MS considers 360 HDD upgrade

But don't expect many more backwards compatibility updates.

Microsoft may consider releasing a larger Xbox 360 hard disk in future - but is unlikely to keep devoting resources to making Xbox games work on its next-gen format.

That's according to Peter Moore, who told Kikizo at E3 that "there's going to be a time when we need to look at what we're doing [with hard disks] - but no announcements now".

"We continue looking at the hard drive, we're looking at the behaviour of what people are doing with their hard drives," Moore had said. "Clearly when you have a million downloads you start looking at what you need to do."

Less promising was Moore's take on backwards compatibility - something Sony claims will be in place by default on PS3 and conversely something Moore believes doesn't really matter to Xbox 360, despite the furore last E3.

"Nobody is concerned anymore about backwards compatibility. We under promised and over delivered on that. It's a very complicated thing... very complex work. I'm just stunned that we have hundreds of games that are backwards compatible," he said.

That doesn't mean we won't get more backwards-compatible games (OutRun 2006, please!) - indeed, "more are coming" - but "at some point, you just go, there's enough, let's move on, or people aren't as worried about a game being backwards compatible - and I like to think we've upheld our end of the bargain in making at least two or maybe three hundred games backwards compat."

Microsoft came under fire at E3 in May 2005 for its doublespeak over the backward compatibility issue, with the firm declining to commit at the time to any details of how much of the Xbox catalogue would work on the new system - although company spokespeople at the time were adamant that its ultimate goal was to achieve full compatibility.

"Our goal is to have every Xbox game work on Xbox 360," Xbox PR manager Michael Wolf told GamesIndustry.biz at the time - a goal from which Microsoft now appears to have retreated significantly.

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