The Xbox Series X will add HDR to all titles that are backward compatible, and in some cases, will even be able to double the frame rate of older games.
Backward compatibility has been a major pillar of the Xbox ecosystem ever since Xbox 360 games first started becoming functional with the Xbox One back in 2015. Since that time, the backward compatible library on Xbox One has grown drastically and has even found a way to incorporate original Xbox titles. As we now near the jump to the Xbox Series X, Microsoft today provided more clarity on how it will approach backward compatibility with its next-gen platform, and the
Announced via the Xbox website, Xbox Series X director of project management, Jason Ronald, detailed just how the new console will work when it comes to the past library of the Xbox. Much like it is now, the Series X will be able to play games from all Xbox generations ranging from the original platform to the Xbox One. Ronald has said that thousands of games will be playable on the Xbox Series X as launch and that more than 100,000 hours of playtesting have already gone into ensuring that previous titles work well on the new platform.
What’s likely most staggering about the Xbox Series X though is how it will drastically improve older games. Ronald explained that the Series X will fully utilize the CPU, GPU, and SSD of the new console which means that previous features such as boost mode and downclocking will no longer be a thing. The next-gen platform will be able to fully use the power that it has internally for all backward compatible titles.
What does this mean for the quality of these past experiences then? Well, Ronald also stated that all games from previous generations will now be able to support HDR. “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,” he explained. “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.”
Not only will older games visually be getting a major boost through the advent of HDR, but frame rates will also be able to be increased quite a bit, too. While the entire Xbox Series X library won’t be necessarily compatible, Ronald did say that some select games will even be able to have their original frame rates doubled. This means boosts that range from 30fps to 60fps or 60fps to 120fps.
All in all, it sounds pretty incredible what the Xbox Series X will be able to do. To see Microsoft continue to double down on backward compatibility with the Xbox, especially moving forward, makes the platform so much more appealing, in my own opinion. Based on what has been laid out here, this could very well be one of the smoothest console transitions we’ve ever had before considering how much of your past library will be able to come with you.
The Xbox Series X is slated to launch at a yet to be determined price and date later this holiday season. While there’s still a lot we have left to see and learn about the platform, if you’re someone who revisits older games quite often, it’s hard not to be excited about this console.