360 backward-compatibility update rereleased

[UPDATE] New, briefly withdrawn patch supports most current-gen Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six games.


When Microsoft first released the backward-compatibility list for the Xbox 360, many gamers were shocked by some names that weren't on it. Nowhere to be found were three of the top franchises for the original Xbox: Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Splinter Cell.

Late last night, Microsoft updated the backward-compatibility list with eight games from the trio of Tom Clancy-inspired series. Software emulators for Ghost Recon, Ghost Recon 2, Ghost Recon 2 Summit Strike, Rainbow Six 3, Rainbow Six 3 Black Arrow, Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory all became available for download.

However, within hours of the new update's release, reports began to circulate that it was causing problems with Halo 2. Several GameSpot editors discovered that when they inserted Halo 2 into their 360 consoles, a prompt appeared saying that a software update was needed to play the game.

However, after the update was installed, Halo 2 would only play in the standard 4x3 TV dimensions, not the 16x9 letterbox format used by high-definition televisions. Also, the game's graphics appeared compressed--a dramatic shift from its previously crisp, HD textures.

When contacted by GameSpot, Microsoft reps confirmed the problem and said a new, Halo 2-compatible version would be available shortly.

[UPDATE] Sure enough, late Friday, a bug-free version of the backwards compatibility update was available on Xbox.com and Xbox Live.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 143 comments about this story
143 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for ChainSawManiac

That kind of sucks that the 360 doesnt play all of the old Xbox games.... I'm getting a PS3.

Avatar image for Cube_of_MooN

Old News

Avatar image for nikefreak

"Man forget the 360 can't even play all original xbox games all about ps3. maybe if you had wrestlemania 21 on the list it would be better." Yes.. Go with the more expensive console that lets you play a rerelease of GT4 called "Gran Turismo HD" for the PS3 that is nothing more than a PS2 game with a bit higher of a resolution, all for the oh so cheap price of 60.00... lol... Yeah, PS3 wins ;p (At screwing you harder, I should add)

Avatar image for J_Dawg04

Don't get me wrong, I am an xbox fan to the death, but Microsoft needs to hold up to their promises, stop screwing around and get their compatibility list updated ASAP! Enough is enough.

Avatar image for jc_nieves

Ok, this is the situation. Just bought the console, played 1 week GRAW and everything ok, I finished it twice. And now, I payed an XBOX Live membership, and, the first moment I got connected the system asked for an update to the operating system, ok I accepted. Now I know that update refers to this update: << LINK REMOVED >> Now the thing is, after this update I CANT play my GRAW again! I get this screen: << LINK REMOVED >> I know that backward compatibility can be installed using a CD and run it like a game in the 360. Now what I am looking for, is the same package but containing the ORIGINAL xbox 360 only games support for my console, I dont want to play any old xbox game!! Can someone help? I have not find any update for this, it looks like this update breaks XBOXes!!

Avatar image for ashtray2007

Man forget the 360 can't even play all original xbox games all about ps3. maybe if you had wrestlemania 21 on the list it would be better.

Avatar image for dancinginthemoo


Avatar image for undat_basic

Where's the Karaoke Revolution patch...just b/c THEY gave up on the orig. XB doesn't mean its fans have. Put out the patch!

