Microsoft has this week revealed that its upcoming Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with “thousands” games at launch.
In a blog post for Xbox Wire, Jason Ronald, the Xbox Series X Director of Program Management, revealed that its next-gen console will be able to play games from past Xbox generations.
He said: “With more than 100,000 hours of playtesting already completed, thousands of games are already playable on Xbox Series X today, from the biggest blockbusters to cult classics and fan favourites.
“Many of us in Team Xbox play on the Xbox Series X daily as our primary console and switching between generations is seamless. By the time we launch this holiday, the team will have spent well over 200,000 hours ensuring your game library is ready for you to jump in immediately.”
What’s more, the backwards compatible games will run natively on the Xbox Series X’s hardware and will benefit from reduced loading times as well as the Quick Resume which allows multiple games to be suspended at a time.
Microsoft is also adding HDR support to the games, but the company hasn’t explained how they will be doing so. Jason Ronald said in the blog post: “In partnership with the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, Xbox Series X delivers a new, innovative HDR reconstruction technique which enables the platform to automatically add HDR support to games.
“As this technique is handled by the platform itself, it allows us to enable HDR with zero impact to the game’s performance and we can also apply it to Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles developed almost 20 years ago, well before the existence of HDR.”
Improving Games From Past Generations
Microsoft is also looking at improving older games, with Ronald saying: “The compatibility team has invented brand new techniques that enable even more titles to run at higher resolutions and image quality while still respecting the artistic intent and vision of the original creators. We are also creating whole new classes of innovations including the ability to double the frame rate of a select set of titles from 30fpsto 60fps or 60fps to 120fps.”
He then stated that Microsoft is continuously listening to feedback from the community on additional titles for the backwards compatibility program. He said: “Resurrecting titles from history often presents a complex mix of technical and licensing challenges, but the team is committed to doing everything we can to continue to preserve our collective gaming legacy.”
Finally, Ronald revealed in the blog post that Microsoft is planning on unveiling its first-party next-generation games in July. He wrote: “Our 15 Xbox Game Studios teams are hard at work creating the biggest and best line up of exclusives in Xbox history.”
Sony is also planning on backwards compatibility with its next-gen PS5 console, but not to the same depths as Xbox. Currently, around 100 or so of the PS4’s top games will be backwards compatible and playable at launch but Sony has stated that over 4,000 games will be supported on the PS5.
Unlike with Xbox, which is supporting all past generations, the PS5 console will only support PS4 games, nothing has been confirmed on games from the PS1, PS2, and PS3 generations.
Image Credit: Xbox