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Friday, August 26, 2005



"Xbox 360 Core users won't be able to play most current-gen Xbox games without forking out for a hard drive, Microsoft sources confirm

After US marketing material was leaked onto the net earlier this week, suggesting that the Core version of Microsoft's Xbox 360 would not support backward compatibility without a hard drive, Microsoft sources have now confirmed that this is, for the most part, the case.

Previously, the company has explained that high profile Xbox games will be primed for use on its next-gen console on a game-by-game basis - however, it was unclear exactly what this would mean for end-users.

Microsoft has now clarified the process needed to play Xbox titles on the new console, kind of. For older current-gen games to run, you'll need an emulator sitting on your 360's hard drive - obviously this means that Core users won't be able to enjoy backward compatibility with these games without upgrading their machines.

Whether the emulator is a one-file-fits-all solution however, or if a new file is required for each original Xbox game, is still unclear - as is Microsoft's intended method of distributing the software. Although downloading the emulator via Xbox Live is the obvious solution, rumours are persisting that Microsoft may ship the Xbox emulation software pre-installed on hard drives.

Either way, it's not completely bad news for anyone still intending to pick up a Core Xbox 360 system at launch - Microsoft has stated that developers currently working on current-gen titles have now been invited to include the necessary emulation software on the Xbox discs themselves, meaning that a hard drive won't be necessary to play these games in the future.

But due to limited resources, with Microsoft's emulation experts being assigned to assist developers keen to offer cross-generation compatibility, this will still only apply to key Xbox titles, and only key Xbox titles that have recently gone into development at that.

By the sounds of it, your best option for guaranteed backward compatibility at the moment is simply to hang on to your Xbox."

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