New Xbox Will Have Near-Full Backward Compatibility at Launch, Says Phil Spencer

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As we enter a new generation of consoles in 2020, it’s important to have access to the games players already own. Because we’re not necessarily going to leave the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Outer Worlds in the dust entirely, right?

Microsoft has that base covered with the Xbox Series X. Upon its surprise official confirmation last week at The Game Awards, the company confirmed its latest hardware would have “full” backward compatibility across “thousands of games.”

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Xbox head Phil Spencer clarified this a bit. That doesn’t mean every game will see support at launch—but a majority of titles will. Every Xbox One game released will work with the system, along with the Xbox 360 and original Xbox games that came out via backward compatibility.

“We wanted to make sure we had that, day one, we could deliver on the compatibility promise, and so I’ve been playing quite a few [Xbox 360] games on my [Xbox Series X] and Xbox One games on the [Xbox Series X] and that’s just to ensure that we can be there day one,” he told GameSpot.

So, no, your cherished copy of 50 Cent: Blood On the Sand and digital version of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World aren’t likely to work on the Xbox Series X. Not right away, at least.

But the games that did arrive in the backward compatibility program, like Enslaved: Odyssey To the West, Burnout Revenge, Panzer Dragoon Orta and countless others, will work. With over 575 backward compatible titles, that’s a lot to play. And, again, the entire Xbox One library will be playable.

Games won’t be the only thing you can transfer over. Director of program management Jason Ronald also confirmed that Gamerscore, friends lists, Achievements, and game saves from the cloud are also carried over.

So while the system may not be “fully” capable of playing every Xbox game you ever owned (and again, this could change, so hold onto that copy of Burnout 3: Takedown), it’ll still have access to a ton of favorites from day one. And, of course, new releases like Hellblade II: Senua’s Saga and Halo: Infinite.