On Backwards Compatibility

I finally got around to writing that article on backwards compatibility, with a little help from other members of the development team.

Comments (34)

  1. Farron says:

    Thanks for that update! 🙂 It is good to hear that Backwards Compatibility is still being worked on.

    I find that GTA: San Andreas is completely smooth and fine, yet GTA 3 and GTA: VIce City are a bit sluggish. Hopefully things get sorted out with that soon as well as the ability to play the NES Arcade Games in Ninja Gaiden Black.

    Also.. I am so hanging for Psychonauts and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath to work on the 360. Please say the BC update will be out soon to allow that! 🙂 I’d also like the ability to play Kung Fu Chaos and ToeJam & Earl 3 as well, but if I had to choose which games are most important then it would be Psychonauts and Stranger’s Wrath.

  2. CIJclouseau says:

    Thanks, that was very interesting. It makes me appreciate the time it takes the BC team. Tell them I said, "Don’t give up".

  3. navy says:

    good stuff.  Thanks for the insight!

  4. slider2nl says:

    Thanks for the info about the cb update

  5. scytherage says:

    Strange issue encountered when updating the 360 for BC and for downloading patches (PART I)

    Posted at: http://forums.xbox.com/3483216/ShowPost.aspx#3483216

    Lately I discovered some odd behavior on the 360 when you’re trying to apply updates for backwards compatibility and for getting patches. I was able to patch my BC (Backwards Compatibility) and my game, Call of Duty 2, successfully….but I had to use some strange method to do it, and I am posting this in the interest of helping Microsoft improve their system. There may be something wrong with the way console updates are done. I hope this post will reach anyone in Microsoft, somehow.

    I posted the following on another Xbox fan site to help some people who are encountering problems after getting the latest patch via Xbox Live. I don’t know if it is related, but it is really, really strange behavior from the Xbox 360.

    The posts I made, follows:


    How to (probably) update your Xbox 360 safely – PART 1.

    One time I was prompted by Xbox live that a new patch was available for backward compatibility. I was signed in before I was prompted for it. But once I was prompted by the 360 that there was a new BC patch, i got a notice that said ‘DISCONNECTED FROM XBOX LIVE’. Ignoring this message, i picked the option to update my 360. Naturally, since I was disconnected from live, an error occurred. I thought it was my connection.

    On the second attempt, the same thing happened. ‘Disconnected from Xbox Live’ message pops out. I choose ‘Yes, Update’, and then the console fails to download the patch for BC.

    On the third attempt, I got disconnected yet again…pondering on what to do, i just sat there thinking whether or not to pick the ‘No, don’t update’ option…and then my 360 gets signed in all by itself. "Scytherage signed in to xbox live", it said. I didnt initiate the reconnection attempt. So i picked ‘Yes, update", and then I successfully downloaded the patch.

    Later on I informed wuffy about this. (Wuffy is a friend of mine in real life who also has a 360) Wuffy’s 360 was different because it was also getting disconnected but it wouldn’t sign in after a long duration of waiting. Later on, we found out that by NOT SIGNING IN BEFORE LOADING AN XBOX 1 GAME, you can have a better chance of downloading a BC patch.

    Again, if you hear from the internet that a new BC patch is available, the best thing to do to download it successfully (and not get the odd, 360 behavior), is to NOT BE SIGNED IN WHEN YOU START YOUR 360. Step by step:


    1. Start your 360.

    2. Do not sign in. If your 360 is set to ‘auto sign in’, take it out.

    3. Make sure your LAN cable for internet access is connected (but again, do NOT sign in).

    4. Put in your XBox 1 game.

    5. While your Xbox 1 game is loading, your 360 should attempt to check the net for a new BC patch (it does it even if you aren’t connected). You will then get a prompt to get the update.

    6. At the prompt, choose ‘Yes, update’. Your console ‘should’ sign in to Live (or, at least offer you the option to sign in as a certain account) and get the patch.

    If you really insist on being signed in ahead of putting an Xbox 1 game:

    1. After the game loads, you get a prompt to update your console. You may get disconnected when the prompt appears. Don’t panic. Wait a minute first, then your console *should* reconnect to Live by itself. Once you get the message, "Signed in to xbox live", choose the option "Yes, Update".

    2. If your console does NOT do this behavior (like what happened to Wuffy), follow the instructions I stated above, "HOW TO SAFELY GET A BC PATCH"


  6. scytherage says:



    The other day I heard that a new patch came out for Call of Duty 2. Naturally I wanted to update my 360, so I put in COD2 while connected to Live. I got the following prompts:


    "An update is available for this game…"

    That’s what happened to me. Again. I get disconnected from LIVE and get a prompt for an update.

    After the experience with the BC PATCH (stated in above post), i tried out the methods I’ve listed there, and both didn’t work. I kept getting a message saying that I could not download the patch.

