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Microsoft wants to encourage more publishers to offer free Smart Delivery upgrades on Xbox Series X

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There’s a natural hesitance towards buying a new video game when it arrives at the twilight of a console generation. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One era essentially kicked off a remaster arms race, with many a game hopping on over from the PS3 and Xbox 360 console. For an additional price, of course. To its credit, the gaming industry is looking to flex its graphical muscles by offering players a two-for-one deal: Buy the game in its current-gen state, get a free next-gen upgrade when you migrate to greener hardware pastures.

Cyberpunk 2077, Destiny 2 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will all have their own slice of Smart Delivery upgrades on the Xbox Series X, a feature that Microsoft wants to encourage other developers to adopt for 2020 and beyond. According to VGC’s sources, this feature won’t be mandatory for any games popping up on the newest of Xboxes, but Microsoft is really hoping that it catches on. Or at least sees a hefty discount offered from publishers to players of their various games.

However, developers and publishers who choose not to support Smart Delivery can still offer owners of current-gen games a discount on purchasing a second next-gen version of the game on the Microsoft Store. Theoretically, third-party publishers could also charge for physical game upgrades via their own schemes, such as via retailer promotions.

Xbox developers who don’t support Smart Delivery also have the option of selling two-game ‘cross-gen bundles’, in disc or digital form, which include separate Xbox One and Xbox Series X versions of a game.

Certain publishers who shall not be named, have presumably had this response to the idea of free remasters:

2K Games is going down that cross-gen bundle route for NBA 2K21, which can be purchased in a format that has a game for each Xbox platform. If you’ve got $100 to spend that is. The Smart Delivery feature is slowly padding out as we head into the second half of the year. Here’s the full list of games that currently support it, in case you need a refresher:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Call of the Sea
  • Chorus: Rise as One
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Destiny 2
  • DiRT 5
  • Gears 5
  • Halo Infinite
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Second Extinction
  • The Ascent
  • Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

The Xbox Series X is still on the way, with Microsoft kicking off a proper first-party gaming reveal on July 23.

Last Updated: July 8, 2020

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