Microsoft today slammed claims that Xbox 2 will not play Xbox games as "irresponsible... pulp fiction".
The statement, published by web site Team Xbox, a site that's done as much speculating on Xbox 2's specifications as anyone else has, notes that: "Microsoft hasn't made any announcements regarding the next generation, so it's far too early to speculate about specifics, including backward compatibility."
Not so. This is exactly the right time to speculate about specifics, for the very same reason Microsoft cites. But we digress...
Microsoft's statement says there's no point talking about Xbox 2 because it's too early. We can infer from that that the company hasn't made it's mind up yet, and may take a while to do so. And until it does, MS says, anything anyone writes about the matter is pure speculation.
But if that's the case, why is Microsoft is sufficiently concerned about all this "irresponsible... media conjecture", as it calls such speculation, to issue such a statement that drools on about observers' apparent willingness to "compromise fact"? "Xbox fans," it adds, "are smart enough to distinguish truth from sensational reporting."
That suggests the speculation is wrong. But if it's too early to say one way or the other, Microsoft's own statement that the speculation is incorrect could also prove to be wrong, by the company's own admission.
"Blackadder, you twist and turn like a... like a twisty-turning thing."
It's worth remembering that the source for the original story is said to be someone close to the Xbox 2 project. That Microsoft might well have at the very least considered dropping backwards compatibility seems likely, and for sensible reasons: it will be costly to do and there's no guarantee that incorporating it will sell any more units. ®
MS 'to drop' Xbox compatibility from Xbox 2
Xbox 2 innards laid bare on web
MS pronounces TSMC an 'Xbox 2' partner
Microsoft looks to SiS for Xbox 2 I/O chips
ATI confirms Xbox 2 win
MS unwraps XNA for games developers
Microsoft takes hard drive out of Xbox 2
Xbox 2 to sport three 64-bit IBM chips, ATI R500
Xbox 2 to get 65nm CPU - report
Microsoft wants non-standard media for Xbox 2?
"Recent stories in the press about future Xbox products are nothing more than pulp fiction. Microsoft hasn't made any announcements regarding the next generation, so it's far too early to speculate about specifics, including backward compatibility. In fact, this media conjecture is irresponsible. The credibility of any publication willing to compromise fact in favor of a catchy headline must be questioned. Xbox fans are smart enough to distinguish truth from sensational reporting."