The console will instead run the Xbox One S versions of backward compatible titles.
At $299, the Xbox Series S offers incredible value for a next-gen console, but while it’s a very consumer-friendly price, the console’s specs – which are significantly lower than the Xbox Series X – have been concerning to many people. While it remains to be seen what effect exactly those deficiencies will have on next-gen games, we do know that backward compatible games running on the Xbox Series S will be affected.
Microsoft have confirmed following speculation regarding the same that the Xbox Series S won’t apply Xbox One X enhancements to backward compatible games (which makes sense, given that the console isn’t capable of rendering 4K resolutions). Instead, it will run the Xbox One S versions of backward compatible titles, while also adding its own previously confirmed enhancements, such as improved texture filtering, higher frame rates, and adding HDR to games that didn’t originally have it at launch.
“Xbox Series S was designed to be the most affordable next generation console and play next generation games at 1440p at 60 FPS,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to 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.”
Microsoft have previously said that they have prioritized faster frame rates over resolution with the Xbox Series S (which is allegedly capable of up to 120 FPS gameplay), so as disappointing as this might be to many, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. 4K wouldn’t have been possible on the Series S anyway, and it’s worth noting that the console will still be adding enhancements of its own.
For more on Xbox Series S and its specs, make sure to read our recent in-depth tech analysis of the console’s hardware through here.