Xbox 360 is backwards compatible

We told you last week that the new Xbox would be backwards compatible with the old one's games - and now we can tell you it'll happen in time for the

We told you last week that the new Xbox would be backwards compatible with the old one's games - and now we can tell you it'll happen in time for the launch date, 2nd December.

The sticky issue of backwards compatibility has been dogging the Xbox 360 since it raised its pretty silver head back in May, but Microsoft's boffs have finally fixed the problem.

To start with, the new console will play 200 of the original Xbox's games including - breath a deep sigh of relief - Stuff faves such as the two Halos, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and all the Grand Theft Autos. Support will be gradually added to the rest of the old Xbox's catalogue, ultimately leading to all first gen Xbox games working on the 360.

The behind-the-scenes trickery is based entirely on software. To play the old games on the new console you'll need to download a software patch which Microsoft's doing directly through Xbox Live, via CD burning on a computer hooked up to Xbox.com or by a CD in the post.

Yesterday, the wraps were also taken off the games line-up for the 360's launch in the US next week. There are 18 in total, but - as we reported previously in our hands-on - most are sequels such as board-fest Amped, war shooter Call of Duty, Ridge Racer (number 6!) Project Gotham and FIFA. The two games we're saving our pennies for are Perfect Dark Zero and Quake 4.

We'll have details of the official UK line-up shortly - in the meantime, the full list of old Xbox games the 360 will support is on the Xbox website.

15th November update: It turns out we'll be getting three less games than the US on launch - the ones the UK misses out on are NBA 2K6, NHL 2K6 and Ridge Racer 6.

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