Weird Generation for Backwards Compatibility

kilenem

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This is like one of the Weirdest generations in General but Backwards compatibility is getting super weird.
The Vita doesn't have a UMD drive so it can't play physical PSP games and at launch it couldn't play all Digital PSP games. Even now they're are some Exceptions, very Few though. Although the VITA does have cross compatibility whith some PS4 and PS3.

The PS4 doesn't really have backwards compatibility with the PS3, unless you count PS Now. People have said this is because the PS4 is a different architecture then the PS3.
Im not sure if it was only for Battle Field 4 but if you bought a PS3 copy of BattleField 4, you could put the Disc in a PS4. You only had to pay ten dollars more for a PS4 Digital copy of BF4. You still had to keep the PS3 disc in to Play the game.

The Xbox one is Backwards compatible with some Xbox 360 digital or Physical games through a emulator. This is as long as the Devs of an Xbox 360 game, goes back and updates the game to work on the Xbox One. Meaning 3rd party Devs probably aren't getting paid to go and support a older title because people will probably buy that title used. Props to those Devs.

The Xbox one X is getting the same treatment for Original Xbox games. This is weird because the Xbox seems like a old enough system where the majority of Xbox games should run on a emulator with out any problems.

Then there is Nintendo. Which is notorious for Not having a unified account system yet still included hardware in the 3DS and Wii U that allows it to the Read Physical DS and Wii games. The SD card on the Wii U is only for the Wii. You have to perform a system transfer for your Wii and DS games to get your Digital games on your Wii U and 3DS. If Nintendo just had a unified account system, your licenses would be tied to that. Nintendo would later release the gamecube adapter for the Wii U for Smash Bros only. You could link up two gamecube adapters to the system for 8 Players. Probably the weirdest/Dumbest preferential for the Wii U.

I thought the Switch wasn't going to have any backwards compatibility, but they updated the Switch to use the Pokken tournament controller but instead of the Pokken tournament only working for one game, like it sadly did on the Wii U, it works for all games on the Switch. This also allowed the Mayflash Gamecube adapter to work on the Switch because it was based on the Pokken Tournament controller. In Nintendo's most recent update you can use the Official Wii U gamecube adapter on all Switch games. Granted you are missing like 5 buttons and the Switch's Base only has 3 usb slots each. The gamecube adapter needs two USB slots, you can't hook up two Gamecube adapters for 8 Player games.
 

sXeth

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kilenem said:
The PS4 doesn't really have backwards compatibility with the PS3, unless you count PS Now. People have said this is because the PS4 is a different architecture then the PS3.
Im not sure if it was only for Battle Field 4 but if you bought a PS3 copy of BattleField 4, you could put the Disc in a PS4. You only had to pay ten dollars more for a PS4 Digital copy of BF4. You still had to keep the PS3 disc in to Play the game.
Black Flag did that too, that I remember offhand. I think Injustice may have as well, but not 100% on it. GTA and Destiny did not for sure, which raised some heckles in both cases (a bit more on the former which released seemingly knowingly at the end of the generation, before releasing again a year later on the next gen. While the latter came out for both, but was a decent chunk into the next gen).

Prettysure there was a cross-gen CoD for obvious reasons, but can't recall which one it was or if it did any kind of bargaining as a result.

For weirder backwards compatibility, Rock Band still has most of its DLC transferrable to current gen Rock Band 4 even if bought on previous gen. And most of the game songlist exports intact. Barring a few here and there licensing snafus.
 

Myria

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kilenem said:
The Xbox one X is getting the same treatment for Original Xbox games. This is weird because the Xbox seems like a old enough system where the majority of Xbox games should run on a emulator with out any problems.
As far as I know original Xbox game compatibility is coming to all Xbox One gen consoles, not just the Xbox One X.

That aside, at least with the Xbox, all of which have been X86-based, I doubt backwards compatability being limited has anything to do with capability and instead has to do with legal issues.
 

kilenem

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Myria said:
kilenem said:
The Xbox one X is getting the same treatment for Original Xbox games. This is weird because the Xbox seems like a old enough system where the majority of Xbox games should run on a emulator with out any problems.
As far as I know original Xbox game compatibility is coming to all Xbox One gen consoles, not just the Xbox One X.

