This new Xbox Series X backwards compatibility feature can transform older games

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has shared some new Xbox Series X backwards compatibility details that will have a transformative effect on older titles, such as Fallout 4.

We already know that games which targeted 60fps on Xbox One will now be able to reach that goal thanks to the added horsepower of the Xbox Series X and S. But what Microsoft hadn’t revealed until now was that some games that were previously capped to 30fps can be unlocked, essentially doubling their framerate. 

It means that a game like Fallout 4, which was originally capped to 30fps (and often dropped below that on Xbox One) can now run at a silky-smooth 60fps.

It’s an impressive technological feat, and one that could benefit a number of existing current-gen games. Check out how Fallout 4 looks below:

Xbox compatibility program lead Peggy Lo outlined how the new backwards compatibility feature works. In a blog post on Xbox Wire, Lo said, "... the backward compatibility team has developed new methods for effectively doubling the framerate on select titles." 

Lo was keen to point out that not every title will suddenly benefit from a boost to 60fps, but the option is there for some games. "While not applicable for many titles due to the game's original physics or animations, these new techniques the team has developed can push game engines to render more quickly for a buttery smooth experience beyond what the original game might have delivered due to the capabilities of the hardware."

Microsoft’s commitment to backwards compatibility is certainly admirable, and while Sony finally outlined its plans for how PS5 backwards compatibility works, the team at Xbox couldn’t help but take a sly jab at Sony’s approach.

"Backward compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X and S, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU and SSD. No boost mode, no downclocking, the full power of the consoles for each and every backward compatible game."

Auto HDR for older games

On top of the ability to double frame rates, Xbox Series X and S games running via backwards compatibility will also benefit from Auto HDR, which adds high dynamic range to improve overall visual quality. This works on titles that weren’t even made with HDR in made, such as original Xbox games like Fusion Frenzy. 

Furthermore, 16x anisotropic filtering has also been enabled for nearly all backward compatible titles, which will help clean up blurry textures in older titles. If you're fan of older games, then, the Xbox Series X and S will make your existing library even better than before. 

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.