I didn’t think news that Xbox 2 wouldn’t be backwards compatible was that big of a deal, makes sense really, but apparently it’s touched off quite a reaction across the Net; particularly among the Xbox faithful. So much so that not 24 hours later the folks at Microsoft released a press statement saying that it’s far too early to even speculate about what the next Xbox will and won’t have in the way of features and all you big stupid-heads in the media need to fucking chill-out on the rumor spreading.
Or, words to that effect anyway.
While the company has not denied or confirmed the backwards compatibility issue for their next console, they did release an official statement that claims, “Recent stories in the press about future Xbox products are nothing more than pulp fiction. Microsoft hasn’t made any announcements regarding the next generation, so it’s far too early to speculate about specifics, including backward compatibility. In fact, this media conjecture is irresponsible. The credibility of any publication willing to compromise fact in favor of a catchy headline must be questioned. Xbox fans are smart enough to distinguish truth from sensational reporting.”
Now GamesIndustry.biz site where the news item first broke doesn’t strike me as the sort of publication that publishes rumors without good reason and they claim their sources were close to Microsoft executives that would know one way or the other, but even if a rumor comes from high ranking execs it is still just a rumor. So, who knows? Perhaps the next Xbox will be backwards compatible or maybe it won’t be. Perhaps it’ll have a hard drive or maybe it won’t. Perhaps it’ll do your taxes for you, but most likely it won’t. Microsoft could eliminate a lot of the speculation if they’d just release the damned specs already. The thing is supposed to be released next year anyway. This probably shows that they’re hedging their bets and hoping to see what the final specs for the PS3 will be before finalizing their plans. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had multiple possible Xbox 2’s planned and prototyped as possible responses to Sony’s next machine. Hell, if I had the resources Microsoft does and I wanted to ensure I had something that would compete on a price/performance factor that’s what I’d do.