Xbox Announces Big Backward Compatibility Update for Xbox Series X Players

Xbox has announced a big backward compatibility update for Xbox Series X players, or more specifically, it's announced "FPS boost," which will nearly double (and sometimes quadruple) the framerate of games available via backward compatibility. That said, if you're on Xbox One or Xbox One X, these improvements aren't coming to your classic games. According to Microsoft, this upgrade is only possible due to the power of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Further, right now, this isn't a universal upgrade, but will be a title-by-title upgrade.

Adding to this, Microsoft notes that all of this is being done with no work from developers. In other words, it's all on the firmware and software side of things.

"With certain titles, we can make the experience even better, all with no work required by the developer, and no update needed by the gamer," writes Microsoft of the announcement. "To that end, the backward compatibility team has developed FPS Boost, which employs a variety of new methods for nearly doubling (and in a few instances, quadrupling) the original framerate on select titles. Higher, steadier framerates make games visually smoother, resulting in more immersive gameplay. We partnered closely with developers to enhance the experience while maintaining the game’s original intent. And while not applicable to all games, these new techniques can push game engines to render more quickly for a buttery smooth experience beyond what the original game might have delivered due to the capabilities of the hardware at the time."

For now, this FPS Boost is limited to the following games: Far Cry 4, New Super Lucky’s Tale, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4, and Watch Dogs 2. According to Microsoft, these titles were chosen not only because they are popular, but because they are great showpieces for the upgrade. That said, this is just the beginning. Not only will this upgrade be added to more and more titles over time, but new features will be added around it all. For example, starting this Spring, players will be able to go to "Manage Game" and from here, click on the new “Compatibility Options” button that will allow you to toggle this upgrade on and off among other things.

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Lastly, Microsoft confirms that these upgrades will be available for Xbox Game Pass games, or at least games in Game Pass with the upgrade added. In other words, you won't need to own these games in order to take advantage of this new tech.

For more details on FPS Boost, click here. Meanwhile, for more coverage on all things Xbox -- including all of the latest on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S -- click here.