How Does Backwards Compatibility Work On The Xbox Series X?
With the new console generation in full swing, it’s brought with it a whole host of new and exciting features on the sides of both Sony and Microsoft in a bid to gain greater market share. One of the pioneering features of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X is backwards compatibility. Being able to play older titles from previous console generations is appealing to many, but how exactly does it work?
In simple terms, the inclusion of Xbox 360 or Xbox One games on Series X hardware runs through an emulator. This means that it’s possible to run games in a period-correct setting. For example, when you launch a 360 game, you’re greeted with the correct menus, even including the Xbox 360 start menu. This runs deeper than the countless Atari 2600 or Super Nintendo emulators for PCs and takes full advantage of the new hardware improvements that the Series X has brought with it.
Games across all generations will be further optimized than they were previously, bringing with them faster loading times for instance thanks to the console’s speedy NVMe SSD. Besides, greater quantities of faster RAM and a beefier CPU and GPU will also allow gamers to run a lot smoother than they did in previous generations.
The introduction of a new console generation has allowed Microsoft to go and expand their backwards compatible library to include all games on the Xbox One. As the systems share a similar architecture, this comes as little surprise. What’s more, any games released for Series X will also have an Xbox One counterpart in a bid to reach a wider audience, at least for the first few years. The Xbox 360 is still supported and production only ended back in 2016. This alleviates any potential stock shortages that Microsoft could experience by giving people the same games on both consoles to make sure they aren’t missing out and also providing the opportunity to upgrade when the time is right.
There’s also been a change of tack relating to the way the Series X has been marketed compared to older Microsoft consoles. It’s being pushed as a games console with slogans such as ‘Power Your Dreams’ alluding to the fact that the Series X is the fastest console currently. This contrasts Microsoft’s marketing message with the original Xbox One that was seen as an all-in-one media center. This has allowed them to focus efforts purely on game development, using the new decade to give new life to their brand.
However, the idea of having a convenient all-in-one center for entertainment has not been limited to games consoles and Microsoft’s marketing decisions. The innovation presented by the internet with regards to the overall power that can be harnessed. All-in-one sites have extended into the furthest corners of the platform, especially with video-on-demand libraries such as Netflix paving the way for others to follow.
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Whilst the Xbox Series X is worlds apart from the original Xbox and Xbox 360, the fact it can still run the same games just proves that Microsoft is concerned with preserving a worthy legacy. It’s a true feat of engineering, both when it comes to features and power, and it’s sure to pick up where those older consoles left off.