honest I don't know a lot about how this all works, and I'm not really going anywhere with this, I was just hoping to spark some conversation between people who do know a thing or two about this. So, post away. :)
     
  2. snkTab macrumors 6502a

    snkTab

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    #2
    Well the additional power of the xbox 360 is suppose to make it able to emulate xbox games normally. That said, the power hungry stuff does to the vid card anyway.
     
  3. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #3
    Actually I doubt that it can be emulated. The XBox 360's processor is not a G5, its a PowerPC stripped down to get good floating point and terrible integer.

    The x86 processor in the XBox 1 is designed for great integer and not so good floating point.

    It's a very bad mismatch.

    To make things worse, the XBox 1 games are single threaded so only one of the 360's processors can be used for emulation.

    And to top things off...
    Even IF the processor could be emulated, NVidia has the rights to some of the features in the graphics card in the XBox 1 that developers optimized. Essentially, XBox 1 games can't run with the ATi graphics cards unless Microsoft pays NVidia royalties to use these API's (I think they were API's).



    Honestly? I don't think it can be done. It's already been said that backwards compatability will be enabled by buying the hard drive (not on the record though), and they mentioned it will be backwards compatable with 'top selling titles'.

    My suspicion is that the hard drive will ship with a PowerPC-recompiled version of Halo 2, *just* as rumored/leaked a couple weeks ago. Maybe Microsoft will offer free downloads of the top XBox 1 games recompiled for XBox 360. And that is why Microsoft has not listed backwards compatability on their web page.
     
  4. fistful macrumors 6502a

    fistful

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    #4
    They said something vague along the lines of it will be backwards compatible with only some xbox games, predominantly more popular games. Possibly games that are supported are recompiled versions you download to the HD. I'm pretty sure this would not be free, possibly you'd have to insert the original disc so it knows you have an actual copy or charge you for the download.

    I'm just throwing out some speculation, I'm probably way off.
     
  5. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #5
    Actually that sounds realistic. Put in your disk and download a recompiled binary, but it uses the actual data that is on the disk for the models and textures and levels, etc.
     
  6. Rocksaurus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Rocksaurus

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    #6
    AH! Okay, that makes a lot more sense, though I bet a lot of gamers will think that their games will just work with the Xbox 360 and be "angry" or "upset" when they find that only the popular ones that were recompiled work. I'm really curious to see how all this pans out, as well as the console war as a whole. Thanks for the insight GFL and Fistful
     
  7. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #7
  8. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #8
  9. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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    #9
    Some people just can't accept that MS has pulled another fast one, can you?

    You change the processor architecture, you change the graphics processor, you admit that only the top titles will be backward compatible and you still argue about it? If this was a complete emulation solution, *every* fricken xbox game would play - get it? They won't, so there's something else going on, and the idea of a recompile of Halo and such makes a lot more sense the the other crap spewed on this thread.
     
  10. Schmittroth macrumors regular

    Schmittroth

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    #10
    Let us not forget that even the PS1 to PS2 conversion wasn't flawless. Most likely if you have a good game that was well programmed it'll be relatively easy to recompile or emulate. Those games that were thrown together will be the first to show problems but no one really cares because no one is playing those anyway.
     
  11. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

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    #11
    Most likely it will be the games that made big $$. Let us not forget that M$ controls Halo(2). They will make sure that title ports. The 3rd party stuff will be up to the publisher; if there's money, they will port it. The important point is that there is no *real* backward compatibility, per se. You can't just run your old games, as is, which I expect is what most folks expect from "backward compatibility". You can slice and dice the words all you want, it doesn't change the reality.
     
  12. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #12
    god how often are you posting this useless blog the last days ? ;)

    read the article psoted by GFlPraxis please... just once... it quotes the exact same sentecnes as your web page just that those guys know more about compiling than you as it seems ;) (no offence)
     
  13. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Pardon me but this "blog" is from Major Nelson, Xbox Live Chief Engineer at MICROSOFT. So GFLPraxis can say anyting he wants, no offense intended, but I will believe Major Nelson before anyone on this forum. Case close.
     
  14. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #14
    you still don't understand right ?

    major nelson says "you" (aka. the homeuser) won't have to recompile right ? i ask you: how could they anyway ? answer that question i'm not saying something different from him... in fact you are simply repeating him and answering to stuff which he is not talking about ?

    in fact both your and major nelson are quoting the same PR person just gfls article says more about ways how microsoft can implent backwards compability because the xbox 360 isn't compatible through architecture design (unlike ps1 -> ps2)

    after all major nelson is responsible for xbox live and not the architecture and core system right ?
     
  15. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I agree but he's an Microsoft official. Some of you have not follow this xbox generation but Major Nelson is always of the xbox forums posting regular information. He always provide accurate information. He's trustworthy.

