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Xbox Series X to launch with thousands of backward-compatible games

The Xbox Series X, scheduled to launch later this year, promises to be “the most compatible console ever.” The Series X will launch with thousands of games from all three previous Xbox generations.

“Thousands of games are already playable on Xbox Series X today,” Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management said in an Xbox Wire post. “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.”

The games available at launch will include popular franchises and fan favorites spanning the last 20 years, although no specific titles have yet been named. Accessories and peripherals from previous generations will also be supported by the Series X.

Microsoft’s Xbox Velocity architecture will improve the performance of these legacy games. They will look better, load more quickly, and run more smoothly on the Series X than on their original consoles, according to Ronald. In many cases, these games will be playable at a higher resolution than ever before, and some will see their frame rates double, up to 120 fps. The Xbox Advanced Technology Group has developed new HDR reconstruction methods that automatically add support for HDR on older games, and the Series X’s new hardware allows for faster, high-quality rendering and higher framerates. Loading times will also be substantially quicker, thanks to the new custom NVME SSD.

All of this processing happens on the console itself, without requiring help from the original title developers. This eliminates the time-consuming porting process, so more games will be playable on the Series X more quickly, and with substantially less effort.

Microsoft’s focus on renewing old favorites has always been an important part of their strategy, but the Series X will go much deeper into the Xbox back catalog than its predecessors. The Xbox 360 was able to play a limited number of Xbox titles, while the Xbox One offered a stronger showing, with compatibility for more than 500 Xbox 360 games.

The full lineup of backward-compatible games has not yet been finalized. The Series X team is still adding new titles to the compatibility program based on community feedback, according to today’s announcement.

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