Wait! Don't sell your Xbox 360! Xbox 720 unlikely to be backwards compatible

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xbox-360-with-kinect.pngThe Xbox 360 is now over seven years old, meaning that long term owners of the console are a) probably looking forward to getting their hands on a new Microsoft console, and b) sitting on a substantial pile of games they’ve bought for the Xbox 360 console.

Some may even be considering selling their Xbox 360 to fund a next-gen Xbox 720 console purchase.

But don’t do it! Or at least, don’t do it if you ever want to play all those great Xbox 360 titles ever again. A new report on what’s expected to be the new hardware powering the Xbox 720 suggests that the forthcoming console will not be backwards compatible, meaning all your old games wont work on the new machine.

It’s down to Microsoft’s apparent decision to switch to new AMD chips for the next Xbox. The idea is to switch to x86 PC-style architecture, making game development simpler. However, at odds with the existing Xbox 360 architecture, it makes backwards compatibility an expensive and unlikely feature.

The PlayStation 4 shares a similar problem, but is aided by the inclusion of GaiKai game streaming technology, which will at least give you access to older titles PS3 on the PS4, even if Sony decides they need to be purchased again. It’s not yet clear whether Microsoft will offer a similar service.

The lack of backwards compatibility chimes in with Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrot’s claims that Microsoft are set to release a new Xbox 360 console, codenamed Stingray and with a $99 (£65) asking price, likely to appease those looking for a cheap way to tap into the sizeable Xbox 360 back catalogue.

Microsoft are expected to reveal the new Xbox on 21st May. We’ll bring you confirmation of all the new console’s features as we get them.

Gerald Lynch