Two years ago, Microsoft announced that it was going to put a stop to its backward compatibility program. At the time, there were already a handful of OG Xbox games available to play for newer consoles. Fast forward to today and Microsoft surprised fans for the Xbox's 20th anniversary by announcing 76 more backward compatible games to its library, which will include the entire Max Payne trilogy, several Dead or Alive titles, Skate 2, and many more.
Microsoft makes a final update to the backward compatibility program for Xbox
In an earlier article, we discussed how important backwards compatibility is in video games. Unfortunately, of the three big players in the console market, only Microsoft has put in a large amount of effort towards updating older titles to make them compatible with newer consoles. Case in point, before today, there were already a handful of older Xbox titles that Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X owners could enjoy.
Now, 76 new games will be joining the already expansive list. Peggy Lo, who is the head of the entire program, said in the announcement that this was all made possible "through the passion and feedback from the community." She added that the "constant requests for specific titles and enhanced encouraged the backward compatibility team to partner with the original creators to preserve thousands of games from over four generations of Xbox."
As part of the announcement, Microsoft confirmed that all 76 of the recently added Xbox and Xbox 360 games will support auto HDR if played on the Xbox Series S and X consoles. Meanwhile, Microsoft has also updated the resolutions for the Xbox games, with Xbox One X and Xbox Series X owners enjoying as much as a 4x resolution increase. In addition, Microsoft also added FPS Boost to 11 more titles, which will double the original frame rates supported by the affected titles.
Unfortunately, Microsoft's 20th birthday gift to Xbox fans wasn't all good news. Peggy confirmed in the announcement that the 76 games will be "the final time" that Microsoft will add new backward compatible games. Peggy explained that the team has effectively hit a wall as far as making games backward compatible due to "licensing, legal and technical constraints.
Given that the older Xbox and Xbox 360 titles are best played on the Xbox Series S/X, we wouldn't be surprised if this announcement gives Microsoft's latest flagship console a serious boost in sales in the following weeks.
Speaking of Microsoft, 343 Industries just stealth-released the multiplayer component of Halo Infinite this November 15. Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, Forza Horizon 5 set a new record for the biggest Xbox launch ever. It appears that Microsoft is making a killing this holiday season with Sony's unusual and unfortunate absence following the delays of some of its biggest titles intended for a late 2021 release such as Horizon Forbidden West.