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Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles will run 'almost all' old games, Ubisoft says

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says extensive backwards compatibility "will help the the old generation to continue" for years, while Xbox boss Phil Spencer noted that he's testing the feature on Series X.

The Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles are expected to launch during the 2020 holiday season.
James Martin/CNET

Upcoming new consoles like Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Sony's PlayStation 5 will be backward compatible with most games, according to Ubisoft. The ability to play old games will grow the industry, the gaming company's CEO said in a financial results call last week, as reported earlier Tuesday by Games Radar.

"Those consoles will be running almost all the back catalog of the previous consoles," Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO, said when asked about the top benefits of the new consoles to players. "It will be something new in the industry, it will help the old generation to continue to be big consoles on the market in the years to come ... it will actually grow the market a lot."

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Sony is planning to launch its PS5 during the 2020 holiday season, with the Xbox Series X expected around the same time. Neither console has any official pricing yet.

The potential of the new consoles "is really high," Guillemot added. "Players will be able to be very impressed by the quality of what those new consoles will bring to the market."

Xbox chief chief Phil Spencer told Gamertag Radio that he's taking part in the effort to compile a list of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games that'll run on the Series X, CNET sister GameSpot reported on Monday.

"Not all the games today are completely compatible. We're working through our list of approved games on it. You can see what I'm playing; there's tons of games that work," he said.

He also acknowledged that Xbox One hasn't fared well against the PS4 -- Sony's console became the second best-selling of all time in October and had sold 108.9 million units at the end of 2019. Microsoft stopped sharing Xbox One sales figures in 2015, but Spencer promised "bold" strategies for Series X promotion as the next console generation arrives.

First published Feb. 11, 2:02 a.m. PT.
Updated Feb. 12, 2:12 a.m. PT: Adds Spencer's comments.