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[UPDATE] New, briefly withdrawn patch supports most current-gen Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six games.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

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Avatar image for Siesser

Unless you guys are under the impression that gaming is just about graphics, then or COURSE I want to play my old games. Crash Team Racing, Omega Boost, Parappa, Bust a Groove; they're games I still love to be able to pop in and play. "New Generation" doesn't mean "screw the old." The old games are fun to play still, and if it's at all possible, I'd rather not have to use two systems to do so. I don't see how that's "spoiled." If Sony or any company didn't put the feature in, then I'd obviously have to hang on to my old system. If they DO put it in (which they've been so very kind to do), then I have no reason to keep my old system. Many people get rid of their systems in anticipation of not needing it to play their games. If you do so and then find that the whole backwards-compatibility isn't up to par or ready yet, it's an inconvenience and valid complaint. Some people are just barely scrapping enough cash together to get system and games at launch, so that extra money from selling the system is practically a necessity for them. And I'm still trying to track down a copy of Ehrgeiz

Avatar image for lilweightlifter

I'm glad by the time I get mine all the problems will be fixed.

Avatar image for mrstar_basic

Xbox360 backwards compatability is a software emulation feat that is having spotty results. With that said, the Xbox 360 OS, interface, and Xbox live integration is light years beyond what the old Xbox had. The backwards compatibility should have been put off until they got it more ironed out or just scrapped altogether. MS can't even fill order for the Xbox 360 to the hardcore gamers that could really care less about it anyway... MS should have just targeted to have the backwards compatability ready FOR ALL TITLES by the time PS3 was released. Whoever on their team thought BC was critical to sell the handful of units they had at launch must have been on the pipe.

Avatar image for Gamer46

Crazy me, I thought the idea of buying a new console was to play new games.

Avatar image for Flavour666

Some of you treat all of this backwards-compablity as if it where a long standard in consoles. The PS2 was the first home console EVER to be backwards compatible to its predecessor. And for what? Who WANTS to play the old games on the new consoles? Have ANY of you mindless MS bashers seen "Condemned" or "Call of Duty 2" on the Xbox 360 with your own eyes and played those games for even ten minutes? They look and play so incredibly well that you never want to go back again. Backwards compablity is an absolute non-issue. I have the Xbox 360 for one week now and I only put Halo 2 in for five minutes to see if looks any better on the new system with HD resolution and full screen anti-aliasing. Oh, and I also put in San Andreas, but I am not planning on playing any of the old games ever again. I am having too much fun playing Quake 4, Gun, Condemned, Kameo, Call of Duty 2, Amped 3, Perfect Dark Zero and King Kong. The facts are that the launch was VERY sucessful and that the launch-lineup is the strongest EVER. Just look up the ratings. No launch-lineup EVER did get such strong ratings overall. Period.

Avatar image for djtyrant

To Okieace, it's too bad Ninja Gaiden is pretty much unplayable and horribly laggy.

Avatar image for metalmario_64

This is so stupid. Why would Microsoft release a system when the backwards compatibility isn't even working fully or even properly? And why would anyone buy a system that is underdeveloped? The 360's launch is just like the PS2's lauch, full of annoying defects and shortages everywhere. I'm sorry, but I'm not gonna buy an 360 until all this crap is cleared up (if it ever is...). Let's hope that the PS3 and the Rev won't meet the same fate.

Avatar image for rex_dogg

It sucks that there aren't that many titles for the 360 and having problems with the backwards compatibility makes it even worse. Can microsoft have done a better job of making the 360 backwards compatible? we'll see when the ps3 comes out. if you can just pop in an old ps2 game into the ps3 and start playing with no problems. that will show how much microsoft sucks. if the ps3 has the same backwards compatibility problems, then i guess its just where were at with the technology. we'll see.

Avatar image for syxpack

These problems are going to persist for a very long time. I am surprised and how many people just blow it off. You are going to be hearing about stuff like this a year, 2 down the road and that doesn't bother you. microsoft sure has you by the balls

Avatar image for KingOfSlackers

Oh no, I can't play Halo 2 on my widescreen television for a number of days I can't comprehend! I think you people are just finding reasons to hate Microsoft. Big deal. They could have just said, "Screw backwards-compatability," and just focused on their new software, which is selling pretty well if I may add. It wasn't until a week or two prior to the launch that the compatability list was out and if you had any worries about whether Tom Clancy games or what ever title you still wanted to play on your Xbox then keep your Xbox hooked up. That simple. Give them a break for trying and quit being so cynical. Act like this is a hobby you enjoy and just grow up. Just because you find these faceless posts as your grounds to make your infantile criticisms doesn't make you the "Grand-poobah" of video games; especially when you can't complete a full sentence.

Avatar image for Optimusv2

Not bad news at all the ability to patch like that will go a very long way. Its not just with xbox games, but they can also add updates to 360 games I can't wait.