    I know GFLPraxis knows alot of C++ and programming but this thing I'm going to be on Microsoft side. If they said they can do it, then they can. What would be the purpose of lying to customer. It's might be very possible that some game might not work just like some PS1 game doesn't work on PS2. There's is definetly alot of unanwser question regarding B/C between xbox1 and X360.
     
  16. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #16
    well so far the only thing micorsoft said is:
    “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.”

    the little words which change the whole semantics is the little word "top" and "our goal" like said before
    you won't have to buy them again that is correct ... even microsoft wouldn't do that .. but so far microsoft has 2 choices:
    1. recompiling and offering the executables as free download on xbox live ... that isn't different from major nelson who says "you the homeuser won't have to re-compile"
    my guess: put in old xbox game in the drive -> xbox 360 recognize it's an old game -> tells that he needs to download it from the microsoft server"
    after all such binaries don't have to that big
    especially if microsoft does it smart and combines it with some sort of emulatio nthe not so performance clogging parts..sometimes it could be enough to bring it down to perhaps only the executable ( the .exe of the xbox if there is such a thing ;))
    after that it runs the binary from harddisk the next time you put the disk in
    sure complete backwards compability
    sure it's a small hassle for the user but it would be the easier solution because microsoft is pushing xbox live etc a lot with the new one

    2. full emulation which of course is a lot harder even with the hardware advantage and possible too slow (it could be but a lot of "mights" here) .. because so far we haven't seen a single playable game running on xbox hardware

    if they can pull of number 2 everything is fine but it could be very likely only be the number 1 version ...which would be fine by me how many would a person have to download ? 3-4 execuables ? that's not that much and a lot better than non at all ;)

    (at the moment we have to develop a java programm with swt for university and making that compatible with mac os x, linux and windows is already a pain in the ass ;) ...so i can imagine how hard it might be with completle different architectures... my guess is that a lot of microsoft engineers are sitting there swearing and cursing about microsofts decision to choose x86 with their first console ;) )
     
  17. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I agree about the engineer. It ain't no easy task. The xbox was put together with pc spare part and called a console. There's definetly a departure in the X360 architecture. Microsoft wants to move forward and we can't blame then for that.

    If a company has the ressources and money to achieve such backward compatibility is must be Microsoft. My guess is still with #2 : pure emulation. I know for a fact that Halo 2 was already build with the X360 in mind. So we know that game will work on X360. It would be suicidal to have it otherwise.

    I was claiming before E3 that I didn't care about B/C anyway since I already have an xbox. Having X360 compatible is just a +. I'll probably sell my xbox with a few game to a friend.

    I tend not to look back. When I bought my first Mac (PM G5) i went forward with it. I accepted it for what it was giving me. I've learn to use a few new program and an OS. There is nothing wrong with that.
     
  18. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #18
    You are still wrong.

    All that article says is Microsoft said, "It will be backwards compatible with top games and you won't have to re-buy anything". That doesn't prevent downloadable 'patches' to make certain games compatible where patches include recompiled binaries.
     
  19. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #19

    #1 makes perfect sense.

    #2 is insanely hard. It's not JUST emulation, remember. You also have to worry about developers optimizing for Nvidia specific calls for the first XBox. Even if you somehow could get emulation running, miraculously, you'd still have that problem.

    I'd guess you're right, they are sitting there cursing their decision to use x86 about now ;)
     
  20. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #20

    Please forgive me GFL because you are GOD and know more then Microsoft..I surrender and bow before you.../end sarcasm

    The facts is they said you would not have to download binairies and I bet you won't have too. period.
     
  21. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #21
    Okay then. Show me where, on the record, Microsoft told us specificly, "You will not have to download binaries".

    Oh wait, they didn't. No facts there :rolleyes:
     
  22. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    It was on Major Nelson website and gamespot.com also posted that gameindustry.biz was wrong and that you don't have to re-compile binairies.

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/05/20/news_6126204.html

    RUMOR #2: The Xbox 360 won't be backward compatible after all.

    Source: British industry news site Gamesindustry.biz.

    The official story: See below.

    What we heard: Microsoft carefully parsed its words about the Xbox 360's backward compatibility by saying it will be "backward-compatible with top-selling Xbox games." So when Gamesindustry.biz published an article revealing the console's radically different hardware couldn't support current-gen Xbox games, accusation perfidy in Redmond began to fly. "The solution Microsoft has reached is apparently to recompile current-gen Xbox games so that they can be played on the 360," says G'biz. "First on the list, it says, are the best-selling Halo titles." However, Xbox owners were the only ones freaking out. The usually recalcitrant Microsoft bypassed its external public relations company, telling GameSpot directly that, "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."

    Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus.
     

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