Microsoft’s biggest weapon, outside of the raw specs, in the next generation console war is ‘Smart Delivery’ – the idea that if you buy a game on the Xbox One you should be able to play that same game on the next generation platform for free.
Traditionally each generation of consoles might have separate editions released – the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have had numerous ‘Remastered’ titles released that debuted on the previous generation before being given a graphical polish and released as separate editions on the more modern consoles. This included games like Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us.
Whereas right now Sony are sticking to PlayStation 5 specific editions of games, Microsoft are pushing for studios to adopt their Smart Delivery platform which will mean you can buy the game on the Xbox One and install it free of charge with added features and better framerates on the Xbox Series X when you finally make the jump to the new platform. It’s a very consumer-centric move and we’re hoping as many studios as possible jump on board.
Isn’t this just a fancy name for backwards compatibility?
No, we believe that Microsoft’s intention is for games that are released via this model will be fully enhanced on the next generation platform. This won’t be a case of the same game being available to buy on Xbox One and just being compatible with the Xbox Series X. The Xbox Series X edition of the game will be fully developed with the next generation platform’s specifications and abilities in mind.
Which games are confirmed to be available via Smart Delivery?
The list is short right now, but we hope it will grow. CD Projekt Red recently joined the scheme with the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 which will be available on the Xbox Series X for free when it is ready for release. The full list of confirmed Smart Delivery games is below:
- Halo Infinite
- Gears of War 5
- Cyberpunk 2077
We expect this list to grow quickly as more studios adopt the release strategy and we expect most, if not all, Microsoft Studio titles to follow this release plan going forward.
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