Xbox 360 Press Event News

By Maarten Goldstein, May 16, 2005 8:00pm PDT

All sorts of fun facts coming out of Microsoft's E3 2005 Xbox 360 press event. Story will be updated as they come in.

  • Xbox 360 will have limited backward compatability. Only the most popular Xbox games will be supported, through an emulator.
  • Square Enix is releasing Final Fantasy XI on the 360, with Live support. First of several Square Enix games on the platform.
  • More than 160 games are in development.
  • During a 90 day launch window Microsoft hopes that between 25 and 40 Xbox 360 games are released.
  • You can buy movies and music online through the 360
  • All games must support 720p, a 16:9 aspect ratio, anti-aliasing and 5.1 multi channel sound.

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  • Xbox 360 picks up Final Fantasy XI, will be backward compatible

    Square Enix, EA announce strong 360 support; Microsoft announces more than 160 games in development, up to 40 available at launch.

    LOS ANGELES--Microsoft opened the next-generation floodgates last week when it publicly unveiled the Xbox 360 on an MTV special, firing the first shots at its rivals in what is sure to be an all-out war for consumers. The Xbox 360 will be released this holiday season, and Microsoft held its annual E3 press conference today to tout the system's features and show off its planned lineup of games. The event took place shortly after Sony wowed the crowd at its own conference by unveiling the PlayStation 3.

    The biggest story of the press conference surprised many attendees at the Shrine Auditorium. Microsoft announced that Square Enix, a longtime partner with Microsoft rivals Nintendo and Sony, will be bringing Final Fantasy XI to the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live.

    This will be the first Square Enix game for a Microsoft console, and the third platform for FFXI, which previously appeared on the PC in 2003 and PlayStation 2 in 2004. Final Fantasy XI was the first game in the popular role-playing series to go online, and the Xbox version will sport new high-definition graphics and make use of all of Xbox Live's features.

    Along with a firm release date and price point, the other big question surrounding the 360 was backward compatibility with the library of games from the original Xbox. Robbie Bach, senior vice president and chief Xbox officer in the Home and Entertainment Division at Microsoft, made Xbox fans around the world happy when he announced that the 360 will indeed play Xbox games.

    Although future Xbox 360 owners will be able to play the more than 200 Xbox titles expected this year, it's the 360 games that they'll really want. Microsoft expects 25 to 40 Xbox 360 titles to be available during the console's launch window (defined as within three months of the system's release), and developers currently have more than 160 games in the works.

    Among the games Microsoft announced for the console were Tecmo's previously unrevealed fighter Dead or Alive 4 and Capcom's zombie-slayer Dead Rising, which is being developed by legendary game designer Keiji Inafune.

    Publisher Electronic Arts announced that its lineup of 360 games, which includes Madden NFL 06, Need for Speed Most Wanted, and The Godfather, signifies its largest commitment to any next-generation console's launch.

    As detailed last week, Xbox Live will come in two different packages. Xbox Live Silver, which allows gamers to send voice and text messages and participate in other basic features, and the premium subscription-based Xbox Live Gold package, which includes spectator mode and multiplayer gaming privileges. It turns out anyone with an Xbox 360 will get a taste of the good life. Microsoft today announced that all 360 owners will be treated to a free month of the Gold service when they first jack into Xbox Live.