Xbox today announced that "thousands" of video games from across four generations of consoles will be backwards compatible with the next-gen console when it launches later this year. Exactly which games, and how many from each generation, remains a mystery, but it is still a huge boon to anyone that picks it up given that launch lineups have historically been rather sparse. If folks can really pick up and play their favorite Xbox 360, Xbox, and Xbox One titles as well as whatever Xbox Series X has to offer exclusively right out of the gate, it'd be a serious competitive advantage.
"With more than 100,000 hours of play testing already completed, thousands of games are already playable on Xbox Series X today, from the biggest blockbusters to cult classics and fan favorites," Jason Ronald, Partner Director of Program Management for the Xbox Platform Team, states in the announcement on Xbox Wire. "Many of us in Team Xbox play on the Xbox Series X daily as our primary console and switching between generations is seamless. By the time we launch this holiday, the team will have spent well over 200,000 hours ensuring your game library is ready for you to jump in immediately."
According to Xbox, backwards compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, and will see reduced in-game load times as well as automatic HDR support without any impact to the game's performance regardless of whether it had HDR support previously. Additionally, the new Quick Resume feature, which allows for several different suspended states at once across multiple games, can be enabled for backwards-compatible titles. The announcement also notes that the team is working to push the boundaries of what was previously possible with certain hand-curated titles, potentially enabling them "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."
Both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are currently set for a release of Holidays 2020. No definitive release date has been set for either next-gen console as of yet. There is, as with all things right now, a chance that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic causes some delays in manufacturing or delivery, though both companies behind the video game consoles have been positive in their messaging so far. You can check out all of our previous coverage of Xbox right here.
What do you think of the new backwards compatibility announcement for Xbox Series X? Do you think you will grab the next-gen console when it arrives? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!