Microsoft: Xbox 360 won't benefit from new Xbox One features
Xbox 360 gamers hoping to get some of the new features of the Xbox One are heading for disappointment. Microsoft has confirmed to Pocket-lint that the now older-generation console will hardly benefit at all.
We asked Ben Kilgore, corporate vice-president for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division, whether the new features will bleed down between devices, but he explained that few would make the transition. "Only in some small ways to be honest," he said.
"The 360 will continue to be important for us and you will see some things at E3 that shows we are continuing to invest there, but a lot of what we announced is based on the new architecture and requires state of the art hardware to drive these experiences. The things that rely on that, we can't bring back to Xbox 360."
Those features mean things like Skype in play and Snap Mode won't be available.
"You will not see split views, or any of the features like that," he told us. "The new Xbox One system features three operating systems in one that are driving those experiences and which we will not be able to bring back to the 360."
The move to three operating systems is to allow developers to continue to develop games in the way they always have done, on a similar operating platform, but also to let the console to do other things in the background - like run live TV or Skype - thanks to other partitions, with other platforms.
"In a traditional game console, the way it worked was that game developers got access to all these exclusive resources and knew exactly how much CPU and RAM they actually had," explained Kilgore.
"As we went down the path of figuring out all the components for our vision to bring the Xbox One to life we realised that we needed to have more things going on in the background. The answer was to take the Xbox OS, which is lean and mean and gives developers the closest access to the hardware as possible, and put that into a constrained partition so they can get access to guaranteed resources."
That way the developers can code Xbox games as always. The other features use other layers based on different platforms.
"The other operating system basically takes the Windows kernel and that gives us the best of what Windows can offer, like Internet Explorer or Skype, and that's more an environment like Windows where those resources are sharing things and competing against each other," said Kilgore.
"Our third one ties those things together so we can render both operating systems on the screen at the same time as seen in Snap Mode. It's kind of the glue that binds it all together," he added.
Without the ability to have the three different operating systems, therefore, many of the features are not possible. The Xbox 360 is just not built that way. It's time to get the upgrade funds out of your piggy banks.