It’s confirmed, the Xbox Series S won’t support Xbox One X backward-compatibility enhancements. Instead, it will apply its own enhancements to Xbox One S titles.
Both the Xbox Series X and Series S will have the same availability regarding backwards compatibility with older titles, except with a few distinct differences.
This new information finally clarified the growing fan speculation on the upcoming Xbox Series S’ backward-compatibility features.
Specifically, the console is designed to apply its own enhancements rather than support Xbox One X enhancements, to backward compatible games.
Xbox One X, dubbed as Microsoft’s most powerful current-gen console, currently offers machine-exclusive enhancements for certain Xbox One and backward-compatible Xbox 360 titles.
This includes the likes of higher resolutions up to 4K, HDR support, faster frame rates, and improved texture filtering.
There has been growing fan speculation about how Microsoft’s lower-powered next-gen console, the Xbox Series S, would be unable to support these enhancements considering the console’s lower memory configuration compared to Xbox One X.
Given Microsoft’s official announcement, the speculation is now confirmed to be true.
This means the cheaper console will run the normal, Xbox One S versions of previous games.
So while you are able to play the same, older games on both the Series X and S, these titles will perform much better on Series X because of the Xbox One X-enhanced versions.
Instead of utilizing the existing Xbox One X enhancement, Microsoft says in a statement with Gamespew that the Xbox Series S will instead run Xbox One S versions of backward compatible games and apply its own enhancements.
This is designed to deliver “the highest quality backwards compatible experience consistent with the developer’s original intent”.
“Xbox Series S was designed to be the most affordable next generation console and play next generation games at 1440P at 60fps,”
“To deliver the highest quality backwards compatible experience consistent with the developer’s original intent, 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.”
What kind of enhancements?
As per what Microsoft revealed, fans can expect different enhancements offered by Series S on a game-by-game basis.
However, if you’re looking into specific details, Microsoft says the enhancements will most likely include: improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR.
Players can still get a somewhat-enhanced experience when playing previous-generation titles on the Series S, but that comes natively due to the new hardware inside the console— not the game itself.
The Xbox Series S is announced to play next-gen titles at 1440P and 60fps, though 120fps and 4K upscaling are supported.
It will cost around $321 when it launches later this year in November. The beefier Xbox Series X costs around $579 and features a more powerful GPU. The latter aims to run next-gen games at up to 8K and 120fps.