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Moving Xbox games made simple with the Xbox Series X
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Moving Xbox games made simple with the Xbox Series X

Microsoft have made backwards compatibility a priority for their next-gen console, as gamers will be able to play past Xbox games on the new Xbox Series X. On the other hand, Sony claim that only 100 of the most popular PS4 games will be available once the PlayStation 5 launches later this year.

In the latest Inside Xbox episode, director of program management, Jason Ronald revealed that Xbox gamers will be able to plug external hard drives into the Xbox Series X to access Xbox 360, Xbox One and even original Xbox games. Xbox gamers will not need to transfer games or download patches; the process is all very straightforward.

Inside Xbox.Inside Xbox.

The backwards compatibilities of the Xbox One X suggest that the Xbox Series X will have the ability to take older Xbox games from 720p and 1080p into 4K and even in some cases, 8K resolutions.

The Xbox Series X features an SSD, which is much faster in comparison to previous Xbox consoles that use HDD. This means that Xbox gamers will not be able to play Xbox Series X games off an external hard drive, though you will still be able to store games on an HDD. To access Xbox Series X games they will need to be transferred to the internal solid-state drive of the console, or to an external hard drive.

That is not to say that older Xbox One external HDDs are completely redundant. Xbox gamers are able to insert external HDDs into the Xbox Series X’s USB port to run Xbox One games seamlessly, and even store data — including Xbox Series X games — that is not directly linked to a next-gen Xbox game that is being played.

Storage issues appear to be mitigated by the Xbox Series X. The console has 1 TB storage space, and an optional 1 TB storage expansion card allowing for games to be installed and run just as they would with the console’s own SSD.

It would be fair to suggest that Sony’s PS5 itself is shaping up to be the better console, but are Microsoft doing more for their gamers?

If you’ve been Team Xbox from day one then the greater backward compatibility of the Xbox Series X, and the ability to transfer Xbox Series X games between console and external HDD as you need, certainly makes the console a lot more tempting. Even more tempting when you consider there will be a limited number of next-gen titles available at launch. For all the greatness the PS5 has to offer, this is one aspect that Sony appear unable to match.

With roughly seven months still to go until the consoles hit the market though, expect a lot more news to come from both Microsoft and Sony.

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