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The Xbox Series X will support backwards compatibility at launch

The Xbox Series X will support backwards compatibility at launch

December 18, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

Microsoft’s next generation console the Xbox Series X will support backwards compatibility from day one. 

Xbox chief Phil Spencer outlined the decision in a recent interview with GameSpot, and said the oblong unit, which was fully unveiled last week at The Game Awards, will be able to play some Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles at launch.

"We wanted to make sure we had that, day one, we could deliver on the compatibility promise, and so I've been playing quite a few [Xbox 360] games on my [Xbox Series X] and Xbox One games on the [Xbox Series X] and that's just to ensure that we can be there day one," he said.

As for how many back-compat titles the Series X will support, Xbox’s partner director of program management Jason Ronald said he wants the "thousands of games" that run on the Xbox One today to eventually make the leap forward.

Of course, Ronald also explained that actually bringing those titles over to the Series X will take a lot of work, but noted that the next-gen box has actually been designed with backwards compatibility in mind.

"One of the biggest challenges is console games are usually hyper-optimized to the unique hardware capabilities of the device, and this is a new generation of hardware," commented Ronald.

"It is a new chip architecture. At the same time, we did design the silicon with [backwards] compatibility in mind, so we did make certain decisions to try to lessen that work, but I don't want to trivialize how much work the team's actually doing because there is a tremendous amount of work."

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