That aside, at least with the Xbox, all of which have been X86-based, I doubt backwards compatability being limited has anything to do with capability and instead has to do with legal issues.
Really, that's cool all Xbox ones are getting Backwards compatibility. What would be the legal issues and would they have to put original Xbox hardware in the system to by past that. This would probably jack the price up though
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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kilenem said:
Myria said:
kilenem said:
The Xbox one X is getting the same treatment for Original Xbox games. This is weird because the Xbox seems like a old enough system where the majority of Xbox games should run on a emulator with out any problems.
As far as I know original Xbox game compatibility is coming to all Xbox One gen consoles, not just the Xbox One X.

That aside, at least with the Xbox, all of which have been X86-based, I doubt backwards compatability being limited has anything to do with capability and instead has to do with legal issues.
Really, that's cool all Xbox ones are getting Backwards compatibility. What would be the legal issues and would they have to put original Xbox hardware in the system to by past that. This would probably jack the price up though
The legal issues would probably be a matter of licensing. That wouldn't be a problem for any games published by MS themselves, but there are plenty others from third party publishers.

I'm not quite sure how those things works in a legal sense, but I don't think MS can just arbitrarily make 3rd party games from one console playable on another without permission from those games' publishers, unless there was a prior agreement between them making that possible.

I don't think shoving original Xbox hardware into the Xbox One would change that.
 

kilenem

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Chimpzy said:
kilenem said:
Myria said:
kilenem said:
The Xbox one X is getting the same treatment for Original Xbox games. This is weird because the Xbox seems like a old enough system where the majority of Xbox games should run on a emulator with out any problems.
As far as I know original Xbox game compatibility is coming to all Xbox One gen consoles, not just the Xbox One X.

That aside, at least with the Xbox, all of which have been X86-based, I doubt backwards compatability being limited has anything to do with capability and instead has to do with legal issues.
Really, that's cool all Xbox ones are getting Backwards compatibility. What would be the legal issues and would they have to put original Xbox hardware in the system to by past that. This would probably jack the price up though
The legal issues would probably be a matter of licensing. That wouldn't be a problem for any games published by MS themselves, but there are plenty others from third party publishers.

I'm not quite sure how those things works in a legal sense, but I don't think MS can just arbitrarily make 3rd party games from one console playable on another without permission from those games' publishers, unless there was a prior agreement between them making that possible.

I don't think shoving original Xbox hardware into the Xbox One would change that.
I don't think that is a issue, unless they have to write code to get that game to work on the Xbox one, Their are tons of reproduction consoles that don't have to worry about that. SEGA'S shite Genesis mini rips the rom off of Original Genesis games and plays it though a emulator.
 

NLS

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Chimpzy said:
kilenem said:
Myria said:
kilenem said:
The Xbox one X is getting the same treatment for Original Xbox games. This is weird because the Xbox seems like a old enough system where the majority of Xbox games should run on a emulator with out any problems.
As far as I know original Xbox game compatibility is coming to all Xbox One gen consoles, not just the Xbox One X.

That aside, at least with the Xbox, all of which have been X86-based, I doubt backwards compatability being limited has anything to do with capability and instead has to do with legal issues.
Really, that's cool all Xbox ones are getting Backwards compatibility. What would be the legal issues and would they have to put original Xbox hardware in the system to by past that. This would probably jack the price up though
The legal issues would probably be a matter of licensing. That wouldn't be a problem for any games published by MS themselves, but there are plenty others from third party publishers.

I'm not quite sure how those things works in a legal sense, but I don't think MS can just arbitrarily make 3rd party games from one console playable on another without permission from those games' publishers, unless there was a prior agreement between them making that possible.

I don't think shoving original Xbox hardware into the Xbox One would change that.
Yeah, it mostly boils down to legal and licensing issues. At this point the 360 emulation is pretty good with most games, and original Xbox games whould be a no brainer given the technical side of x86 and such.

Most previous-gen Xbox titles have probably been published with a license that says "only playable on genuine Xbox hardware" or something like that. This sets a legal precedent against third party "pirated" Xbox hardware or things like rival consoles running Xbox games. Since there's no original hardware left in the current generation and everything is emulated in software, these deals have to be redone. This is then mostly up to the publishers, which might have changed ownership of IPs, studios, publishing rights or just stopped existing over the past 15 years. Maybe a publisher isn't keen on "giving" away a backwards compatible title if they can resell it as a remaster? Another issue is licensed music, which means most games that feature any kind of music form the 2000s have likely expired their deals and are stuck in licensing hell.

I think Microsoft has done a great job of implementing their 360 and Original Xbox emulator. Adding original hardware would've just resulted in a bigger and pricier console. Though it's sad that it's mostly up to the developers which games are given the backwards compatible treatment, and which are "remastered" and resold at a high price.
 

