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Xbox Series X will add HDR support to backwards compatible titles

Xbox Series X will add HDR support to backwards compatible titles

May 28, 2020 | By Chris Kerr

We've known the next-generation Xbox Series X will offer extensive backwards compatibility support for some time, but now Microsoft has explained precisely how the console will run older titles. 

In a detailed Xbox Wire blog post, Jason Ronald, director of program Management for Xbox Series X, revealed that all backwards compatible games will run natively on Xbox Series X hardware by utilizing "the full power of the CPU, GPU, and the SSD." 

In short, that means backwards compatible games should perform better than they did on their original platforms thanks to some notable frame rate bumps and load time reductions. 

"With all of the additional power and advancements of the Xbox Series X, the compatibility team now has a veritable playground of new capabilities to innovate and push the limits of game preservation and enhancement," reads the blog. 

"The compatibility team has invented brand new techniques that enable even more titles to run at higher resolutions and image quality while still respecting the artistic intent and vision of the original creators. We are also creating whole new classes of innovations including the ability to double the frame rate of a select set of titles from 30 fps to 60 fps or 60 fps to 120 fps."

Backwards compatible titles will also benefit from a new "HDR reconstruction technique" that allows the Series X to automatically add HDR support to Xbox 360 and original Xbox releases with "zero impact" to game performance.  

The next-gen machine's 'Quick Resume' feature will also work with the vintage catalog, letting players dip in and out of multiple titles in a snap. 

As for how many backwards compatible games will be available at launch, Ronald said that "thousands of games are already playable on the Xbox Series X today," so it'll probably be somewhere in the region of 'a lot.'

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