updated 01:10 pm EST, Tue November 13, 2007
Xbox 1 downloads for 360
(Updated with official confirmation)
Xbox 360 owners will soon be able to download entire Xbox 1 games, a news leak appears to confirm. The former console's "fall" Dashboard update is now reportedly scheduled for December 2nd, and is expected to bring with it six Xbox 1 titles: Burnout 3, Crimson Skies, Fable, Halo 1, Indigo Prophecy and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. Each will cost 1200 Marketplace points -- approximately $15 -- and will likely use some form of DRM protection to guard against redistribution. More releases are said to be in preparation, but resurrection of the whole back catalog is unlikely, as each download may occupy 4GB or more of Microsoft's 20 and 120GB hard drives.
The Xbox 360 can already play a number of Xbox 1 games in their original DVD format, but these are generally available only as used copies or not at all. Microsoft's new strategy would mirror Nintendo's Virtual Console, which allows Wii owners to play out-of-print titles for consoles such as the NES or Nintendo 64. Similarly, Sony lets users download a few PlayStation 1 games to the PS3, but not any PS2 titles.
Another rumored part of the Dashboard update is support for DivX and XviD codecs through Windows Media Extender; this would greatly enhance the usefulness of the console, as few home users encode videos without one of the two codecs. [via DailyTech]
Update: Microsoft has indeed confirmed Xbox 1 downloads, although final details vary from initial accounts. The service will have its own Live section called "Xbox Originals," and will open on December 4th, the true date for the fall Dashboard upgrade. The first games, meanwhile, will be limited to Fable, Halo 1, Psychonauts and Crimson Skies. In a related announcement, Microsoft says the Live Arcade title Carcassonne will be available free for 48 hours starting November 15th, and anyone who has subscribed to Live since 2002 will soon be given 500 free Marketplace points.