Microsoft has shared even more details on Xbox Series X backwards compatibility and cross-generation multiplayer. In a blog post, Xbox’s Jason Ronald said announcing backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games on Xbox One was “one of the biggest highlights” for him at Xbox. For Xbox Series X, Microsoft wanted to “double down” and do even more for backwards compatibility.
The new console will not only play “thousands” of Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox games, but these games are said to “play even better” on the new console.
“The team came and told us about Xbox Series X. They said, ‘What can you do with even more power?’ So, the challenge was set. They gave us the Xbox One X and it was like we got this big playground to play with,” Xbox backwards compatibility boss Peggy Lo said. “Then we got the Xbox Series X and it was like we had a whole amusement park to play in.”
Older-generation Xbox games will have better boot and load times, more stable frame rates, higher resolutions, and improved image quality, Xbox says. Additionally, the backwards compatibility developers at Xbox are using “entirely new techniques and innovations” to “further enhance” any games that runs on Xbox Series X.
Microsoft also confirmed that Xbox One accessories (including controllers you already have), as well as game saves and progression, will carry forward if you decide to buy an Xbox Series X.
Also in the blog post, Microsoft said Xbox One X will support “cross generation multiplayer,” but the company did not share any details on how this will work. Players on the newer console, which supports higher frame rates and better image quality, would theoretically have an advantage over those playing on older machines, but one added benefit is the player population of a game with cross-gen multiplayer would presumably be much larger.
Another Xbox Series X feature focused on compatibility is Smart Delivery. Under this program, players can buy a game for Xbox One and get a free upgrade for Xbox Series X. All of Microsoft’s first-party games support Smart Delivery, while some third-party games–including Cyberpunk 2077–will also take part. Participation in the program for third-party games is opt-in.
Microsoft made a long list of big announcements for the Xbox Series X. For everything you need to know, check out GameSpot’s Xbox Series X news roundup.