Xbox Series X backward compatibility brings upgrades like HDR through machine learning

Gears Ultimate Edition
Gears Ultimate Edition (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Xbox unveiled several new features and specs for the Xbox Series X today.
  • This information included new details on backward compatibility for Xbox Series X.
  • Using machine learning, HDR can be applied to older games that lack it, such as Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Certain games can also receive increased resolution, such as Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

The mountain of Xbox Series X information that was released today contains some interesting details relating to backwarc compatibility. While Xbox provided some great benefits for Xbox One X owners, Xbox Series X is taking backward compatibility to a new level altogether.

To start off, as detailed by Digital Foundry, Xbox is using machine learning to implement HDR into games like Halo 5: Guardians and Fuzion Frenzy. This was done without developer input — a machine learning algorithm studied the HDR in Gears 5 and used IT to figure out where highlights were needed. This can be done across all generations of Xbox games: Xbox One, Xbox 360 or Original Xbox titles.

This goes beyond HDR though, as select Xbox One titles that never got Xbox One X enhancements can be improved without any developer work. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, which runs at 1080p on Xbox One, now runs at full 2160p (4K) on Xbox Series X.

Xbox Series X is scheduled to release in Holiday 2020.

Xbox Series X/S


Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.