    So this is what eventually worked for me. The procedure to get the update ‘safely’ is a bit similar to what I’ve stated in the earlier post….

    1. Don’t sign in to Xbox Live.

    2. Put in your game.

    3. Load the game. Oddly enough, this time the game WONT detect the update is available, not yet, anyway.

    4. When the game is finished loading, (title screen is there, or the intro movie is playing), click the XBOX GUIDE button and sign in NOW.

    5. Now, you’ll get the prompt for the update. Since the first thing that you did is to sign in, your 360 won’t disconnect you. Now choose YES, UPDATE to get the patch.

    Anyone here know anyone who works in the Xbox division at Microsoft??? Somebody’s got to tell them about this strange, strange oddity when it comes to updating the 360 over live. I have a feeling this may be related to the problems that some people are having, lately.

    The best approach, I’ve discovered, is to use your 360 like you would a PC. Be very careful.

  7. jmel says:

    Question for XboxFan:

    When games are emulated, is there a "core emulation engine" that uses "profiles" for each game? Or is the "core emulation engine" changed to allow more and more games to work?

    Is it both?

    Just curious…

    Thanks 🙂

    – Jmel

  8. xbox360user says:

    This seems to be an active blog so I’m asking a question here 🙂 When we can expect a mice/keyboard to Xbox360?

    I bought Xbox360 because of now I don’t need to update my PC after every 3 month and games look great, but – as I’ve started my gaming "career" with Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Duke, Quake, … I’ve always played with keyboard (+mice) combination.

    I bought Perfect Dark Zero but it’s frustating to try play it with Xbox360 controller. Hey, I ain’t saying it isn’t good and I’ve saw people play it with very well but after ~10 years of keyboard play it’s hard to aim. 🙂

  9. kazuyette says:

    Very nice article folks 🙂

    These blogs are a real nice initiative from MSFT .

    I wanna read more !!!

    A happy X360 owner

    Gamertag : Kazuyette

  10. RagingAvatar says:

    I’d like to think this’ll stop people whinging but somehow I don’t think so..

    But on that note (prepares whinge)

    Guys, how come I can’t play Halo on my 360 via VGA AV cable? I’m a Games Technology student at University in England, I can’t afford a HD TV, so I bought a VGA AV cable to use my CRT monitor for HD.. but now I can’t play Halo 1, Splinter Cell, Half-Life 2.. etc.. etc..

    I could live without it if I had heard a decent answer as to why – but currently all I know is that Microsoft don’t care that the kids in the UK can’t play Halo if they can’t afford a HD TV.. (BTW The VGA cable has been sold out here since launch…)

    Seriously, I’d like to see this issue answered.

    PS. I love these Microsoft blogs – a great idea.

  11. koolin says:

    good article, lots of interesting info.  I am wondering if you guys have taken into account how 360 games are being developed so that on the next gen system you won’t have such a difficult time of it all.  This is probably XNA and all that fun jazz I assume.  

    looking way into the future….


  12. McClintock says:

    Hello all,

    First off, I enjoy what you all have accomplished and appreciate the many ways you reach out to us.

    I’ve been trying to resolve an issue I have streaming music from my MCE PC to my 360 and OG Xbox. Microsoft referred me to the Xbox forums but that is where I started. So, I’m hoping one of you might know the answer or know someone who does.

    The problem is short gaps between songs that should be continuous. Zach from the WMP develepmont team was able to help me get these continuous play albums to play correctly on my PC but did not know if the same could be accomplished with the Xbox or 360.

    Thanks for any insights you may have. Got a few people in the Xbox forums awaiting an answer.

    Below is part of the conversation with Zach.

    I said:

    > Enabling and changing the crossfade settings cleared up the issue when

    > playing from the MCE PC, but the gaps are still an issue when listening

    > from

    > an Xbox or Xbox 360 extender. Is this some sort of network limitation,

    > something that can be patched or am I once again ignorant of a setting

    > somewhere?

    Microsoft response:

    I don’t believe XBox or X360 support that, but don’t know a darned thing

    about their implementation. You would want to try an XBox forum for that

    kind of question.

    Windows Media Development Team (speaking for myself only)

    See http://zachd.com/pss/pss.html for some helpful WMP info.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

  13. PJ says:

    Loved the article…looking forward to more!

    Gamertag: PkUpStx

  14. SCS 85 says:

    I wonder when the next BC update will be.  I think BC is great, there are still plenty Xbox games that I have that I want to play on my 360.  It is great to play Halo 2 and Forza wirelessly and in 1080i…

  15. Ti47 says:

    Hey guys,

    I have been trying to contact microsoft however I can’t find any emails (obviously)

    anyway I was wondering about Multi Region support. Will microsoft somehow drop this whole region coding thing?

    Rite now I ahve a PAL 360 and I am flying back home soon, my home country is Thailand and they have Asian Region of the consoles there. So as you might have guessed the Asian Region games won’t work on my PAL 360.