Samos205

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Seth Carter said:
Prettysure there was a cross-gen CoD for obvious reasons, but can't recall which one it was or if it did any kind of bargaining as a result.
Pretty sure that it might've been ghosts which i think had something similiar to battlefield 4. Could've been black ops 3 too, which didn't have a singleplayer mode on the ps3 version and only had multiplayer for whatever reason
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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kilenem said:
Chimpzy said:
I don't think that is a issue, unless they have to write code to get that game to work on the Xbox one, Their are tons of reproduction consoles that don't have to worry about that. SEGA'S shite Genesis mini rips the rom off of Original Genesis games and plays it though a emulator.
Yes, and that Sega Genesis Flashback is specifically made by ATGames under license from Sega. In other words, they got permission from Sega to make the thing, slap the Sega name and Genesis/Mega Drive branding on it, and put Sega published games on it. Most other reproduction consoles like that most likely also have a 'licensed by Sega' on there. If not, it's probably an illegal bootleg.

The NES/SNES Mini is a little different, since Nintendo makes those themselves and both the hardware and many of the games are Nintendo properties to begin with. However, there are 3rd party games on both and Nintendo no doubt needed permission from Capcom, Konami, Square-Enix or whoever owns the rights to them.
 

kilenem

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Chimpzy said:
kilenem said:
Chimpzy said:
I don't think that is a issue, unless they have to write code to get that game to work on the Xbox one, Their are tons of reproduction consoles that don't have to worry about that. SEGA'S shite Genesis mini rips the rom off of Original Genesis games and plays it though a emulator.
Yes, and that Sega Genesis Flashback is specifically made by ATGames under license from Sega. In other words, they got permission from Sega to make the thing, slap the Sega name and Genesis/Mega Drive branding on it, and put Sega published games on it. Most other reproduction consoles like that most likely also have a 'licensed by Sega' on there. If not, it's probably an illegal bootleg.

The NES/SNES Mini is a little different, since Nintendo makes those themselves and both the hardware and many of the games are Nintendo properties to begin with. However, there are 3rd party games on both and Nintendo no doubt needed permission from Capcom, Konami, Square-Enix or whoever owns the rights to them.
I think you miss understood me you can place orignal games in the Gensis HD Mini, these aren't games preloaded to the system. There are also systems like the retron by hyperkin which play original games.
 

Deadguy2322

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Myria said:
That aside, at least with the Xbox, all of which have been X86-based, I doubt backwards compatability being limited has anything to do with capability and instead has to do with legal issues.
The 360 was PowerPC-based, not X86, which is the main reason that there was no backwards compatibility until MS got really desperate. In fact, the 3yp compatibility on Bone is not real backward compatibility, but recompiled binaries for X86, that?s why disc games still require a large, title-specific download before you can play them.
 
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kilenem said:
The Xbox one is Backwards compatible with some Xbox 360 digital or Physical games through a emulator. This is as long as the Devs of an Xbox 360 game, goes back and updates the game to work on the Xbox One.
I think it needs pointing out that the use of "emulator" in your post is incorrect. An emulator is a software program that emulates the hardware of the device in question. This is very specific and shouldn't be confused with what is actually happening that you actually already mention in your second sentence. The devs have gone back and essentially "exported" another version of the game for the new console. Here is the crucial information: the original XBox was built on X86 architecture. It was for all intents and purposes, a PC, running an a Celeron processor and as such it was very easy to share games with PCs. However, it was also very easy to hack and modify so with the X360, MS ditched X86 and went with PowerPC chips, essentially the same family of CPUs that Apple used to use (before they switched to X86 themselves). But it should be clarified that the 360 did not emulate XBox games, it wouldn't be powerful enough, even modern 8-core i7s couldn't. The games were rebuilt for the new platform, and added to a player's account when they put in the original disc (which was used only to check it was a legit game).

kilenem said:
The Xbox one X is getting the same treatment for Original Xbox games. This is weird because the Xbox seems like a old enough system where the majority of Xbox games should run on a emulator with out any problems.
And so back to the Xbox One, the crucial thing here is that it is running on X64 architecture, basically a 64-bit PC (X86 is now used to refer to 32-bit in this context). So what we have is kinda like going full circle. The XB1 and the Xbox both run on the same hardware platform and so, unlike with 360 games original XBox games *could* potentially run natively on XB1 hardware, assuming the optical drive/firmware could read the disc, unlike the 360. The 360 is a different platform and so for it to run original XBOx games, or the XB1 to run 360 games, they would *have* to be rebuilt by the devs for the appropriate platform.