Avatar image for ErikTheDead

This is just more reason showing they rushed to get Xbox360 - even with the head-start - i really think they have a long way to go...

Avatar image for havokmaster

At least they've tried...

Avatar image for ZoSo1975

Another mistake in the list of XBOX 360 follies. What next, blue-screen-of-death messages? ;)

Avatar image for TRega123

For the people saying, "oh nos! This is raelly baaaaad news 4 microsoft imaen raelly!" How is this bad news? They are releasing a good update in a few days instead of a bad update today. I wouldn't exactly call that bad news.

Avatar image for LordOfMidnight

*shakes head* Yet more problems... I hope they can put a cap on them soon.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ca4fa9105c25

WTF?!? Why buy a 360 to play old games? C'mon... Halo is a good game and all, but it's OLD. Move on kids...

Avatar image for Game13a13y

okay, another proof that the system is rushed. way to have a successful launch, M$.

Avatar image for crazy_boy166

Well it is all good as long as they fix the dam problem and quick cuz people are probebly diying to play halo on their new 360!!!!!Im sure that they will be more problem with compability and i hope they are prepared for this.I sure as hell hope they put the Prince of Persia series on that list!!!!!GO 360

Avatar image for Dave_petrucci

One more screw up on Microsofts list. I'm now glad I didn't buy a 360 and am waiting instead.

Avatar image for tatu2004

i can't even play GTA sanandreas on my 360...

Avatar image for owner211

I guess trading in a regular Xbox for a 360 is a stupid idea. wow. you learn something new every day, oh joy.

Avatar image for eggzee

To CodingGenius: Some of the best things in gaming require updates. The PSP "requires updates for more features, computer need updates to stay secure and less hackable, and we know why we need updates for the 360. There is no way that they could have known it would do that. I men its an update for those games and shouldn't affect others so who would think to try it out with Halo 2 to see what it would do. Nobody that's who. So remember to give them a little leway on this issue ok.

Avatar image for tooslow4u

maybe u shoulda got off your ps2 and played halo 2 for a year. then you wouldnt say its overrated.

Avatar image for rexoverbey

I downloaded that last night and now my Halo 2 is not in widescreen any longer. How do you remove the update? Or is it even possible?

Avatar image for EqualPlatinum

Well, as long as there correcting it.

Avatar image for piglets_ghost

This is hilarious. Some backwards compatibility...

Avatar image for F_Falcon17

hey atomsoft I agree with you completely. Halo is overrated.

Avatar image for remaGloohcSdlO

Geez... what are they thinking?

Avatar image for atomsoft

Well you know the Halo freaks are pissed off. But I prefer all the other games anyway. More bad news for Microsoft.

Avatar image for schu

to CodingGenius, yes it is annoying but its a lot more streamlined than PC updating..i am definetly more interested in PC than 360 but lets not be delusional.the updating is a lot easier on xbox

Avatar image for evilshrimp111


Avatar image for CodingGenius

Wow. I would be REALLY mad if I had traded my XBox in for a 360. That, plus constant updating/downloading? I buy consoles to avoid having to patch. If 360 is going to require patching and rollbacks, I'd rather just buy a gaming level PC.

Avatar image for zymase

While they're at it, can they fix the framerate nonsense in Ninja Gaiden Black? My copy of Chaos Theory will have to wait a little longer....

Avatar image for Bigbman65

Well if you already have a Xbox why do you need to play your games on the 360. I have a PS1 and a playstation 2. So why play games on one system when you can pop it in the other. People will keep complaining but I have no problems with my 360 and I enjoy playing it.

Avatar image for paradyme777

I feel sorry for a couple people who d/led that update for Halo 2. Someone asked about it earlier on the forums. Wow, that's a bummer.

Avatar image for bdub20791

everything will be just FINE! has you people never seen launch problems before?

Avatar image for Okieace

I have to disagree with Paul. It isn't a matter of first-party vs. third party interest but rather what titles are more popular. Halo sold more copies then all the tom clancy games combined. I think Microsoft would recall the update if it messed up Ninja Gaiden.

Avatar image for locofootball67

this is good news in my opinion cause i was thinkin that they werent gonna emulate any other titles for xbox 360. but this tidbit of info givs me just a shimmer of hope that they might put farcry and rallisport challenge on that list.

Avatar image for Paul_Phoenicks

it really shows where Microsoft's loyalties lie ANYTHING breaks their precious Halo, and it must be pulled! personally, i'd trade 8 games being added for 1 game losing it's pop... while i do understand that they should never break their bread and butter, it does send a message to 3rd party developers that their games don't get the 'respect' they deserve. ah well. don't have a 360 anyway... it'll be interesting to see if anything more happens on this situation which, right now, seems like a non-issue

Avatar image for Donkeljohn

How unfortunate. Microsoft, indeed, knows what people want. Unfortunately delivering on expectations is another task entirely.

Avatar image for NeoJedi

First ! (I think). Anyways, that is bad news for owners of the XBox 360... guess more tweaking is needed.