Something to look forward to: The Xbox Series X and S will not only play graphically intensive next-generation games, but they'll also bring huge improvements to some older titles, including Fallout 4, which will jump to 60fps on the machines.
Backwards compatibility is an important element for the upcoming consoles. It's an area that Microsoft is lauding in a new blog post that reveals the advantages of playing games from across all previous generations of Xbox.
A major feature of the Xbox Series X/S is their ability to double the framerate of selected older titles. In the case of Fallout 4, a game that often struggles to reach its 30fps cap on the Xbox One, it runs at a smooth 60fps on the Xbox Series X/S. We can also expect games that currently run at 60fps to hit 120fps on the new consoles.
"While not applicable for many titles due to the game's original physics or animations, these new techniques the team has developed can push game engines to render more quickly for a buttery smooth experience beyond what the original game might have delivered due to the capabilities of the hardware," writes Xbox compatibility program lead Peggy Lo.
The benefits of playing older games on the Xbox Series X/S aren't limited to better framerates; higher resolutions, 16x anisotropic filtering, and faster load times are other advantages. There's also an option to automatically add HDR to games, even to those made long before the advent of high-dynamic-range video. Microsoft uses 2001's Fusion Frenzy as an example. First released on the original Xbox, Auto HDR makes it look brighter and more vivid.
The PlayStation 5 might be more anticipated, but Microsoft appears to have the edge when it comes to backwards compatibility. Sony said its Boost Mode "may" allow some games to run at higher frame rates, with the caveat that "some PS4 games may exhibit errors or unexpected behavior." The Redmond firm even took a dig at its competitor, adding that "backward compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X and S, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU and SSD. No boost mode, no downclocking, the full power of the consoles for each and every backward compatible game."