As a side note, while there is a clunky, sorta working XBox emulator, it will be years, if ever, that it can genuinely work. Even excepting the size of the games, emulating an Intel Celeron processor in software, even 15 years on, is not really feasible. Modern computers don't have the computing power to software emulate an XBox and the chips are too complicated to emulate in software. It might well happen years from now but it will need some very dedicated people and several generations of more powerful computers.
 

Strazdas

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kilenem said:
Im not sure if it was only for Battle Field 4 but if you bought a PS3 copy of BattleField 4, you could put the Disc in a PS4. You only had to pay ten dollars more for a PS4 Digital copy of BF4. You still had to keep the PS3 disc in to Play the game.
If the game is run from disc its going to use the same asset files regardless of what architecture is being run on and the only thing different is the engine itself which the blu-ray discs have more than enough space to fit two of. This means you can make the same disc universally work on both machines thus decreasing disc production and logistic spending. Heck, installing to HDD would probably be possible for the same, there are software installers that can easily differnetiate and install correctly based on x64/x32 architecture im sure they can do the same for 86 and Cell architectures as well. Especially since it all launches in same wrapper API that is sonys custom OS.

As for backward compatibility, because of significant (not that much for Xbox case) architectural differences actual backward compatibility is not possible, so you have two options - emulation or streaming. Since PS3 is very hard to emulate due to how its architecture works sony chose the streaming option while microsoft simply made an emulator for the 360. The funny thing is, since Xbone atually has weaker CPU cores (but has more of them) the emulated 360 games perform worse than on the 360 because of single core performance limits.

Original Xbox emulation (and PS1/2) can be obtained easily and for free nowadays so im sure the companies will include those emulators as well (legally you have to own the original disc to play the games via emulator on PC).
 

Chimpzy_v1legacy

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KingsGambit said:
As a side note, while there is a clunky, sorta working XBox emulator, it will be years, if ever, that it can genuinely work. Even excepting the size of the games, emulating an Intel Celeron processor in software, even 15 years on, is not really feasible. Modern computers don't have the computing power to software emulate an XBox and the chips are too complicated to emulate in software. It might well happen years from now but it will need some very dedicated people and several generations of more powerful computers.
This always struck me as strange. Not the part about emulation being a complicated affair that requires a lot of effort to get going to begin with, and then only on powerful hardware.

But the fact there is a pretty good Wii emulator. They got Wii emulation up and running in a way feasible on current hardware, but not the Xbox. The Wii, which uses Power-PC based architecture that is, at least on paper, roughly similar to the Xbox in terms of capabilities.

Which makes me wonder what it is about the Xbox that makes it so hard to emulate, even though it is ostensibly more similar to PC hardware than other consoles (which I know doesn't exactly translate to 'easier').

You wouldn't happen to have some insight into this, would you?
 

gsilver

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Im glad that Microsoft is putting in the effort that they are. The X1 may not have much in the way of exclusive games, but preserving its history, especially with Sega 360 ports (And soon to be their original Xbox games, too) the X1 is a whole lot of really great games in one place.
 
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Chimpzy said:
Which makes me wonder what it is about the Xbox that makes it so hard to emulate, even though it is ostensibly more similar to PC hardware than other consoles (which I know doesn't exactly translate to 'easier').

You wouldn't happen to have some insight into this, would you?
In the case of the XBox, tho not specific to it, it's a matter of complexity which I'll touch on shortly. For emulators to work, they have to be able to read the game and its data and give the correct "responses" to the software's requests. There are two main elements to emulating a processor which will vary by model, architecture and so on. The first is the way it receives instructions and the second is that it gives the expected output to a given input.

With regard to the manner of instructions, this is different between architectures (eg. X86, X64, PowerPC, etc). In simple terms, it could be the difference between:

- Allocate memory sector C. Read memory sector A. Read Memory sector B. Perform an arithmetic operation on the two. Output result to sector C.
OR
- Read memory sector A. Read memory sector B. Perform an arithmetic operation on the two. Allocate memory sector C. Output result to sector C.

Now the above look similar and both will give the same end result, but there is a difference in the how they go about it and this difference is important because instructions sent by the emulated software need to be interpreted correctly by the emulator. It's conceptually similar to speaking the same language as the processor.

