When the Xbox Series X arrives later this year, it will be backwards compatible with all Xbox One games except those that rely on the Kinect motion-sensing accessory.
In a lengthy blog post (opens in new tab) describing his vision for the Series X, Xbox lead Phil Spencer confirmed that the next-gen console will support four generations of games as long as they don't require a Kinect.
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"It’s our intent for all Xbox One games that do not require Kinect to play on Xbox Series X at the launch of the console," Spencer wrote. "And because of the unprecedented power of Xbox Series X, most of your favorite games will load faster and look and perform many times better on the new console."
His comments reinforce Microsoft's intentions of abandoning the once-popular accessory in this upcoming console generation. “There’s no way for Kinect to work,” Spencer told The Verge in an interview.
The Series X's incompatibility with Kinect games is less about any technical hurdle as it is Microsoft's commitment to the accessory.
That the next-gen console won't be compatible with the Kinect shouldn't come as a surprise given the treatment it has received in recent years. The Xbox Series X does not have a Kinect port, and Microsoft won’t support the USB Kinect Adapter, which was discontinued in 2018 shortly after the Kinect was taken off life support.
Despite abandoning the Kinect and all of its games, Xbox is committed to bringing the majority of its catalog to the Xbox Series X.
"Our backward compatibility engineers have spent years devising innovative ways for modern, next-gen technology to make the games library you’re building today even better, at no additional cost and with no work from developers," Spencer wrote.
Other Series X highlights mentioned in his blog post include its support for the current Xbox Elite Controller and Xbox Adaptive Controller. There is also the consumer-friendly Smart Delivery, an initiative to allow gamers to upgrade from the Xbox One version of a game to the Series X version.
We are keeping close tabs on the Xbox Series X and will keep you updated with all the latest news, leaks and rumors.