Xbox 2 won’t be backwards compatible with original Xbox games

Xbox 2 won’t be backwards compatible with original Xbox games – Joystiq, the video game weblog –
Bummer… Joystiq is reporting that some MS execs are quietly confirming that Xbox 2 (or whatever it ends up being called) will not be backwards compatible with existing Xbox games. While this had never been confirmed as a proposed feature for the new console, many gamers, myself included, had high hopes that it would be so.

The main reason for the lack of backwards compatibility is the fact that Microsoft has chosen an entirely different CPU architecture to power the successor to the big black box – IBM’s PowerPC (the same architecture found in Apple’s PowerMacs). Dev kits consisting of Apple G5’s with ATI Radeon 9800 Pro video cards have been distributed to various developers. While some speculated that MS could provide backwards compatibility using emulation technology from the recently acquired Connectix, Joystiq is reporting that “getting the emulation to work was going to be a real pain in the ass so they’re just dropping it entirely.”

It’s not the end of the world, as most people that have Xbox games likely have an Xbox to play them on, but it causes complications for people like me who are already running low on space in their entertainment center and digital inputs on their A/V receiver. I’ve only got one optical digital audio input on my receiver, which is why my Xbox is currently doing double duty as console and DVD player. I’ve gotta have my Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. When Xbox 2 comes out, it looks like I’m going to have to upgrade to a receiver with more digital inputs. Just wait until I try to justify that one to my wife…