Microsoft expands upon its Xbox Series X backwards compatibility plans

Written by Jennifer Allen

June 1, 2020 | 13:00

Tags: #backwards-compatibility #xbox #xbox-series-x

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has announced that the Xbox Series X will support thousands of games at launch as part of its drive to make backwards compatibility as straightforward as possible.

In a blog post, director of Program Management for Xbox Series X Jason Ronald, explained how the team "know how important it is to preserve and respect...gaming legacies," which is what has led to this focus on backwards compatibility. While no details have been announced in terms of titles, Ronald explained that the team has contributed more than 100,000 hours of play testing to ensure that thousands of games are already playable on the Xbox Series X right now. The hope is by the time the console launches later this year that the number of hours will have increased to over 200,000 ensuring plenty more games are available for the system. 

On a promising note, Ronald also pointed out that many of the Team Xbox employees already use the Xbox Series X daily as their primary console without any issue switching between generations. The concept is seen as the natural next step after providing backwards compatibility for more than 500 Xbox 360 games for the Xbox One. 

It gets better too for fans of older games. Backwards compatible games will run natively on the Xbox Series X with the full power of what it offers. There won't be any downclocking or boost mode involved meaning that each game should run at its peak performance with potentially much higher and more steady frame rates than they would on the original hardware. The console will also automatically add HDR support to games with the promise of even original Xbox games enjoying HDR without any impact on the performance. Certain games will also doubling up of frame rates and other innovations. There will also be significant reductions in in-game loading times thanks to the Xbox Series X's SSD. 

For the most impatient amongst us, Quick Resume will also be enabled for backwards compatible games so you can dive straight in where you left off. 

In short, if you're keen to play older Xbox games and are willing to invest in a new console, the Xbox Series X should be an ideal addition. Even the Xbox One's accessories and peripherals will still work on the Xbox Series X. 

In contrast, Sony has announced that the PlayStation 5 will be able to run PlayStation 4 but hasn't released any concrete details. There is an announcement coming from Sony later this week though which may provide further insight. 


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