Xbox Series X backward compatibility should beat PS5 — here's why

(Image credit: Microsoft)

With the console wars between the Xbox Series X and PS5 are heating up, gamers are turning their attention to a topic that stokes almost as much passion as hardware specs and game prices — backward compatibility. And Microsoft is filling in some of the blanks for would-be Xbox buyers.

In an official Xbox Wire blog post, Microsoft detailed just how the Xbox Series X will work with the library of games you already have for the Xbox One. In a nutshell, it's an ultra-promising start for a console that will no doubt have collectors and fans looking to go through their backlog of games jumping for joy. 

Though it was already apparent that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will have the ability to play a variety of games from the previous generation of Xbox titles at launch, Microsoft finally detailed exactly what that means, with, Microsoft's Peggy Lo affirming how important it is to "preserve and respect your gaming legacy." 

"We also fundamentally believe that not only should you be able to play all of your games from the past without needing to purchase them again, but they should also look, feel and play better on the next generation of Xbox consoles," Lo said. 

For that reason, Microsoft says that original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games that are part of the Xbox Backward Compatibility program will look and play the best they can on the new consoles. In fact, these games will likely look and play better on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S better than they did on their original consoles, according to Lo, who said that games will run "natively" on the new systems and at the "peak performance that they were originally designed for." 

That means higher, steadier frame rates as well as maximum resolution and visual quality. Players will also experience faster load times thanks to the Xbox Velocity Architecture. 

Additionally, the new Xbox series of consoles will support a feature called Auto HDR. It's meant to "enhance" a game's visual quality without changing the original artistic intent, Lo asaid. It's hardware-enabled, meaning there's no performance cost to the CPU, GPU, or memory. There should also be zero latency attached to this feature. 

So what does that mean for gamers? Not only does the Xbox Series X seek to revitalize older Xbox titles, but it can do this in a manner that's far beyond slapping a fresh coat of paint on an older game and calling it a day. Players don't have to abandon their collections to force themselves further into the future — they can look back and enjoy the games they love as they transform into the best versions of themselves possible. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.