Xbox 360 Backward Compatibility and Happenings

I have been giving some though to the supposed Xbox 360 “backward compatibility” to play some specific Xbox games. The Xbox 360 architecture (processor, video card, etc.) on the Xbox 360 is vastly different from the Xbox, and emulation of a 733MHz processor, even on a 3GHz processor would be no trivial task, especially if the plan is to improve the original game (as has been speculated). The think the goal has nothing to do with actual backward compatibility, i.e., playing the original code from the original games.

Windows, and I believe the Xbox as well (and Macintosh, …, is based on a set of APIs. As long as the games in question don’t make heavy use of assembly language, but, instead are written in a high level language (such as C++) and do all of their work interacting with the Xbox hardware using the APIs, and if the Xbox 360 either has the same APIs or a “compatibility” API, there is no reason that one couldn’t take the source of a program and recompile it for the Xbox 360. It shouldn’t be necessary to do anything special with the “data” the program uses, such as the game maps, graphics, textures, sounds, music, etc. Really just the main program would have to be recompiled. So, they pick the games that are the best written (i.e. most portable) and put the recompiled version of the game engine online. When you insert the Halo or Halo 2 disc, it checks to see if the recompiled version is available, downloads it from the Internet, and runs the new executable but uses the data from the original game’s DVD. If they did this with a handful of the most popular games, they could declare some degree of backward compatibility success. The actual portion that would need recompilation is likely not all that big, so, they could theoretically put a few games on the hard drive that ships with the Xbox 360 Premium.

What I have said here is probably already been speculated (or downright stated?) by others, but…

Still playing and enjoying FEAR and SSX On Tour. Lots of fun. I am reminded with SSX On Tour of my feelings about SSX3… I really enjoy the racing events but I find the trick events more difficult, so, once I have progressed pretty far into the game I tend to stick to the racing events. I enjoy performing the cool tricks during races to get more “Boost”, but, I prefer to race. I am ranked like 34th in the game, but, I wonder how much higher I will get without honing my trick-ability.

We saw A History of Violence this last weekend. It was really good, but, it does have some violence and some gore…. if you are particularly squeamish it might not be for you. We have almost finished season two of The West Wing, continues to be very good.

Until next time…

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