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Adam Creighton, Computer and Video Gaming (Subscribe)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Xbox 360 backwards compatibility

UPDATE: A ton of new games have been added or updated on the backwards (frontwards? Did they miss a marketing opportunity?) list on 08.28.2006.

This is huge. The "Emulation Ninjas" are earning their Scooby Snacks.

The full list of backwards compatible titles is available at the link below:

Updates on 08.28.2006:

  • Aggressive Inline
  • Aquaman: Battle of Atlantis
  • All Star Baseball 2003
  • All Star Baseball 2005
  • Burnout 3: Takedown
  • Catwoman
  • Crash Bandicoot: Nitro Kart UPDATED
  • Counter Strike
  • Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
  • Dead to Rights
  • Digimon Rumble Arena 2 UPDATED
  • ESPN Major League Baseball
  • Fatal Frame 2
  • Ford vs. Chevy UPDATED
  • Freaky Flyers
  • Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows
  • Tom Clancy´s Ghost Recon - Island Thunder
  • Half Life 2 UPDATED
  • The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer UPDATED
  • IndyCar Series 2005
  • Kabuki Warrior UPDATED
  • Lego Star Wars II
  • Links 2004
  • Magatama UPDATED
  • Maximum Chase
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception UPDATED
  • MTX: Mototrax Featuring Travis Pastrana
  • Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection
  • MX vs. ATV Unleashed
  • Outlaw Tennis
  • Over the Hedge
  • Sid Meier's Pirates
  • Richard Burns Rally
  • Rogue Trooper
  • Serious Sam
  • Shincho Mahjong
  • Smashing Drive
  • Sneakers UPDATED
  • Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run
  • The Legend of Spyro: A Beginning
  • TAZ: Wanted
  • True Crime Streets of LA
  • The Suffering
  • Trigger Man
  • Torino Winter Olympics 2006
  • Vietcong
  • Wrath Unleashed
  • X-Men II: Wolverine's Revenge
PREVIOUS: BLACK, Star Wars Battlefront II, and World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 have are now playable on the Xbox 360.

PREVIOUS: Seven Tom Clancy Xbox titles are now playable on Xbox 360.

PREVIOUS: Microsoft has finally released the initial list of backwards-compatible titles -- and it's a surprisingly big list (roughly 200 titles).

For those that haven't been keeping up, the "backwards compatibility issue" is born out of Microsoft switching the GPU from nVIDIA in the original Xbox to ATI for the Xbox 360.

This means backwards compatibility has to be done with software emulation, which required Microsoft building the emulator, certifying games, working out the kinks, etc. I've gotta think this is a huge technical feat, so props to the bright bulbs over at Microsoft.

Even cooler? According to Todd Holmdahl (Corporate VP of the Xbox Product Group), "Every original Xbox game will be upscaled to 720p and 1080i, and will take advantage of Xbox 360’s anti-aliasing capabilities, delivering a picture that is clearer and crisper than anything available on Xbox."

Also, Holmdahl said backwards compatible titles will be playable between Xbox and Xbox 360 (though he didn't say if this was just over Xbox Live, or system linked).

And in answer to the question, "How far back into the Xbox game library are you going to go?" he said, "When we say Xbox library, we mean the entire Xbox library. This ranges all the way from our launch in 2001 up to games that haven't even shipped yet." (I cannot wait until Black on Xbox 360.)

Downsides? You will need a hard drive for backwards compatibility (come on, what jokers are getting "Core systems"? Don't buy into Microsoft's bad decision). Also, current-gen Xbox Live Arcade titles won't be compatible on the 360. But the new version looks to be amazing -- with titles like Midway's original Gauntlet and Joust playable over Xbox 360 Live.

The offline emulators for Halo and Halo 2 will be shipped on the Xbox 360 hard drive. Other emulators (and Xbox Live support for the Halo franchise) can be downloaded over Live, downloaded from a PC and burned on a CD, or ordered from Microsoft

The full list of backwards compatible titles is available below:

The Bungie article about Halo and Halo 2 support on the Xbox 360 is available here:

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SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.


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