Microsoft has confirmed it plans to ensure all Xbox One games will be compatible with the Series X console at launch, except those that require the Kinect system.
In a wide-reaching blog post on Thursday, where the company also confirmed xCloud is coming to Game Pass Ultimate at no extra cost, Microsoft firmed up its backwards compatibility pledge.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said that not only will all of those games be playable on the new system on day one, but will also offer an enhanced experience and breathe new life into many Xbox One titles.
He said: “It’s our intent for all Xbox One games that do not require Kinect to play on Xbox Series X at the launch of the console. And because of the unprecedented power of Xbox Series X, most of your favourite games will load faster and look and perform many times better on the new console.”
Kinect, of course, is the camera system Microsoft pushed with the Xbox 360 and again for the Xbox One. It was designed to pioneer a new generation of motion-based gaming experiences but many gamers were put off by privacy concerns, which preceded a lack of developer support. It will have no place in the Xbox Series X ecosystem.
Spencer reiterated that gamers will be able to enjoy four generations of Xbox games at launch thanks to the work put in by Microsoft engineers to ensure that classics from yesteryear can be enjoyed on the latest hardware without a bunch of additional work from the original devs.
He added: “You will be able to play four generations of games on Xbox Series X on day one. That makes it the largest launch lineup for any new console ever, with thousands of games to play. Our backward compatibility engineers have spent years devising innovative ways for modern, next-gen technology to make the games library you’re building today even better, at no additional cost and with no work from developers.”
Spencer’s post seemingly added to the growing momentum Microsoft has gained during the pre-launch period for the next-gen consoles. With rumours the PS5 might cost more than Microsoft’s console and with the Series X seemingly doing a better job than last time around in lining up first-party exclusives, we’re set for a much closer race this time around.
Add into the mix the incredibly good value proposition for Game Pass Ultra with xCloud, there’s huge incentive for gamers to choose Microsoft in the next-gen.