It's either all games or no games. I don't know why people keep thinking XBLA games are somehow different.
Either the new system will be backwards compatible or it won't. There is no middle ground where only the XBLA games work. It's all coded for the same hardware now.
You're thinking only from a technical standpoint. There is always the situation where the next XBOX is technically capable of backwards compatibility with games that require a physical disc or even GOD, but Microsoft might decide due to a business reason that it's better to lock out the ability to do that so they can instead sell a $99 Xbox 360 mini that will play those games. They might want a unified XBLA system whereas they might not want you to be able to play retail games on the new Xbox but are fine with you playing XBLA games. I mean look the 360 is pretty much the only system on the market with region locking for games - obviously that was based on a business decision so it's possible that they make another bad business decision and lock out 360 retail games. There's a lot of talk that they might have a low end system for 360 games. So who knows it's possible that they decide they can make a few extra dollars that way while maintaining XBLA games on both systems. It's all speculation at this point but that's a possible option as well that we all need to think of, that they might lock out backwards compatibility with physical disc games to promote a cheaper system in the marketplace.
I just think the whole XBLA thing is going to be confusing for a bit while both systems are around in a way that we've never experienced as there wasn't any downloadable games for any previous systems in the history of consoles. This is the first time we've seen this in a generation. So if there is no cross play between XBLA games on the new system the marketplace is going to be weird as developers will obviously still be releasing to the 360 as well as the next XBOX. Perhaps they'll require that developers create 2 builds of games when possible so that you can play on both systems for the first few years of the new XBOX's life until they stop supporting the 360. But considering the install base for the 360 is something like 77.2 million there will still be a lot of developers wanting their games on that system rather than the new one for the first few years. Especially considering that most XBLA games are smaller games that are far less demanding on top of the line hardware. This will especially be true if the rumours of a cheap newly designed $99 360 actually happens. If there is no cross-play then I'm curious how the marketplace will change to reflect the difference between 360 and 720 XBLA games and how they will go about promoting games that only come out for one or the other. If there is no cross-play then I'm assuming the 720 marketplace will suck for the first few years as most developers will prefer developing for at 77 million dollar market than a market of just a few million.
Personally I have a feeling that the coming console generation is going to be very poor in sales in comparison to the last and people are going to be very slow in adopting the PS4 and next Xbox. I think it's telling that the latest Gears of War game and the latest God of War game both have undersold in comparison to previous efforts. I think we're coming to an era where games need to be smarter. New re-iterations of the same game over and over again won't create the sales needed to get the huge development costs back. More of the same will not cut it with this coming generation. Something very dramatic will be required. It will certainly be the most interesting of all roll-outs of consoles in the history of the business I think as we're at a point where the industry could very well collapse if this new generation is mishandled. I know from my vantage point I won't be buying a new console til at least 2 price drops. My backlog is pretty much in the 3 digits at the moment and will probably get worse as I buy cheap 360 games that are marked down post the next console release.
Edited by skonson, 21 April 2013 - 05:23 PM.