Before Sony announced that the PS5 will play an "overwhelmingly majority" of PS4 games, Microsoft has been beating the backward compatibility drum on Xbox One and Xbox One X. And this will continue with the Xbox Series X. According to Microsoft, Xbox One titles won't just run on Xbox Series X, they will be enhanced in major fashion. For example, the Xbox Series X will give these games a boost in visuals, and even give a game HDR support, even if that game doesn't support the feature.
"It can be applied to all games theoretically, technically, I guess we're still working through user experiences and things like that but this is a technical demo," said Microsoft's principle software engineer Claude Marais while speaking to Digital Foundry. "So this [Halo 5] is four years old, right, so let's go to the extreme and jump to a game that is 19, 20 years old right now – and that is Fusion Frenzy. Back then there's nothing known about HDR, no-one knew about HDR things. Games just used 8-bit back buffers."
Of course, adding HDR support to every backward compatible game has obvious benefits, but it's also big for accessibility.
"Let's look at accessibility," added Marias. "If you have people that cannot read well or see well, you probably want to enhance contrast when there's a lot of text on-screen. We can easily do that. We talked to someone that's colorblind this morning and that's a great example. We just switch on the LUT and we can change colours for them to more easily experience the announcement there."
Right now, it seems like Microsoft is still working out all the details, but this will be a nice touch to what is already robust backward compatibility support on the console.
As you may know, Sony also recently confirmed PS4 games "will run at a boosted frequency on PS5," but there's no word if the console will add HDR support to these games.
Xbox Series X is set to release sometime this holiday season. At the moment of publishing, a price point has not been divulged, but we do have a growing list of confirmed games.