Avatar image for DrinkDuff

It is not the first time Microsoft has done this.... service packs *cough*

Avatar image for jfhkdjfhkd

slothboyck slothboyck i don't see what's so hard to understand about playing an old game on the Xbox 360... it's not like people just want to play their old games on the new system. Think about a person who never owned an xbox, but decided to get an xbox 360. They were thrilled when they found out it was backwards compatible, so that they could finally pick up some great games that were for the xbox. I know if I were to get an xbox 360 (which i probably never will), I'd want to play Halo 2 because i never got to have it before. That's what backwards compatibility should be about. And all this crap about "omgz0rz!!!!1!! y wuld NE1 want 2 play teh 0ld gamez NEmor? This is l1ke teh next generation!!!!1!!!!!" is dumb. Just because the graphics are on par with gaming quality PCs doesn't mean the gameplay is any different. I would much rather play Halo 2 than some unimpressive, bulky, worthless graphical update of games that I've already played. Posted 12/09/2005 9:49pm I like Microsoft, but Halo 2 is a piece of ****. Guess what else, Microsoft is GIVING you free patches for your games. Would you rather them release it in stores? There is plenty of time until the PS3 and the Revolution come out. WHO CARES how long it takes. Instead of playing video games all day, go outside. Play some football. I am confident that Microsoft will fix it all up.

Avatar image for coldfyre_99

And this is why PC's are the future of gaming. Not for or against MS in this case, but the fact of the matter is, when something like backwards compatibility is added to a system, it should just work by inserting the game. You shouldn't need to download and install a patch to make the thing work. Consoles for years have had the benifit of being fast and easy to use, no thought, put the game in, turn it on and play. Now with a PC like patch installer, there goes the ease of use. I only hope that sony will have this figured out or they are in trouble too.

Avatar image for chrisdojo

LOL....can it really be that hard for the 360 to emulate the orig. xbox?

Avatar image for fryanbone

This just goes to show that one who is knowledgable in electronics should always WAIT for a couple months with new electronics as they always have bugs. And one can almost predict that Microsoft will always have bugs and problems with their stuff. I just knew there was going to be something wrong with the systems and guess what, there are heating problems with the 1dt gen consoles. This is important wisdom for those who like to invest in many electronic devices. It is all the more reason why I am getting my 360 in early '06.

Avatar image for RasTa_ChaMp

I think that for all the hype the x-box 360 has been getting, it's pretty funny that it's running to so many problems.

Avatar image for Hellisunreal

wat bout Ninja Gaiden, Metal Wolf Chaos & KOF: Mainiax ????

Avatar image for daddo-splat

Dont put your xbox in the garage trade it in @ gamestop for $ 60.00 I wonder is anybody else on a 360 with a wireless internet connection having a problem with halo2 losing connection all other games stay connected and my xbox never lost connection but i lose connection in matchmaking and have to reboot evereything call of duty2 is awesome maybe ill just burn halo2 for now

Avatar image for JVIoneyman

Yeah...Me to, im so glad i didnt buy a new videogame system right away so I can play old games on it. Ill buy it later when I can play old games on it. Oh wait, but so will the people who bought it now, and guess what, they can play new games now too. People have to complain about somthing... I got my 360 and im enjoying it now. I dont care about old games right now, because I just played them for 4 years and want somthing new. If you wanted old games go buy another xbox. They will eventually get it to work, so just be patient, and stop complaining. The 360 looks great so play the new stuff for awhile..

Avatar image for k_sakuraba1982

Im sure that a fair few people like myself traded in thier xbox to make some cash towards the 360. I was pleased that that the Tom Clancy games were added to the list and stay hopeful that others such as far cry will be added in the near future

Avatar image for ewjim

Launch problems... I think it's more like "bad hands" problems!!! LOL

Avatar image for chinesehaohot

Why are people surprised about 360's backward campatibility? Come on, It is not the first time people use Microsoft's product! Anyone of you own a pc knows MS's product always full of bugs and needs countless upgrades! So just let it go and enjoy what you have... Sony had the same problem!! oh wait......PS2 can play all PS 1 games .......well...damn them capitalist....

Avatar image for Kavsta

I'm so glad i didn't get a 360 right away

Avatar image for alcoholhamster

hey, you cant have everything. im just jealous that all those people have a 360, so they shouldnt complain too much. at least its all fixed now, and i know that when the 360 finally makes its way down under, pretty much everything will b up and running. :P in answer to bigbman65's, there is no point putting an old game in a new console unless u get sharper graphics/improved load times/gameplay. and supposedly u do get all those, so tahts y u'd put xbox games in a 360.

