The Seattle Times: Microsoft: Sony promptly trumps Xbox: "Microsoft said yesterday that the Xbox 360 will be able to play certain games made for the original Xbox system ? a feature called backwards compatibility that Xbox users have been clamoring for.
The company will start by making its most popular games, 'Halo' and 'Halo 2,' compatible with the Xbox 360. It will then work down the list of its best-sellers, with a goal to eventually connect them all.
Backwards compatibility is often a checkbox feature for new video-game consoles, but it became a difficult technical challenge when Microsoft overhauled the engine powering the Xbox 360 from that used in the original Xbox. The company switched to IBM from Intel for its processing chip and to ATI from Nvidia for its graphics processor. "