A new source has emerged concerning the ability of the next-generation Xbox to play current generation titles. Following very theoretical comments from representatives of Transitive Corp. regarding the possible suitability of the QuickTransit 'universal emulator', it is now being suggested that a new version of Microsoft’s Virtual PC emulator might be employed instead.
According to Apple Insider, Virtual PC 7.0 was rushed to market to help get a G5-compatible version working, and now: "Virtual PC's native graphics card support is being handled exclusively by Microsoft's Xbox team." The next-generation Xbox console is likely to be powered by an IBM PowerPC chip, and current development kits employ an Apple G5 PowerMac, also using PowerPC technology – making the usefulness of a fully compatible version of Virtual PC obvious.
The new version will allegedly provide advanced graphics card support. However, it's still a significant jump from this Virtual PC technology to allowing the new Xbox console to emulate the current Xbox.
This may, however, all simply be idle speculation, with Microsoft management previously indicating that they did not consider the incompatibility of the current generation Intel/NVidia based console with the next generation PowerPC/ATi machine to be a high priority. The wisdom of this attitude is open to debate, though, with the backwards compatibility of the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 widely considered to be one of the key selling points for the format.