The Xbox 360 backwards-compatibility issue is still rather foggy, as reports claim that a select number of Xbox titles may yet be playable with the version of the next-gen machine that doesn't have a hard-drive. Probably-maybe. Eh?
While it was previously thought that only certain 'premium' Xbox games would be viable on Xbox 360 if you had a hard-drive (that may or may not have the relevant emulation software pre-installed), it turns out there might be a little light for those going HDD-less. According to sources who have spoken to 1UP, Microsoft is asking certain developers to create their current and future games with the emulation code built-in, so that consumers buying an Xbox 360 without the HDD will be able to play the relevant games; enabling both 360 SKUs to benefit. However, this will only be limited to recent products, and even then it'll be restricted to just high profile or triple-A titles.
So, to recap: we're still trying to find out if you'll need to download emulation software to an Xbox 360 HDD to play some - not all - old Xbox games, or if it will come pre-installed. But a few titles may work without the HDD, only if they're new and Microsoft deems them worthy enough. Yet there's still no official confirmation on any of this so far.
Sigh. So, back into the fog, until X05.