Microsoft has detailed how the Xbox Series S will handle backwards compatibly for games of the original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One S, and how this next-gen system will make those experiences even better.As reported by Eurogamer, Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter spoke to Microsoft about the Xbox Series S and and how it will offer “1440p for OG Xbox and enhanced 360 titles, 2x performance on select One S titles – and more.”
Original Xbox games will feature a “3x boost to resolution on both axes, meaning that titles targeting 480p on the original machine will hit a maximum of 1440p on Series S, presumably with a range of performance benefits.”
Xbox 360 games that were made available for Xbox One X will also be enhanced, running with a “2×2 resolution multiplier, bringing titles that ran at native 720p up to 1440p.”
As was previously mentioned, Xbox Series S won’t run older games with Xbox One X Enhancements, but it will have other added benefits. Xbox 360 games will benefit from the improved Zen 2 CPU architecture, which is a step up over the Xbox One X’s Jaguar CPU cores.
As for Xbox One S games, there will be also be various improvements, although “a game hard-coded to run at 900p will not run any higher on Series S.” However, there will be “increased resolutions in games that use dynamic resolution scaling, as well as improvements to texture filtering quality.”
Confirmed Xbox Series X Games
Games will also load much faster with the new solid state storage, and Auto HDR will also be present and will make games look better than their Xbox One S counterparts. Furthermore, CPU-limited titles should also “deliver more stable performance at target frame-rates.”
Speaking of frame-rates, Xbox One titles will be able to run at double the frame-rate on both the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.
“We designed the Series S to enhance the Xbox One S games in a way that the Xbox One X can’t do,” system architect Andrew Goossen tells Eurogamer. “We made it easy for existing Xbox One S games to be updated to run with double the frame-rate when played on Series S as well. When games are updated, existing games can query to determine whether they’re running on the new console. And in terms of the performance, the Series S provides well over double the effective CPU and GPU performance over the Xbox One, making it pretty straightforward for the games to do this. And in fact, the Series S GPU runs the Xbox One S games with better performance than the Xbox One X.”
Another exciting aspect is how relatively simple it seems to enhance previous games to take advantage of the power of these next-gen systems.
“There’s no real perf tuning necessary when you do this, and so often it’s just as easy as changing three lines of code, and then the game works.” Goossen adds. “Even when it’s not that easy, the fixes are still pretty minor. We had one triple-A title where doubling the frame-rate really worked perfectly, except that the crowd animation was twice as fast as normal. And so, those sorts of fixes are typically very, very easy for developers to go fix. We’re working with game developers and publishers to update [their titles]. It’ll basically be select games that run at a doubled frame-rate on the Series S.”
The Xbox Series S and the Xbox Series X will both be released on November 10, 2020, and will cost $299 and $499, respectively. For more on the Xbox Series S, read on about how game sizes will be smaller on the Series S, 8 new details we learned about the smaller next-gen console, and its full specs.
Xbox Series S and Series X Comparison Photos
Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will be available for preorder on September 22, 2020, and you can stay up to date everything you need to know about Xbox preorders in our constantly updated guides that contain what you need to know to secure one or both!
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