Xbox Series X | S Backward Compatibility Has Been Worked On Since 2016; More Xbox 360, OG Games May Come To Game Pass


Backward Compatibility has been one of the main Xbox focuses in the past few years, and it will remain to be so for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S generation. So much, that the team has been working on it for the next-generation consoles since 2016.

Speaking with Inverse, Xbox Director of Program Management Jason Ronald confirmed that the team has been working on the Xbox Series X and Series S backward compatibility since 2016, running performance captures of gaming on a simulator of the next-gen chip.

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We started on day one of the program. We’ve been working on the Xbox Series X and Series S since 2016. Before we even had silicon, we would take performance captures of existing games and run them on a simulator of the next-generation chip. That allowed us to identify potential issues in the silicon before it was even produced. With every iteration, we tested to make sure games continued to run. Then we would look at how to enhance some of these titles. That’s where techniques like Auto HDR came from.

Jason Ronald also revealed some details on the testing process for Xbox Series X and Series S Backward Compatibility, confirming it takes from 16 to 24 hours for a single.

We’ve gone through test passes for about the last year, which can take 16 to 24 hours for a single game. We had an army of testers, approximately 500 of them, who went through all of them based on a priority order. If they found issues, our backwards compatibility team would fix that, with no work by developers. The onus is on us to make sure that these games continue to work.

The Xbox Director of Program Management also confirmed that more original Xbox and Xbox 360 games may come to Game Pass in the future, obviously compatible with the Xbox Series X and Series S. The team is looking into it, but licensing issues may get in the way.

 Some of the challenges are technical, but more often than not it comes down to licensing. In some cases, the developer or publisher doesn’t exist anymore. Even tracking down who we need approvals from can be very, very difficult.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch worldwide next week on November 10th.

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