Microsoft has provided a new update on the capabilities of its upcoming Xbox Series X console today via newswire. Jason Ronald, director of program management for the console, explained that not only will players have access to over a thousand older games at launch but they’ll also experience substantially better performance when playing them too.
After reaffirming that Microsoft’s 15 first-party studios are hard at work delivering what will be the “biggest and best line up of exclusives in Xbox history,” Ronald switches attention to the console’s compatibility with older generation software:
“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. Many of us in Team Xbox play on the Xbox Series X daily as our primary console and switching between generations is seamless.”
But it’s the performance of these older games when running on Xbox Series X that is most exciting. Ronald explains that the console’s hardware not only allows it to run the games at their maximum settings but actually with a level of performance even exceeding their original launch in some cases:
“Not only should gamers be able to play all of these games from the past, but they should play better than ever before. 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.”
Further, assisted by a dedicated “Advanced Technology Group” wing of the development team, Series X has special functionality that allows it to add HDR support to games without impacting their performance:
“In partnership with the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, Xbox Series X delivers a new, innovative 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 us to enable HDR with zero impact to the game’s performance and we can also apply it to Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles developed almost 20 years ago, well before the existence of HDR.”
There’s also news of a Quick Resume feature that works with both new and backward compatible games alike. It allows players to resume exactly where they left off instantly across multiple titles.
Finally, Ronald confirms that in addition to sharper graphical resolutions and improved loading times, the stability and speed of framerates is something the team has been able to improve:
“The compatibility team has invented brand 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. We are 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.”
For more on Xbox Series X, you can watch a montage of the “hundreds” of games coming to the console in 20201.