The Next Xbox Will Be Backwards Compatible… For An Extra $150

Site regular The Surly Badger pointed us towards yet another set of next-gen Xbox leaks, and it’s full of good news and bad news, usually cheek and jowl with each other. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Let’s start with the good news: Apparently Durango, the new console, will not require an Internet connection for local play, and it won’t block the playing of used games. So that’s good.

But where did these crazy rumors, and ones like the next Xbox lacking a disc-drive come from? From the Xbox Mini! What’s the Xbox Mini? The $150 add-on you’re going to have to buy if you want to ever play any 360 game you own on a Durango!

When used with Durango, it offers connectivity with it for backwards compatibility with both disc based and On Demand games… You can control the Xbox Mini under a single interface and not have to worry about switching between devices in a single display input.

These connectivity functions cannot work with existing Xbox 360 units due to the difference in external interface.

The Xbox Mini will have no disc drive itself, although it’ll have a hard drive and presumably any games you chose to download will still be available through your account. It’s designed to appeal to people who largely use the 360 for fitness games and Netflix streaming. Making people heavily invested in its console already pay up to play the game they bought? That’s just a bonus!

We actually find these rumors to be fairly credible. Combined with the fact that Durango is also designed to be plugged into your cable box so you can use your Kinect to control your TV, this pretty much lines up exactly with how Microsoft tends to think. It’s not really surprising that Microsoft’s vision of the future involves a gigantic stack of crap sitting in your entertainment center.

At least the more outlandish and stupid rumors are beginning to seem untrue, which we’re grateful for. Although, man, we really hope downloaded games are backwards compatible. Otherwise that’s just hugely unfair.