Avatar image for BansheeRider

I'm sort of glad that i'm not able to get a 360...due to all these problems.

Avatar image for SoralinkGS

Hmmm....there are so many sony fanboys on forums.....and there usually the first to post.....My thought is:" if playstation 2 is so sweet, why are you on the damn boards so much?" and in regards to the update, good move MS, I was wondering when the next list is.....

Avatar image for Mabuddy

yo 360 is da S*** man stop hating people whoever aitn get 360 thats cuz y haters and wanna hate and S*** i aitn got no prob wit my 360 its all a scam hahaha dat BullS got ya Sprung an it was sonys falt they prollu paid some news local peopel to say oh im havin trouble wit my 360 its freezin up and Shi@ plz man stop hatin man .... half of sony population that maek sony bought 360 and sold it on e bay for more money freakin Scum BAgs

Avatar image for deactivated-5bb3faf48d529

good thing they fixed that problem

Avatar image for gertish

Shows they are dedicated in fixing their bugs. Good work, microsoft.

Avatar image for Mabuddy

hahah yea thats right BambitaACEr98 y da **** would u waste ur time with the old games man Half of these peopel hare are hating on360 and **** cuz they aint got 1.. and guess what that 360 **** freezes its a fu*** Scam my aint freez its perfect too bad for all u suckas out there that are saying oh 360 this 360 that ima wait for ps3.....................1reminder and 1 ? rember when ps2 came out and **** like that ohh every1 was hyper about it and every1 bought it and than xbox came out and some pople bought it but which System has better games??? And 1 Reminder Ps3 is gonan be close to good as 360 but not that good and yea Sony aint got time to make ps3 graphics better than a microsoft so stfu and stop hating !!!!!!!!!360 mfers holla at me Madden 06 online

Avatar image for Jumbo120788

the only original xbox game i play on 360's live is halo 2 so as long as that works i dont care

Avatar image for kaito2

I think B/C is bad idea to begin with. I was really hoping that MS was going to do something different and NOT make the 360 B/C. First, making the 360 B/C lowers the resale value of the XBox; no longer is it the only system that will play Xbox1 games. So, if you were thinking of selling your Xbox to buy a 360, you are going to get a lot less money out of it. And, like someone said, who buys a next-gen system to play old games on it? My guess is that some people might do this for the first 3-6 months of the new system, but after that I think most of the old games collect dust.

Avatar image for nick507

Who gives a #$% about these games? If i were lucky enough to get a 360 i wouldn't waste time playing xbox games.

Avatar image for VeXeN

When is the update for NHL06 coming out?

Avatar image for KingSpartan03

who the he11 buys a 360 to play halo2 on it. why would you get a new system with amazing new games and play an old game on it. if some people actually got the 360 and never bought a new game then they are prrrretty stupid.

Avatar image for BambitaACEr98

Ever wonder why gamers in general get a bad rap? Maybe it has something to do with the extreme immaturity as shown in these posts. Of course, you could eliminate half of them becuase of Sony fanboys (me, personally, I prefer Nintendo, but I own all the current consoles from each company and enjoy them all equally). As far as "it being a pain to download", the first time I played Halo 2, I didn't even notice their was a patch. Maybe some people are kind of blowing the whole thing out of proportion. And last time I checked, my 360 is kicking the s*** out of anything else regardless of last year's games. Of course, people are also spazzing out because FFXII is late...oh no they better rush it so I can play!!!! Hypocrites...

Avatar image for tjvanderlinden

I just hope they add PGR 2 and POP 2 (why POP 1 and not 2!?)... Just sold my Xbox so I can buy the 360... :s

Avatar image for Melgo

People, please, youre all over reacting. Microsoft never claimed full backwards compatibility. This one bug was fixed in an acceptable time frame. For those of you that call microsoft cheap for not including the original chips and therefore insuring full backwards compatibility, please think about it. You already have a $400 system. Do you really think that Microsoft could include a chip from which nVidia would definately want a percantage of profits for free? A hardware solution would have probably increased the price to the $600 range. The fact remains that not all games are compatible at the moment, or they are compatible but with minor/major bugs. Microsoft will work it out eventually. The PS2 also had emulation problems with some games. And before someone calls me a microsoft fanboy, I dont have a x360 nor do I have it on order or anything of the sort.

