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Xbox 360: latest snippets

Backwards compatibility looks likely, and Xbox boss has a go at the PSP.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

An interesting new piece of info has emerged which suggests Xbox 360 will indeed play original Xbox games after all. And what's more, Xbox Live will allow owners of either console to play together.

At least, that's if an online questionnaire aimed at Xbox Live users is the genuine article. It contains a section which reads:

"Xbox Live is an online gaming service that works across both the current Xbox system and the future Xbox 2. You will be able to play online and compete against others across both consoles.

"If you are playing an Xbox game on Live you will be able to compete against people playing that same game on Xbox 2."

Which would of course imply that you can play Halo 2, say, on both Xbox and Xbox 360 - unless Microsoft is planning to release 360 versions of the original classics, VHS/DVD style? Nah, surely not...

In other 360 news, chief Xbox officer Robert Bach played it cool at a recent business event, refusing to reveal any juicy details about the new console.

However, he did say that Microsoft would continue to look to the PC for inspiration as the next-gen war kicks off. "Our view is the innovation driver is the PC, and will be the PC going forward," he said.

Bach also said that the Xbox 360 will be a games machine first and foremost rather than a jack-of-all-trades, and took the opportunity to have a dig at the PSP - criticising the inclusion of a movie player that's only compatible with specially-made discs.

"You have to decide what things are complimentary functions… And what things aren't," Bach said. "I think most products that try to be all things to all people don't do well."

And there's good news for ladies, as Bach confirmed Microsoft's commitment to women gamers. He estimates that 75 per cent of Xbox players are male, and says that since it'll be the hardcore gamers who are first to buy a 360 this figure is likely to rise to 90 per cent.

Without wheeling out any clichés at all, Bach pointed out that the majority of puzzle and strategy fans are women. He went on to suggest that many games require too much commitment for the average lady: "If you want to be good, you have to practice," he said. "What we need is more experiences that are casual fun." We're saying nothing.

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