Xbox Series X|S: We look at the backwards compatibility of Microsoft's new-gen consoles

One of the most pressing questions with any new generation of consoles will always be "How many games do they have on release?"; nobody wants to buy a brand new high-performance console and then be limited to a handful of games. 

Microsoft clearly factored this into their thinking when creating the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. There has obviously been a huge focus on ensuring games from the previous generation of consoles would work on the new-gen ones. This is evident in the fact that virtually every native Xbox one game will work with the Xbox Series X|S consoles. Along with these, 568 Xbox 360 games and 39 original games will also work. The main exception to this is the Kinect series of games, as this is no longer supported on the Xbox Series X|S consoles.

Not only do the new consoles support previous Xbox titles - many have even been optimised for the new consoles, games like Borderlands 3, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2, Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo: Master Chief Collection have all received re-works to ensure that users get the optimal experience from the new consoles. 


Depending on the game, some of these upgrades are free - for others there will be a cost. Xbox is calling this process 'Smart Delivery', meaning if for example you had the Cyberpunk 2077 disc on Xbox One - you can simply insert it into your Xbox Series X console and download the digital X|S upgrade. 

Similarly both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S users can upgrade Xbox One games from their library via DLC upgrades - so don't worry if you have gone 'fully digital' and plumbed for the Xbox Series S, you can still access all of the same optimisation. 

If you would like to see a more comprehensive list of the Xbox Series 'Optimised for X|S' games, we reviewed a full list of these on our blog recently - Optimised for X|S: We take a look at the games currently optimised for Microsoft's new-gen consoles.

*A word to the wise

If you have decided to go the route of fully digital and purchased yourself the Xbox Series S - you will realise that the 512gb of harddrive space can soon dwindle as you add more games, on top of this with the addition of these DLC upgrades for X|S you can quickly round out of storage. Microsoft has clearly anticipated that this may well be the case for Xbox Series S users and released the Seagate Storage Expansion Card 1TB SSD for Xbox Series X|S with the consoles launch in 2020. 

In October 2021 Xbox also announced Seagate would be releasing a 512gb and a 2TB version of the expansion pack. At the time of writing the 2TB version doesn't seem to be available in the UK, however if you would like to get your hands on the Seagate Storage Expansion Card 512GB SSD for Xbox Series X | S you can at online retailers such as Amazon. 

Take a look below for the current best prices on these:


Compatible Accessories

Another great feature of the Xbox Series X|S consoles is their compatibility with previous generation accessories, such as Xbox controllers, Xbox headsets and Xbox chargers. See the full list below;

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