It was announced at E3 this week that XBox 360 will be backwards compatible with the original XBox. My good friend, Michael Brundage, was the dev for this feature. Read about XBox Backwards Compatibility from the horses mouth. My favorite quote from his article is

The first impression you should get is that these numbers are fantastic for high-definition Xbox 360 games. Wow! But on further reflection, they're not so good for emulating Xbox games at 30 fps. On my 1.25GHz G4 PowerBook, VPC 7 emulates a 295MHz x86 processor -- so the emulator is more than 4 times faster than the machine it's emulating. So most people look at these numbers and conclude that Xbox backwards compatibility can't be done.

Then there are a few people who understand emulators at a very technical level, or understand both Xbox systems inside and out to an expert level of detail that I'm not about to go into here. They perform more sophisticated calculations using the Art of Software Engineering, but ultimately reach the same conclusions as those not skilled in the Art: Backwards compatibility can't be done. [One such skeptic interviewed me for my current job, and pointedly asked during the interview how I planned to handle the project's certain future cancellation.]

And yet, here it is. It's magic!

Last year I got to meet J Allard and one of the questions I asked was about backwards compatibility in the next version of the XBox. He gave the impression that they wanted to do it but it would be a very difficult task. I would never have guessed that Mr. XQuery would be the one to get the job done.

Great job, Michael.


Tuesday, 17 May 2005 19:28:25 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Thanks, Dare, but of course this was a team effort. And what a team it is -- I'd work with them on anything.

Working under J has been awesome. The Xbox 360 makes self-evident the positive effects of his leadership and his org's hard work.
Wednesday, 18 May 2005 21:32:09 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
This sounds like a job for Michael Abrash!

You have to register with DDJ but I *HIGHLY* recommend doing so to read Mike's articles on Pixomatic. A case study on what is possible through sheer feats of technical genius, even though it ultimately doesn't make much sense IMO.
Wednesday, 18 May 2005 21:39:18 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Some people are skeptical because the of the marketing wording that was used. Specifically something like "... backward compatible with the top XBox titles...". So does that mean that it's not emulating the hardware fully and anyone who used a certain API or did something funky it might not work on XBox 360?

Just curious,
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