Microsoft Clarifies Backward Compatibility Differences Between Xbox Series X and Series S

Microsoft Clarifies Backward Compatibility Differences Between Xbox Series X and Series S

It's easy: S to S, X to X.

With two new consoles on the horizon, Microsoft will have both new games and old available on its next-gen boxes. What version of previous-gen games will run on the new consoles will differ depending on your model, however.

Following a report from VGC, Microsoft is clarifying what versions of Xbox One games will run on the Xbox Series X and Series S. The Series X is currently set to run the Xbox One X version of backward compatible Xbox games, while the Series S will run the One S version, albeit with a few enhancements.

"To deliver the highest quality backwards compatible experience consistent with the developer’s original intent, 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," a Microsoft spokesperson told VGC.

Digital Foundry also noted that the Series S didn't seem like it would be able to run the Xbox One X-enhanced versions of games.

It's a weird difference to draw between the consoles, not immediately helped by Xbox's nomenclature. As my colleague Mike Williams pointed out, the easy shorthand is "S to S, X to X."

The difference isn't too surprising given each console's inherent differences, either. The long-rumored Xbox Series S is a smaller, slimmer, more affordable next-gen console that looks to be targeting lower resolutions. The Series X, meanwhile, is pushing for 4K.

Both Xbox consoles will be launching on Nov. 10, with a small legion of third-party games like Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Assassin's Creed Valhalla. First-party standard bearer Halo Infinite will meanwhile be missing the launch of the next generation of Xbox, instead aiming for 2021.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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