    I love microsoft and what its doing to the 360. I’ve convinced like 2 of my friend to get a 360. All the games line up look real exciting. All my friend think of me as a Fanboy.

    The only problem I have now with the 360 is that there is this region lock thing personally I don’t understand why Sony can make their console Region Free and Microsoft can’t do this. Microsoft is bigger better than sony I am sure doing a Multi Region thing can’t be that hard.

    The problem I would have with selling my current 360 and getting a new one in Thailand is that some of my games I have now are PAL based. so it wouldn’t work in my new 360 + I have all thse stuff on my HDD, my profile, credit card info etc…. all on my HDD having to sell it would be a pain.

    Sorry for having to use this "comment" block I feel its important I make my self heard by the xbox Team.


  16. paul says:

    I’m giving away an XBOX 360 on my blog…


    The contest is open to anyone who reads my blog, anywhere on Planet Earth, even Microsoft employees are eligible for this one.

  17. Frank Malanga says:

    This article was nice but didn’t tell me how to determine if there is an "update" available so I can run my original Xbox games on the 360.

    When I tried to run my old games, the 360 screen said to check on this website for an "update." It didn’t say whether this was a software patch or an updated game.

    My grandkids will be very upset that "Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open" does not run on my new 360

  18. onekidneyjoe says:

    sorry to use the comment box for this, but when is a blog update coming? I know you are all busy, but I am curious.

  19. onekidneyjoe says:

    sorry to use the comment box for this, but when is a blog update coming? I know you are all busy, but I am curious.

  20. Rex Overbey says:

    Are there going to be anymore BC updates?  Moore made it seem like there are going to be no more.

  21. Snap says:

    I was hoping to see you guys comment on the recent BC news.  Please, oh, please don’t stop the wonderful work you’re doing.  I’m sure it’s quite difficult work but it really is important to the platform overall.


  22. J says:

    Why do you even have this blog up, anymore?

  23. I came across a really good article from the XBox Team on the Backward Compatibility of the XBox 360

  24. Luke says:

    Hi I think it shoukd be able to be downloaded off the internet so we can put it in the 360 and be alble 2 download it on thanks!

  25. Jimbo says:

    Hey…I am having trouble trying to connect my 360 to Halo2 on Live. I got the update and everything, and I can play Call of Duty2 online and Madden 2007 online as well, but no Halo2. The game doesn’t even acknowledge that the cable is connected, though when taken to the xbox dashboard and checked, all things pass. Any help?

  26. Garrett says:

    How can I get a BC patch for Greg Hasting’s Paintball Tournament Max’d? Is there any possible way to make one for yourself? If you guys are going to make one… when?



    (email, sportsboy13_92@yahoo.com )

  27. Blaine says:

    Hey, I don’t know if this has anything to do with what is going on here, but my Xbox Live expired last night when I was going to get on and when I try to renew my account giving the last four numbers of the credit card, I get a message saying ‘We’re having technicul difficulties. Please try again later.’ I tried again the next day, and it still didn’t work. If you can help me on that please e-mail me.

    (E-mail address… blainecobban@hotmail.com)


  28. Blaine says:

    Hey, I don’t know if this has anything to do with what is going on here, but my Xbox Live expired last night when I was going to get on and when I try to renew my account giving the last four numbers of the credit card, I get a message saying ‘We’re having technicul difficulties. Please try again later.’ I tried again the next day, and it still didn’t work. If you can help me on that please e-mail me.

    (E-mail address… blainecobban@hotmail.com)


  29. zionthelion says:

    I have a problem with Psychonauts freezing at the loading screen before the first level (or mind).  Has anyone else came accross this problem, is it my 360, my disc itself, or is it beyond my control?

  30. Dan says:

    I have the same issue as jimbo,All 360 games work well online but when it comes to Xbox 1 game(halo 2),The games can’t detect live at all,And they don’t even try to detect it.

  31. jonathan says:

    please someone help me!!!, how do i play on xbox live from thailand?(I own a 360 that was shipped from hong kong)

  32. BRYAN HINES says:

    i have looked for a forum on my problem and dont see one. on forza playing it on the 360 i have a problem. it seems to play ok maybe a little slow but that i can live with. my main problem is that if you ever go into the paint or decal it screws everything up to the point it looks like the car rolled in glitter. you ca put a decal on and it colors the side instead of applying on it. the paint portion paint about of 1/3rd of the car and not all in the same spot it can be lines or blocks of streaks. i really love the game but i want to do my own paint jobs and decaling. thank you for your time

  33. AdamR says:

    Hey zionthelion, I have the exact same problem. The same disc works on a friends 360, so I think it’s some with my 360 or setup. Are you using the VGA cable?

  34. I came across a really good article from the XBox Team on the Backward Compatibility of the XBox 360 system . " Xbox is based on a Pentium III processor, while Xbox 360 is based on a custom triple-core PowerPC processor co-developed with IBM. This is