• Xbox 360 saved games can live on with better visuals on next-gen Xbox consoles
  • Auto HDR will enhance older game visuals without removing what was there before
  • Older titles will run at peak performance at maximum resolution and higher visual quality

Xbox 360 players would not need an Xbox Live subscription to transfer cloud save data from that console to the coming Xbox Series X and Series S.

With backward compatibility being a prime selling point for next-gen consoles to lure in both new and older gamers, offering a way to make the transition from an old console to a new one a much easier process would make them even more appealing to prospective buyers.

That must surely have been on the minds of the team behind the Xbox Series X from Microsoft as it revealed in a blog post that cloud saves will soon be free to all Xbox 360 users. This will allow players to bring their old 360 saves with them to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S at no additional cost.

In the post, Microsoft said this was a move made to preserve and respect the gaming legacy of fans who have been playing with the consoles that the company has been churning out.

“We also fundamentally believe that not only should you be able to play all of your games from the past without needing to purchase them again, but they should also look, feel and play better on the next generation of Xbox consoles,” the company stated.

Backward compatible games will run natively on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S with no boost mode and downlocking to provide a truly complete experience with the consoles for each title that is played.

“This means that all titles run at the peak performance that they were originally designed for, with significantly higher performance than their original launch platform, resulting in higher and more steady framerates and rendering at their maximum resolution and visual quality,” the company assured.

Both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been touting their respective fast load times and high framerates so it should not come as a surprise that quicker loading was part of the Xbox post on backward compatibility.

Load times have been an issue since the dawn of video gaming so to have reduced or faster load time for older games is a pretty significant accomplishment for any console maker.

Also mentioned in the post was the use of high dynamic range or HDR to render a higher range of brightness and colors to improve visual quality for more recent games. Unfortunately, a large chunk of games that were developed pre-HDR was not able to avail of its benefits.

To correct that, Xbox Series X and Series S will introduce Auto HDR, which automatically adds HDR enhancements to games that only had the standard dynamic range or SDR. Think of it as akin to retouching a classic painting and cleaning it up without taking away from the intent of the original artist or removing what made it special in the first place.

With the massive catalog of Xbox titles accessible via cloud saves, Auto HDR and improved framerates to boost both the visual and gameplay elements of classic games on new consoles, Xbox is seriously throwing down the gauntlet when this next-gen console war formally opens next month.

Microsoft's next-gen gaming consoles are monsters in terms of raw computing power. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson