For years now Microsoft has been taking backwards compatibility seriously. Steadily growing their library of backwards compatible games on the Xbox One. The Xbox One currently has 577 Xbox 360 titles and 41 original Xbox titles available. With all the original Xbox titles and many of the top Xbox 360 titles being enhanced on the Xbox One X.
Right now Microsoft is Investing millions on development to further enhance backwards compatibility for next-gen Xbox consoles. It’s been confirmed the majority of games that currently work on Xbox One will work on Xbox Series X at launch (Besides a few odds and ends). That’s thousands of game titles spanning 3 Xbox generations moving straight to Xbox Series X at launch.
Below I go over a few features and reasons why I believe Xbox Series X’s backwards compatibly is lightyears ahead of the competition and is unmatched.
“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 on 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” (SOURCE).
HDTVTEST (Video Above) explains how the Xbox hardware team is implementing HDR on Xbox Series X for older Xbox games. Xbox Series X adding HDR to Orginal Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games will bring new life to those titles. Giving a new reason to play those older games with higher fidelity in lighting and color.
Higher Framerates And Resolution
“Backwards compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU, and the SSD. 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, resulting in higher and more steady framerates and rendering at their maximum resolution and visual quality.” (SOURCE) .
Digital Foundry gives us a sample of the Series X enhancements added to Gears 5. What’s most impressive about this video is when they benchmarked Xbox Series X version of Gears 5 ultra settings vs a high-end $1,200+ PC setup!!!
By default, almost all backwards compatible games will yield higher framerates and stability on Xbox Series X because they will harness the full power of the console. Many will be optimized with improved framerates. Unlocking locked 30fps to 60fps and probably beyond. Also, higher resolutions are guaranteed to be unlocked for many games. Previously Dynamic 4K Xbox One X games will now be native 4K on Xbox Series X, and so on.
No Waiting!!! Thousands Of Games At Launch
Microsoft has confirmed time and time again the majority of Xbox One titles and the current backwards compatibility catalog will be playable on Xbox Series X on Day 1. That includes most Xbox One games (One Of Many SOURCES). After Xbox Series X launches Microsoft has confirmed they will continue to add new additions to the current backwards compatibility library. I’m expecting more wanted and asked for backwards compatible game titles to be announced in the coming months.
Smart Delivery For All Backwards Compatible Games
All backwards compatible games bought for Original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One will move forward to Xbox Series X at no additional cost thanks to Xbox Smart Delivery. No extra costs for any included Xbox Series X enhancements. Buying the game once gives you a license to that game forever. Backwards compatible physical discs and Digital games will work on Xbox Series X. This could be a big edge over the competition. Especially if the competition decides to charge for previously purchased digital backwards compatible games again.
This is one of the main reasons I’m interested in the Series X. As someone who’s never purchased an Xbox before, the prospect of getting games on four generations of consoles is fascinating.
Among the titles that I’d like to see them bring to the backwards compatibility list are:
Arx Fatalis, Kingdom Under Fire (both), Nightcaster (both) and Otogi (both) on the original Xbox
Sanctum 2, Spectral Force 3 and Universe at War on the 360.