YaK:: WebLog #535 Topic : 2007-11-13 21.26.14 matt : thoughts on the November 2007 xbox360 backward compatibility update [Changes]   [Calendar]   [Search]   [Index]   [PhotoTags]   
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thoughts on the November 2007 xbox360 backward compatibility update

More of a mixed bag than other updates, but welcome nonetheless.

The list is now up to 465 games, which is a pretty impressive number. We own about 50-60 XBox games, have played little more than 20 of them, and about 75% are supported by the 360's emulation.

The November update adds a couple of games we have, the most exciting of which (to me) are Blinx , Baldur's Gate , Breakdown , Syberia II , Worms 3D

. I'm also really exicted about Indiana Jones And the Emperor's Tomb and hope they keep adding compatibility for more of these kinds of less violent games to offset the lack of them on the 360. This latest update appears to have focused on games with similar engines as opposed to top-sellers, something I wrote about in my previous blog posts. That being said, there are quite a few directly pulled from customer requests in blog, article, and message board comments. I'll be recommending the 360 to people and purchasing one myself once the price drops. I was really on the fence about buying a Wii or a 360, but at the current rate of emulation improvements, it's going to be a no-brainer. The PS3's stretch and filter approach to "upscaling" has been roundly rejected by users as making games look *worse*, and the Wii doesn't do any filtering or FSAA of any kind. The 360's emulation isn't perfect, especially for people on PAL systems. There are also others issues like animations not working and some titles not being fully upscaled to 720p or 1080p. The upside is that these issues seem to be corrected as people report them, so that's a good thing.

Almost all of the Harry Potter games have been added, *except* for Quidditch World Cup , which was a Platinum Hits Release. I seem to remember hearing that QWC used the same engine as another EA sports series, some of which were added in this update. Hopefully they get around to testing and certifying it for the next release.

Scouring the blogs and blog comments once again, there are a few that come up over and over that still aren't supported (in order of times I've seen them requested):

Riddick is really the #1 requested game, and has been since the 360 was released. I read somewhere that it won't actually be supported because the game's developer will be releasing a special edition of the game native to the 360. All of the Baldur's Gate-based games are now supported except for Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. I wonder what it does that made it difficult to emulate. Prince of Persia is another good example: the first one is supported, but the second and third aren't -- even though they are the most requested, there is a major motion picture version in the works, and the original PoP was recently a #1 seller on XBox Live Arcade. There are other similar situations, like Unreal Championship 2 and WarPath being supported but Unreal Championship 1 isn't. Destroy All Humans being supported but the sequel isn't, Pac-Man World 3 is supported but Pac-Man World 2 isn't, Serious Sam is supported, but Serious Sam 2 isn't, etc. As for unique engines, Otogi 1 & 2, which are exclusive to the XBox. I can only assume they are having difficulty making the particle effects look decent while successfully working around NVidia's patents.

Out of the above list, here are the ones I'd really like to see in the next update:

As you can see, my preference leans toward rounding out support for sequels and similar game engines to those already supported. I would think that would be lower hanging fruit, and provide more bang for the development time. This appears to have been the strategy for this November release.

And there's a couple I'd like to see that I didn't see mentioned by anyone else:

In my opinion, this emulation that actually does *real* upscaling in the 3D rendering and FSAA is the only thing keeping people from jumping on the Wii or PS3 immediately. As proven by the sales of the NFL08 Xbox title a few months ago, there's well over 100,000 Xbox owners who haven't necessarily committed to a new console yet. Having the value of our existing libraries *increased* is a brilliant move by Microsoft in snagging early adopters and influencers. I really don't understand Sony's approach to fucking their customer base by doing the opposite and further removing backward compatibility. Here's hoping that Microsoft continues to differentiate themselves by keeping it up for another year or two.

PS: Yes, I am a total fucking geek for spending the time to collate and sort these lists.


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by geoff:
total. fucking. geek.

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