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 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.

  • All of this information has got me pumped for release. Now bring on the games!
  • Me too, was hoping for a release before November. Was hoping that maybe Microsoft had that up their sleeve.
  • This new console is going to be our champion against PC gaming
  • It is certainly in a better position than the Xbox One was when it launched. Though the advantage will swing in for PC fairly quick, and remain for many years.
  • But the Xbox One Series X is estimated to cost between $450-$600. I don't think you can buy a graphics card that can do 4k 60fps w/ray tracing for that, much less a full on gaming PC.
  • Nvidia is probably going to release a new set of cards this year (they generally release every two years), and AMD are going to drop their new cards very soon as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the Series X is surpassed in power before it's released.
  • Now this is a huge game changer for me. To go back and add HDR to older games brings them a few gens foward.
  • they might lose the console war if they don't include VR...