Xbox Series S won’t have Series X enhancements for backwards compatible games

It isn't as bad as it sounds.

Image via Microsoft

The Xbox Series X and Series S will both have the same availability when it comes to backwards compatibility with older games, but there will be a few distinct differences between how they perform on each variation of Microsoft’s newest console. 

According to video game news publication Gamespew, Microsoft confirmed the Series S will not receive any of the Xbox One X enhancements for any previously released games. Instead, the cheaper console will run the normal, Xbox One S versions of those titles. 

Basically, this means that while you can play the same, older games on both the Series X and S, they will look and perform much better on Series X because they are running the Xbox One X-enhanced versions. 

Related: Xbox Series X reportedly set to launch Nov. 10 for $499

“Xbox Series S was designed to be the most affordable next generation console and play next generation games at 1440P at 60fps,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Gamespew. “To deliver the highest quality backwards compatible experience consistent with the developer’s original intent, the Xbox Series S runs the Xbox One S version of backward compatible games while applying improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times, and Auto HDR.”

As the spokesperson said, players will still get a somewhat enhanced experience when playing the previous-gen titles on Series S, but almost all of that comes natively due to the new hardware inside the console and not the game itself. This does lessen the blow significantly since it will likely still be better than playing on an Xbox One X, even with the enhanced features missing. 

It will really come down to the price point on a consumer-to-consumer basis, as the Series S comes in at $299 and offers 1440p resolution, 120 FPS, and weaker internal hardware to make up for the low entry price. Whereas the Series X will have native 4K at 60 FPS, with additional support for up to 120 FPS, but will reportedly cost $499, the same cost as the Xbox One at launch. 

Both versions of the next-gen console will be up for pre-order on Sept. 22 ahead of their launch on Nov. 10. Microsoft will be revealing more information about both consoles prior to pre-orders going live.