Backward compatibility is likely one of the main pillars of Microsoft’s pitch for its next-generation consoles: The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, the corporate says, will launch with the flexibility to play “thousands of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox games.” But there’s a large gulf between the capabilities of the 2 fashions — “the most powerful Xbox ever” and “the smallest Xbox ever,” respectively — which implies that they’ll deal with backward compatibility otherwise.

Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series S final week, and mentioned that it’ll debut alongside the larger, stronger Series X on Nov. 10 at a much more reasonably priced value level of $299 as an alternative of $499. One main distinction between what the 2 fashions provide is decision: While each consoles can play video games at body charges as excessive as 120 frames per second, the Xbox Series X is designed to run at 4K decision whereas the Series S is geared towards 1440p.

The next-gen consoles are analogous to the 2 present fashions of the Xbox One, the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X. And Microsoft just lately introduced that backward compatibility will operate accordingly on the upcoming consoles.

How will backward compatibility work on the Xbox Series S?

Since the debut of the Xbox One X in late 2017, Microsoft has delivered Xbox One X enhancements for almost 70 Xbox 360 and unique Xbox video games. These titles look and play higher on an Xbox One X than they do on an Xbox One S (or launch-model Xbox One) — the enhancements embody higher-quality anti-aliasing, elevated texture element, and 9 instances the decision (4K versus 720p).

However, the Xbox Series S gained’t assist these enhancements, Microsoft confirmed just lately. Instead, the corporate mentioned in a press release to VGC on Friday, “the Xbox Series S runs the Xbox One S version of backward compatible games while applying improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR.”

It could appear disappointing that even Microsoft’s weaker next-gen console gained’t be capable to ship the identical backward compatibility enhancements as the corporate’s stronger current-gen mannequin. But the maths checks out — on paper, the Xbox Series S has much less uncooked energy than the Xbox One X, with graphics efficiency of four teraflops in comparison with 6 teraflops. It has much less system reminiscence, too: 10 GB for the Xbox Series S (of which eight GB, at most, is obtainable to builders) versus 12 GB for the Xbox One X (of which 9 GB is obtainable to builders).

Considering that, it’s not a nasty comfort prize that the Xbox Series S will nonetheless present some enhancements in working older video games. Asked for additional particulars, a Microsoft consultant informed Polygon that the aforementioned advantages are “enhancements that aren’t possible on Xbox One X.” The spokesperson additionally famous that the Xbox Series S will nonetheless be able to working some Xbox One video games with “double the frame rates” — akin to Gears 5, which can assist 120 fps multiplayer action on both next-gen Xbox models — due to “well over double the effective CPU and GPU performance of Xbox One S.”

How will backward compatibility work on the Xbox Series X?

a three-quarters view of the top of the Xbox Series X, with a green piece of plastic visible just beneath the system vents

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft introduced in May that backward-compatible video games will make the most of “the full power of the Xbox Series X” for a wide range of efficiency and picture high quality enhancements. In addition to the identical doubled body charge that the Series S will assist (once more, for sure video games), the Series X will be capable to “automatically add HDR support to games,” mentioned Jason Ronald, director of program administration for Xbox. And after all, Series X customers are assured to get video games “rendering at their maximum resolution and visual quality.”

Both the Series S and Series X will ship shorter load instances, due to their quick SSDs — 512 GB for the Series S, and 1 TB for the Series X. And they’ll each assist a brand new function known as Quick Resume, which can let customers swap between a number of lively video games and, nicely, rapidly resume play proper from the place they left off.

Pre-orders for the Xbox Series S and Series X go reside on Sept. 22.