Back in the days when the Xbox Series X was being developed under the guise of Project Scarlett, Microsoft promised deep backward compatibility. In fact, gaming chief Phil Spencer said the console would support titles from four generations of Xbox (OG Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X).
It is clear Microsoft has wanted backward compatibility to be more than just a gimmick. This also means the Xbox Series X will launch with thousands of available games from across Xbox generations. In a blog post this week, Director of Program Management for the console Jason Ronald expanded on Microsoft's plans.
Of course, the company has been building towards this all-encompassing support of older titles for several years. Backward compatibility on Xbox is not a new thing. Indeed, the Xbox One supported Xbox 360 games, although the catalog was evolving.
Ronald suggest backward compatibility on Series X will be different and include all games out of the gate. One of the biggest questions around this support as been how will these games look on Xbox Series X? After-all, some titles are between 10 and 17 years old.
As you might expect, the new console will enhance titles from previous generations. Ronald points to the specs of the Series X allowing for some serious improvements. He admits some games will be emulated but the result will be better performance across the board.
Furthermore, Microsoft is adding HDR reconstruction allowing any game running on the console to have HDR. This essentially means improved visuals beyond what was available when many backward compatibible games were launched. For example, some titles will run at double their original framerates (30fps to 60fps or 60fps to 120fps).
“No boost mode, no downclocking, the full power of the Xbox Series X for each and every backward compatible game. This means that all titles run at the peak performance that they were originally designed for, many times even higher performance than the games saw on their original launch platform.”