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Xbox reveal full details of backwards compatibility of Xbox Series X and Series S

By Rory Cashin

October 13, 2020 at 3:51pm

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The two new Xbox consoles will be able to play games from the Xbox One, the Xbox 360, and even the original Xbox.

The release date of Tuesday, November 10 for Microsoft's two new consoles - the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S - is getting ever closer, and today they shared some very interesting information regarding the backwards compatibility of the new consoles.

While everyone will be very excited to play the new games that will be released alongside the launch of the consoles, there will be many of us who have a huge back catalogue of games from the previous Xbox consoles that we won't want to part with or ignore. Thankfully, the folks at Xbox have confirmed that 1000s of previous console games - from the original Xbox all the way up to the Xbox One - will be playable on the Series X and Series S.

On top of that, they released the following info about the backwards compatibility:

  • Games play best on Xbox Series X and Series S

Older games will run natively on the newer consoles, which effectively means a higher performance, higher visual resolutions, and faster loading times.

  • Auto HDR for everyone

Some games, especially pre-Xbox One, were shipped with what is known as SDR, or Standard Dynamic Range. These games will be given an upgrade to HDR on the new consoles, resulting in a much more visually vibrant playthrough.

  • Amazing innovations for some of the classics

Xbox haven't given too much detail on what this will involve, except that "By the time the new Xbox consoles launch this November, the team will have spent well over 500,000 hours of gameplay across the entire backward compatibility catalog to ensure your experience is the best possible, no matter which game is your favorite."

"Our team of backward compatibility engineers continue to innovate and push the limits of game preservation and enhancement to make your current game library look and play even better, at no additional cost and with no work from developers while still respecting the artistic intent and vision of the original creators."

  • New technology to double framerates

We could tell you what this means, but we don't need to, because Xbox shared the following footage from Fallout 4, which doubled the games frame rate from 30 to 60, making for a much smoother gaming experience:

Peggy Lo, the compatibility program lead for Xbox, had the following to say about the backwards compatibility:

"Preserving the games of our past is fundamental to our DNA at Xbox and our continued promise to you. Backward compatibility lets you experience your cherished gaming memories again and in new ways. Your favourite games retain everything the original developer intended, while experiencing enhancements and exciting new features. There’s no need to look back, because your games are ready to move forward with you to the next generation of Xbox."

READ NEXT: A full list of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S games available at launch

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