Xbox forwards compatibility explained: Will Xbox Series X games work on Xbox One?

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If you're wondering what all this chat about Xbox Series X forwards compatibility really means, you've come to the right place!

Most gamers are already aware of backwards compatibility: the ability to play your old games on your new console is something that we love, and it's one of the few things outside of the tech that's driving the next generation of consoles.

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Backwards compatibility makes sense, you just make sure that the money that people have invested so far is rewarded by allowing them to transfer their games to the next-gen.

It's a system designed to try and keep people using the same brand of consoles, and it works pretty well. However, it's not the only kind of compatibility worth talking about.

There's also forwards compatibility, which is something that Microsoft is working on...

READ MORE: Xbox Games Showcase could MAKE OR BREAK the Xbox Series X: Will this live-stream win the console war for Microsoft?

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What is Xbox Series X forwards compatibility?

Forwards compatibility is something that allows your current-gen console to play next-gen games. It'd probably be more accurate to describe the games as being backwards compatible, but here we are.

What that means is that your Xbox One could play Xbox Series X games. This eliminates the necessity of upgrading, at least initially, though could potentially lead to some issues down the line.

MCV talked to Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, and he said, "We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel they made a good investment and that we're committed to them with content."

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READ MORE:Will you need to buy PS4 and Xbox One games again on PS5 and Xbox Series X?

Can the Xbox One play Xbox Series X games?

This push towards forwards compatibility means that, yes, games will be designed in a way that allows them to work on an Xbox One, even if they're made for the Xbox Series X. At least for the time being!

People with Xbox Series X consoles will get enhanced versions of the games (presumably with better graphics and loading times), but there will still be a playable version of each new Xbox Series X game that you can run on Xbox One.

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This is, undoubtedly, a fantastic decision that is very much in favour of consumers. This is especially true for anybody unable to spend the hundreds of pounds needed to actually buy an Xbox Series X.

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When they do want to upgrade to the Series X, those who buy the game for Xbox One will be able to play it on their next-gen console thanks to Smart Delivery.

It does, however, come with some drawbacks, at least theoretically. Games being designed to play on both new and old hardware means one thing; that the games can't push the new hardware.

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That means we'll not see what the Xbox Series X is fully capable of for some time, which may delay people actually getting one and getting a PS5 instead.

READ MORE:Will PS5 games work on PS4? Sony says no!