HDR support, 4K resolution coming to backwards compatibility on Xbox Series X

by on May 29, 2020

Jason Ronald, the Director of Program Management for Xbox Seriex X, has provided more information on how the new console will incorporate backwards compatibility. In a post on Xbox Wire, Ronald went into great detail about how the Xbox Series X will be able to not only feature backwards compatibility, but make it run much faster and look better, thanks to its powerful hardware. There’re already thousands of games ready to play on Xbox Series X, and the team at Xbox have already spent 100,000 hours testing a whole manner of games, “from the biggest blockbusters to cult classics and fan favorites.”

A lot of work has gone into making the games run at full power, even at a higher performance than when they were originally released. “Backwards compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU and the SSD. No boost mode, no downclocking, the full power of the Xbox Series X for each and every backward compatible game,” said Ronald. “This means that all titles run at the peak performance that they were originally designed for, many times even higher performance than the games saw on their original launch platform, resulting in higher and more steady framerates and rendering at their maximum resolution and visual quality.”

“Backwards compatible titles also see significant reductions in in-game load times from the massive leap in performance from our custom NVME SSD which powers the Xbox Velocity Architecture. As I play through my personal backlog as part of our internal testing, all of the incredible games from Xbox One and earlier play best on Xbox Series X. The team was not content to just rely on the increased hardware performance to improve your playing experience. The team developed new platform level capabilities to ensure all of your games continue to get even better.”

“In partnership with the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, Xbox Series X delivers a new, innovative HDR reconstruction technique which enables the platform to automatically add HDR support to games. As this technique is handled by the platform itself, it allows us to enable HDR with zero impact to the game’s performance and we can also apply it to Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles developed almost 20 years ago, well before the existence of HDR.”

It’s fascinating stuff, and proof that Xbox are keen to allow gamers the chance to replay classics that perform better than ever before. Visually, some games will render with increased resolutions up to 4K, and image quality will be brought up to modern standards. Another cool feature is Xbox Series X’s Quick Resume, and this will work for backwards compatible games as well.