Besides the introdction of new games for Microsoft's next generation Xbox One X gaming console, Microsoft's goal has always been to empower gamers to play the best versions of games from across four generations of Xbox.
Thousands of developers from across the globe are currently creating the next generation of games, many of which can only be realized through the power of the Xbox Series X. Led by Halo Infinite, our 15 Xbox Game Studios teams are at work creating the biggest line up of exclusives in Xbox history. Microsoft promises to show many of the new games in development for Xbox Series X soon.
"Your favorite games and franchises, your progression and achievements, and the friendships and communities you create through gaming should all move with you across generations. Not only that, your favorite gaming accessories and peripherals should also move forward with you as well," said Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X
The Xbox compatibility journey began with the announcement of Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility coming to Xbox One at E3 2015. Microsoft managed to bring more than 500 Xbox 360 games to Xbox One, and also went back even further into the archives and resurrect some of favorite franchises from the original Xbox. The very same team is pushing the envelope again with Xbox Series X.
Maintaining compatibility presents a massive technical challenge as fundamental system and chip architectures advance across generations. Developers optimize their games to the unique capabilities and performance of a console. 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. Backwards compatible titles also see significant reductions in in-game load times from the massive leap in performance from our custom NVME SSD which powers the Xbox Velocity Architecture.
In partnership with the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, Xbox Series X delivers a new 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 Microsoft to enable HDR with zero impact to the game’s performance and they can also apply it to Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles developed almost 20 years ago, well before the existence of HDR.
In addition, the new Quick Resume feature was designed to not only work with new games, but it can also be enabled for backward-compatible titles. Quick Resume enables players to resume exactly where they left off, across multiple titles.
All of these advances happen at the platform level and require no additional work from title developers.
Beginning with Xbox One X, the compatibility team developed new innovations that could be applied to a hand curated list of titles to enhance them even further than what was possible when they were first created. Techniques such as the Heutchy method, which enables titles to render with increased resolutions up to 4K, or applying anisotropic filtering to improve the final image quality bring these classic games up to modern standards, better than ever before.
The compatibility team has invented new techniques that enable even more titles to run at higher resolutions and image quality while still respecting the artistic intent and vision of the original creators. Microsoft is also creating whole new classes of innovations including the ability to double the frame rate of a select set of titles from 30 fps to 60 fps or 60 fps to 120 fps.