The full extent of the Xbox Series X and Series S’ backward compatibility has been revealed in a tweet by Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management at Xbox.
While the PlayStation 5 will focus solely on PlayStation 4 compatibility, the Xbox Series X/S will run all Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games currently playable on the Xbox One at launch. The only exception is games requiring the use of a Kinect camera to run.
So while you won’t be able to play your copy of Fable: The Journey, there’s still plenty of other (much better) options around.
If you have a dusty old copy of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell on Xbox, for example, you’ll be able to take it for a spin on next gen. You could even play through Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, if you really wanted. Not every Xbox and Xbox 360 game is backward compatible just yet, though. In fact, there’s plenty of notable omissions. You’ll have to consult this list to see if your favourite game makes the cut on Xbox Series X and Series S.
The Xbox team is actively working on bridging the backward compatibility gap between the Xbox Series X/S and past consoles so if your favourite game isn’t available yet, there’s still a chance it could make the leap to the next generation of consoles.
Ronald stated in his tweet all backward compatible games would ‘look and feel better’ on next gen, presumably referring to the faster loading speeds and enhanced graphics of the Xbox Series X and S (although exact details are still unclear).
After 500K+ hours of testing, we’re are excited to share that all Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games playable on Xbox One today, except for the handful that require Kinect, will be available – and look and play better – on Xbox Series X|S at launch.
— Jason Ronald (@jronald) October 28, 2020
It’s great news for everyone excited to upgrade to next gen without leaving the older generation behind. If you’re looking to trade your Xbox One console, you’re now safe in the knowledge all your games will run on the new console.
It’s also a vastly different approach than what you’ll find on the PlayStation 5, which is only compatible with ‘most’ PlayStation 4 games. (There are currently 10 PlayStation 4 games which won’t work on the PlayStation 5.)
For everyone purchasing an Xbox Series X or S this year, there’ll be plenty to play on the next console generation, regardless of new titles being delayed into next year.