Microsoft have confirmed a list of publishers and developers for their next-generation Xbox console, and possibly given the strongest hint yet of backwards compatibility.

Publishers including Activision, Atari, Capcom, Codemasters, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Konami, LucasArts, Midway, Namco, Rockstar, SCi, Sega, Tecmo, THQ, Ubisoft, and Vivendi make up just some of the names which have been confirmed for the new console which is widely expected to launch late this year or early in 2006.

Developers for Microsoft Game Studios own first-party titles will include Yoshiki Okamoto's Game Republic, Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker and Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q Entertainment, alongside current Xbox developers BioWare, Bungie Studios, Epic Games, FASA Studio, Lionhead Studios, Rare, and Bizarre Creations - almost certainly meaning Project Gotham Racing 3 is underway.

Possibly the most revealing part of the announcement however was that "Microsoft is fully committed to this generation, and gamers can expect an amazing pipeline of titles into 2007", which implies there being up to two years of overlap between the two machines, and surely points to the next Xbox being backwards compatible if titles are going to be developed for the existing machine even once the new much higher-spec Xbox is released.

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