One of the most thrilling features hinted at by Microsoft when it promoted the Xbox Series X was backward compatibility. Unlike the Sony PS5, which will reportedly run select PS4 games only, its rival promises access to a more extensive library upon launch. Moreover, the cross-generation accessory support positions the next-generation Xbox as the more attractive option for gamers. Then there's the official announcement of the Xbox Series S, which, at $299, makes it a great system for folks that are on a budget. Unfortunately, there are some caveats that might upset few people.

Based on Microsoft's marketing campaign early this year, the company seems committed to publishing software that will be compatible with current-generation systems and the upcoming platforms. This practically means those who recently purchased an Xbox One X or Xbox One S can still enjoy most of the new first-party and third-party titles that will be released for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Nevertheless, consumers who plan to purchase the latter should be of the extent of its capabilities. According to Video Games Chronicle, despite designated as a next-generation console, the lower-end model has a certain limitation. "Xbox Series S was designed to be the most affordable next generation console and play next generation games at 1440P at 60fps," said a representative from Microsoft.

The spokesperson added: "To deliver the highest quality backwards compatible experience consistent with the developer's original intent, the Xbox Series S runs the Xbox One S version of backward compatible games while applying improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR."

"I think this is something that maybe had not been considered by some folks," pointed out Digital Foundry's John Linneman. "If you're playing an Xbox One game [on Series S], it's not going to be the Xbox One X version of the game. You're not going to get the 360 4K backwards compatibility or things like that."

Microsoft unveils the Xbox Series S
From a design perspective, the Xbox Series S is remarkably different from the flagship Xbox Series X. Photo: Microsoft

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are slated to hit retailers on Nov. 10. Sony is expected to reveal the pricing and release date of the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition this week. In related news, Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will have more than 150 games available for its xCloud game streaming service upon launch.