The second issue, that of giving the correct output is really the harder one. Imagine a simpler processor with say 10 pins. If you send signal A on pins 1 and 2, you'll get signal B on pin 7. If you send signal A on pins 3 and 4, you'll get signal C on pin 8. Processors have many, many pins and even in the XBox's era, they could perform relatively complex processes. I cannot give a perfect example, but a scenario in a game could be: player hits 10HP monster with 5 dmg sword. So the engine sends a request to the processor to read monsters health from memory sector A, the damage of the players weapon from B, subtract one from the other and overwrite sector A with the new value. Now the emulator has to perform these steps in software which the CPU would have done on the original console, and it has to be able to give the correct output for any conceivable operation asked of it.

And so it comes back to why emulating the XBox is much harder than the SNES and N64 hardware. It's just complexity. The games in that era were starting to fill up DVDs, with more complex mechanics and features, physics, lighting, etc. The processors were much more complex and writing software that could correctly perform all its processes, return the correct output *and* crucially, re-interpret these to work on a different platform (eg. Windows 10) is very hard and would run poorly even on 4GHz multi-core CPUs on a modern machine. Consider also that these consoles had their own graphics processors, and their work would also need to be done in software (since trying to get them to work with hardware acceleration on a different graphics card is like rewriting the game engine) and you can imagine why it's so much work.

The switch-over from smaller, cartridge (and diskette) based games to CDs (650-700MB) and DVD (4.5-9GB) could be seen as a leap in the complexity of the games and thus emulators for optical based consoles will be much more complex.
 

kilenem

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KingsGambit said:
Chimpzy said:
Which makes me wonder what it is about the Xbox that makes it so hard to emulate, even though it is ostensibly more similar to PC hardware than other consoles (which I know doesn't exactly translate to 'easier').

You wouldn't happen to have some insight into this, would you?
In the case of the XBox, tho not specific to it, it's a matter of complexity which I'll touch on shortly. For emulators to work, they have to be able to read the game and its data and give the correct "responses" to the software's requests. There are two main elements to emulating a processor which will vary by model, architecture and so on. The first is the way it receives instructions and the second is that it gives the expected output to a given input.

With regard to the manner of instructions, this is different between architectures (eg. X86, X64, PowerPC, etc). In simple terms, it could be the difference between:

- Allocate memory sector C. Read memory sector A. Read Memory sector B. Perform an arithmetic operation on the two. Output result to sector C.
OR
- Read memory sector A. Read memory sector B. Perform an arithmetic operation on the two. Allocate memory sector C. Output result to sector C.

Now the above look similar and both will give the same end result, but there is a difference in the how they go about it and this difference is important because instructions sent by the emulated software need to be interpreted correctly by the emulator. It's conceptually similar to speaking the same language as the processor.

The second issue, that of giving the correct output is really the harder one. Imagine a simpler processor with say 10 pins. If you send signal A on pins 1 and 2, you'll get signal B on pin 7. If you send signal A on pins 3 and 4, you'll get signal C on pin 8. Processors have many, many pins and even in the XBox's era, they could perform relatively complex processes. I cannot give a perfect example, but a scenario in a game could be: player hits 10HP monster with 5 dmg sword. So the engine sends a request to the processor to read monsters health from memory sector A, the damage of the players weapon from B, subtract one from the other and overwrite sector A with the new value. Now the emulator has to perform these steps in software which the CPU would have done on the original console, and it has to be able to give the correct output for any conceivable operation asked of it.

And so it comes back to why emulating the XBox is much harder than the SNES and N64 hardware. It's just complexity. The games in that era were starting to fill up DVDs, with more complex mechanics and features, physics, lighting, etc. The processors were much more complex and writing software that could correctly perform all its processes, return the correct output *and* crucially, re-interpret these to work on a different platform (eg. Windows 10) is very hard and would run poorly even on 4GHz multi-core CPUs on a modern machine. Consider also that these consoles had their own graphics processors, and their work would also need to be done in software (since trying to get them to work with hardware acceleration on a different graphics card is like rewriting the game engine) and you can imagine why it's so much work.

The switch-over from smaller, cartridge (and diskette) based games to CDs (650-700MB) and DVD (4.5-9GB) could be seen as a leap in the complexity of the games and thus emulators for optical based consoles will be much more complex.
I probably should've looked up Xbox emulation before making this post but looking at the Dolphin Emulator and the PS2 emulators I assumed the emulation scene had conquered that generation and were moving to PS3, Wii U and 360. Although from my understanding even with the PS2 emulator you need mods to run certain games and apparently many Dream Cast games need specific mods to run