Microsoft commits to Xbox Series X backwards compatibility in a big way

Throughout this console generation, Microsoft has put a heavy focus on backwards compatibility. These days, the Xbox One can play a lot of games from the Xbox 360 and even some from the original Xbox. All of that work into building out backwards compatibility won't be lost in the jump to the next generation, which is good news for those who have extensive legacy libraries.

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that backwards compatibility will be available on Xbox Series X from day one. "We wanted to make sure we had that, day one, we could deliver on the compatibility promise, and so I've been playing quite a few [Xbox 360] games on my [Xbox Series X] and Xbox One games on the [Xbox Series X] and that's just to ensure that we can be there day one," Spencer said.

It's unclear at this point if Spencer is talking about full or partial backwards compatibility for Xbox Series X. While there are a lot of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games that are compatible with the Xbox One, there are many that aren't (that's especially true in the case of the OG Xbox). Microsoft has been padding out that list for a while now, but it still has a long way until it can say that the Xbox One is fully backwards compatible with previous generations.

In any case, Xbox partner director of program management Jason Ronald added that Microsoft's goal with the Xbox Series X is to allow gamers to bring their legacy froward. "We want your gaming legacy to come with you, whether that's your Gamerscore, whether that's your friends list, all your Achievements, your game saves, all of that should come forward so there are no barriers for you as you think about moving forward."

The notion that Gamerscore, achievements, and friends lists would all carry over to the Xbox Series X isn't really a shocking one, since that's exactly what happened in the transition between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Even though Microsoft is still being somewhat vague about its plans for backwards compatibility in the Xbox Series X, this interview makes it clear that it'll remain a focus for the company in the next generation. Hopefully Microsoft delivers some more specifics soon, so stay tuned.