It has been reported that the Xbox Series S will have the same backwards compatibility when it comes to older games, particularly those from the Xbox One family. However, it now seems as though the Xbox Series S will only be capable of running the Xbox One S versions of those games, without the enhancements that the Xbox One X brought.
This information was confirmed in a statement from Microsoft to press outlet Gamespew. They said that the enhancements of Xbox One X versions of games will not be brought across to the Xbox Series S.
The statement explains that the Xbox Series S was designed to run current and next-generation games at 1440p at 60fps. It was also designed to be affordable, which these specifications reflect.
As a result, in order to provide a consistent level of quality across all backward compatible games, the Xbox Series S will only run the Xbox One S version of backward compatible games. The console will add improved texture filtering and higher or more consistent frame rates though. Regardless of the version of the game, there will therefore be some improvement to the experience on Xbox Series S.
This news refers specifically to current-gen versions of games being played on the Xbox Series S. Only those that saw an enhancement on the Xbox One X from the Xbox One S will not have that same enhancement reflected on the Xbox Series S.
With other games though, Microsoft has been more clear. Forza Horizon 4 and Gears 5 will be given next-gen upgrades, and those will apply on the Xbox Series S as well. This is true of all games seeing the same treatment.
For clarification, it’s also been confirmed that games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which saw Xbox One X enhancements, will not be seeing the same enhancement on Xbox Series S. Interestingly though, if Ubisoft develops an update specifically for Xbox Series S to carry these enhancements forward, then all owners will get them.
It seems as though some developers will need to produce more updates for their games in order to provide a consistent level of next-gen quality on Xbox. Time will tell which developers do this, and which ones leave their games running better on an Xbox One X than they do on an Xbox Series S.