Xbox Series X and Series S backward compatibility, defined

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Backward compatibility is likely one of the main pillars of Microsoft’s pitch for its next-generation consoles: The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, the corporate says, will launch with the flexibility to play “thousands of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox games.” But there’s a large gulf between the capabilities of the 2 fashions — “the most powerful Xbox ever” and “the smallest Xbox ever,” respectively — which signifies that they’ll deal with backward compatibility in a different way.

Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series S final week, and stated that it’ll debut alongside the larger, stronger Series X on Nov. 10 at a much more inexpensive price level of $299 as a substitute of $499. One main distinction between what the 2 fashions supply is decision: While each consoles can play video games at body charges as excessive as 120 frames per second, the Xbox Series X is designed to run at 4K decision whereas the Series S is geared towards 1440p.

The next-gen consoles are analogous to the 2 present fashions of the Xbox One, the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. And Microsoft lately introduced that backward compatibility will perform accordingly on the upcoming consoles.

How will backward compatibility work on the Xbox Series S?

Since the debut of the Xbox One X in late 2017, Microsoft has delivered Xbox One X enhancements for almost 70 Xbox 360 and unique Xbox video games. These titles look and play higher on an Xbox One X than they do on an Xbox One S (or launch-model Xbox One) — the enhancements embrace higher-quality anti-aliasing, elevated texture element, and 9 occasions the decision (4K versus 720p).

However, the Xbox Series S received’t help these enhancements, Microsoft confirmed lately. Instead, the corporate stated in a press release to VGC on Friday, “the Xbox Series S runs the Xbox One S version of backward compatible games while applying improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR.”

It could appear disappointing that even Microsoft’s weaker next-gen console received’t have the ability to ship the identical backward compatibility enhancements as the corporate’s stronger current-gen mannequin. But the maths checks out — on paper, the Xbox Series S has much less uncooked energy than the Xbox One X, with graphics efficiency of 4 teraflops in comparison with 6 teraflops. It has much less system reminiscence, too: 10 GB for the Xbox Series S (of which 8 GB, at most, is accessible to builders) versus 12 GB for the Xbox One X (of which 9 GB is accessible to builders).

Considering that, it’s not a nasty comfort prize that the Xbox Series S will nonetheless present some enhancements in working older video games. Asked for additional particulars, a Microsoft consultant informed Polygon that the aforementioned advantages are “enhancements that aren’t possible on Xbox One X.” The spokesperson additionally famous that the Xbox Series S will nonetheless be able to working some Xbox One video games with “double the frame rates” — reminiscent of Gears 5, which is able to help 120 fps multiplayer action on both next-gen Xbox models — because of “well over double the effective CPU and GPU performance of Xbox One S.”

How will backward compatibility work on the Xbox Series X?

a three-quarters view of the top of the Xbox Series X, with a green piece of plastic visible just beneath the system vents

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft introduced in May that backward-compatible video games will benefit from “the full power of the Xbox Series X” for quite a lot of efficiency and picture high quality enhancements. In addition to the identical doubled body price that the Series S will help (once more, for sure video games), the Series X will have the ability to “automatically add HDR support to games,” stated Jason Ronald, director of program administration for Xbox. And after all, Series X customers are assured to get video games “rendering at their maximum resolution and visual quality.”

Both the Series S and Series X will ship shorter load occasions, because of their quick SSDs — 512 GB for the Series S, and 1 TB for the Series X. And they’ll each help a brand new function known as Quick Resume, which is able to let customers swap between a number of lively video games and, nicely, shortly resume play proper from the place they left off.

Pre-orders for the Xbox Series S and Series X go dwell on Sept. 22.

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