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.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

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.

Related articles

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.

Shigeru Miyamoto Expresses Confidence in the Younger Generation of Nintendo

The legendary creator says the spirit will stay alive.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.