Xbox Series X and S can play games going back to the original Xbox, Microsoft says

Andrew Griffin
·2 min read
The Xbox Series X and S consoles, set to be released on 10 November (Microsoft)
The Xbox Series X and S consoles, set to be released on 10 November (Microsoft)

The Xbox Series X and S will be able to play almost all backwards-compatible games that work on the Xbox One, going all the way back to the original console, Microsoft has said.

The only games to be excluded will be those that rely on the Kinect – which is not available on the new generation of consoles.

Microsoft said that it had conducted more than 500,000 hours of testing to ensure that "all Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games playable on Xbox One today" would work on the new generation of consoles.

The company has focused on backwards compatibility for the new Xboxes throughout their development process. Microsoft has promised that not only will the majority of games work as expected, accessories such as controllers can be brought into the new generation, too.

PlayStation has been less focused on bringing older games to its new PS5. While it says that 99 per cent of PS4 games will be playable on the new console at launch – though some might see issues – it does not appear to be offering the same features going back to the PS3 and before.

On both consoles, some backwards compatible games might perform better on the next generation. The improved specs will bring features such as faster loading times, and some games will be able to take advantage of them to add extra detail or frame rates, too.

Microsoft’s exclusion of Kinect-focused games is unlikely to come asa surprise, since the company has been phasing out its motion-tracking technology for years. The Xbox Series X cannot connect to the Kinect hardware, Microsoft has previously confirmed, and so the games can technically not be played at all.

Microsoft had already said over summer that all Xbox One games would be coming to the Xbox Series X and Series S, unless they made use of the Kinect.

But the new announcement confirms that any game the Xbox One could play will be available on the new generation, with the same caveat.

Read more

Everything you need to know about the new Xbox