Avatar image for GoddBless

Once I started playing PDZ I didn't want to play Halo 2 anymore. The only game I still really wanted to play was NFL 2K5 and Battlefield. The 360 version of Battlefield 2 should be out soon enough and eventually NFL 2K5 will be backwards compatible. I have enough games to last me. Whenever I'm bored I just head on over to Xbox Live Arcade. Gotta love this system.

Avatar image for Cooketh

my knights of the old republic game on the 360 is the glitchy mother ive ever seen... its only audio bugs but in a game that all u do is talk it becomes annoying.. sometimes the audio will cut out completely and i have to restart the system to get it to work again

Avatar image for Mabuddy

Yo People Get a hold of ur F*k!N Self why would u pay 400$ for an 360 and still play old xbox games there isnt no point man u buy 360 for 360 games and F*** the backword compability sh** who gives a rats a$$ although 360 is Fire better than pS3 any ya gonan see for ya self I promise that

Avatar image for dryden555

I know its early, but an awful lot of XBOX1 games dont have emulators yet for the 360. Disappointing

Avatar image for al11588

I am not a Microsoft biast but they must be able to test the emulator thoroughly before the put it on the site. Because those type of mistakes with Xbox 360 firmware will come critical if they don

Avatar image for JamMan1991

Still no rainbow six:lockdown though? Man wtf?

Avatar image for deactivated-57d164ef1c809

Some of you act like Xbox, PS2, AND Gamecube didn't have launch defects. Halo 2 was working fine in HD UNTIL the PATCH and has NOTHING to with the system being rushed, it has NOTHING to do with the system completely, just a update mess up, sheesh. You act as though a launch of a new console will not have defects, software errors, etc. Don't MAKE me comment on PS2 defects that plaque most of the PS2 systems still today (*cough*overheating*cough*). When PS3 launches, it's going to be funny how people who brought a system that's going to be $450-$500 plus and after playing it 5 hours overheats or freeze like its proced. system...

Avatar image for MegaMightyMe

You have to applaud them for getting it fixed so quickly. I was kind of wondering why my precious Splinter Cell wasn't on the original list of BC 360 games. Now all three of my favorite Xbox games work on the 360. Huzzah!

Avatar image for sequencer324

How long do u think it will take for all the bugs will be out of the 360? And maybe once they "perfect" the system xbox 900 will be out! Better then 360 but with some problems that take "time" and "money" to fix. Maybe this is a whole scam, you have to buy this and that a harddrive, xbox live ,shiping and handaling on and on i'm sick of it. All i want is to play video games! I don't want to wait to looong. Help me M$. ....Please, pretty please w/ a cherry on top.

Avatar image for sequencer324

Do you have to have a PC to download the backwards compatiblity software?

Avatar image for macmaster1

You see why it is so bad too buy a console when it comes out. You spend all that money to buy hardware that is bugged up. Always at least 3 months so that other poeple not you will find out the a the console has some problem.

Avatar image for RX-78GP02A

1. I don't like the fact that people are saying that we should leave the old games behind just for new ones. Those people aren't gamers. 2. Microsoft is patching the problems, at least they attempted to do something about it you f*cking whiners. 3. Halo 2 is overrated, Campaign is garbage in Halo 2..garbage compared to a lot other FPS campaigns but the multiplayer alone can't make Halo 2 one of the best. I have the game BTW so don't insult me on it.

Avatar image for santana4064

Thats a great point mttz1.

Avatar image for mttz1

I dont know why everybody is worrying. MS will fix the problems. Just reamember when Windows XP came out. It had a ton of bugs but they fixed it. It will be the same for the 360.You will just have to give it some time.