Microsoft unveiled the Xbox 360 on Thursday but one major question is still unanswered. The question is whether the new Xbox console will be backward compatible with the original Xbox games. Funny as it is the Microsoft executive didn't even know the answer yet last week.
He claimed there are a bunch of technical issues and that Microsoft will announce on Monday whether the Xbox 360 will be backward-compatible with old Xbox games.
The cause of the problems are the different PowerPC processor architecture from IBM and the ATI graphics solution used by the upcoming Xbox 360. They are completely different compared to the Xbox and Chris Satchell, general manager of Microsoft's XNA game development platform, states that this causes some challenges to provide backward compatibility.
Michael Patcher, an analyst from Wedbush Morgan Securities, says the situation may come down to whether Microsoft is able to license patented technology from Intel to make the Xbox 360 backward compatible.
It's not clear whether the lack of backward-compatibility could harm the Xbox 360 sales but some analysts think it is possible. It would give Sony (PS3) and Nintendo (Revolution) a strong marketing weapon if their next-generation consoles are backward compatible.