Microsoft has clarified the state of play for backward compatibility for the Xbox Series X/S and, basically, the news couldn’t be better.
The firm says every game that is currently playable on the Xbox One – whether it’s an original Xbox title or a game made for the Xbox 360 or Xbox One – will work on the next-gen console on day one. That’s thousands of games available from launch, before you even consider the new Xbox Series S/X titles.
The word comes from Xbox director of PM Jason Ronald, who said only games that require the Kinect motion sensing peripheral will be exempt from backward compatibility.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Ronald said the testing had taken over 500 hours, but Microsoft was now ready to confirm the near-universal compatibility. Roland also added that these games will “look and play better” on the Series X/S hardware.
That doesn’t tell the entire story though. Not every original Xbox and Xbox 360 game can be played on be played on the Xbox One, for example. There is an enormous list of compatible titles and they are listed here.
In a blog post earlier this month, Microsoft explained how backwards compatibility would work on the Xbox Series X, including compatibility with discs from previous generations. The Series S, of course, has no disc drive, so will rely on digital libraries being replenished.
Microsoft writes: “Playing the games will be just as easy and magical as it’s always been. Simply insert your favorite backward compatible Xbox One, Xbox 360 or original Xbox disc into your Xbox Series X, install the game, and you’ll be ready to play. Your digital library will instantly appear and ready for download on the console when you sign in. If you’ve already installed your games to an external drive, you can bring that with you to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. This all happens with no additional cost to you. And, with cloud saves, you’ll jump right back in where you left off. For those of you still enjoying Xbox 360, cloud saves will soon be free to all Xbox 360 users, making transferring your favourite games to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S even easier.”