Why it matters: Many people who will receive and open up their brand new consoles next week will probably play their older titles. EA has laid out its plans for next-gen upgrades to its most popular games, and while some will feature increased frame rates and resolutions, others will be mostly the same as before.
Both Microsoft and Sony have worked some form of backwards compatibility on their next-gen consoles, but it's up to developers to update older games to take advantage of the newer hardware. Publisher Electronic Arts laid out its plans for how it's treating backwards compatibility with its current titles.
Starting with Star Wars Squadrons, there will be two different options for Xbox players. One focuses on visual fidelity, offering up to 1440p/60 fps on Xbox Series S and up to 4K/60fps on Series X. The performance option ups the framerate to 120 fps with a dynamic resolution. However, the PS5 won't have any significant upgrades with EA stating that the game will run similarly to the PS4 Pro (a dynamic resolution up to 1440p at 60fps). On a positive note, Squadrons will support cross-play with other platforms.
Apex Legends, one of the most popular battle royale games at the moment, will run up to 1440p on both PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. EA remained bullish on any other upgrades stating that "formal enhancements" will be planned for next year.
Like Squadrons, Apex Legends will gain cross-play support.
As for EA Sports franchises, next-gen specific versions of Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21 will release next month on December 4th. However, those that have already purchased the current-gen versions will be entitled to get the next-gen version for free. Those who bought a physical disc will have to contact EA in order to obtain an upgrade code for disc-less consoles like Xbox Series S and PS5 Digital Edition. Unfortunately, that offer only lasts until the launch of next year's titles. EA says that your progress and content from Ultimate Team will transfer across generations.
EA's other sports franchises like NHL 21 and UFC 4 will also run on next-gen consoles. All of the current-gen versions of EA's sports games will run a little better with EA citing "improvements to load times as well as better framerates."
Lastly, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered will run on next-gen consoles via backwards compatibility although no performance gains are noted. The Sims 4 will also make it in via backwards compatibility with that title getting faster loading and "smoother frame rates" on next-gen consoles.