Xbox Series X can add HDR and high frame rates to old games

Xbox Series X can add HDR and high frame rates to older games
(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you're getting ready to splash the cash on an Xbox Series X at the end of the year, you've probably owned either an Xbox 360 or an original Xbox along the way.

You might have consigned the consoles to the scrap heap, but what did you do with the games? Hopefully, you kept hold of them, because Microsoft has dropped some interesting news regarding backward compatibility for the Xbox Series X

In a new blog post on Xbox Wire, it's been confirmed that not only will the Xbox Series X be able to increase the resolution of older titles to 4K, and deliver some of them with much higher frame rates (up to 120fps), the post also revealed that the Xbox Series X can add HDR to old titles too.

How? The blog post says that "in partnership with the Xbox Advanced Technology Group, Xbox Series X delivers a new, innovative HDR reconstruction technique, which enables the platform to automatically add HDR support to games". Xbox claims it will have no effect on how a game performs and that its HDR processing can be applied to older Xbox 360 and even original Xbox titles.

Now, whether this conversion technique will improve all titles of all ages across the board remains to be seen. This also begs the question, if you don't prefer the HDR created by the console, can you turn it off? We'll have to wait until the Xbox Series X launches this Christmas to find out.

Xbox claims the backward compatibility of the console will bring multiple improvements when playing older titles. Gamers will be presented with higher, steadier frame rates and games will be delivered in their maximum resolution all of the time. You'll even be able to "double the frame rate of a select set of titles from 30 fps to 60 fps or 60 fps to 120 fps". Xbox says that older titles will also benefit from the Xbox Series X's speedier loading times.

Great news for any game hoarders out there, now all we need to know is the price we're going to be asked to pay for the Xbox Series X and all of this backward compatibility. Hopefully, we don't have to wait too much longer...


Xbox Series X: release date, specs and news for the new Xbox

PS5 vs Xbox Series X: specs, power, features, pricing and controllers compared

Xbox One X review

High Frame Rate (HFR TV): What is it? Why does it matter?

Best gaming headsets

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.