One of the exciting new launch features of the Xbox Series X is Smart Delivery. This will allow players to buy a game once and play it across both Xbox One and Xbox Series X at no additional charge. So far, it’s been a given that Microsoft-produced titles will support Smart Delivery, and the technology is open for other publishers to use as well. There’s no obligation to use it to publish on Xbox, but Microsoft is encouraging companies not to charge for Xbox Series X upgrades, even if they decide to offer their own upgrade program instead of using Smart Delivery, according to VGC.
Quite a full high profile titles will use Smart Delivery. Ubisoft has already confirmed Assassin’s Creed: Vahalla will utilize Smart Delivery, and Cyberpunk 2077 will use the feature as well. Titles from Sega, Paradox, Codemasters, and others have also been announced to support the functionality.
However, 2K Games, for example, is only packaging both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21 with the $99.99 Mamba Forever Edition. On the other hand, EA calls their upgrade program “Dual Entitlement,” and it will launch with Madden NFL 21. Dual Entitlement will allow players who purchase Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One before the release of Madden NFL 22 can upgrade to the Xbox Series X version for free.
Even if a company develops its own upgrade scheme, there’s a catch, though. Games that don’t use Smart Delivery won’t have full cross-generation support. While multiplayer may be supported between two games, they may not have cross-save or share one group of achievements.
However, if publishers completely ignore Microsoft’s recommendations, they won’t be barred from releasing games on Xbox Series X. A Microsoft PR rep told VGC, “Developers and publishers ultimately decide how they deliver their games, and we work with them to provide the best possible experience based on their needs.”