Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program is one of the corner stone features in the company’s marketing campaign for its upcoming Series X console. Gone are the days of buying a current gen game, only to be forced to purchase a “remastered” or “remade” version on next generation hardware. At least, this will be the case as far as Microsoft first party studio games are concerned.
Third party studios can take advantage (and reward their customer) with this program, CD Projekt Red has already announced that their highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 will take advantage of this feature.
“Some new and existing Xbox One titles will be Optimizing their games after the Xbox Series X launches. For example, if you buy Cyberpunk 2077 when it launches on September 17, you’ll be set to explore Night City on Xbox One. If you pick up Xbox Series X at launch this holiday, you can play it there too in compatibility mode picking up exactly where you left off. Then, when CD PROJEKT RED delivers an Xbox Series X Optimized version of Cyberpunk 2077, you’ll automatically get upgraded once it’s available at no additional cost.”- Microsoft News Report
Basically, Microsoft is removing the cost of “Remastered” versions of its games, and the games of some third-party publishers. So far, nor Sony or Nintendo have offered or hinted at a similar program on their systems (An inevitable Switch “2” is coming eventually), and it seems to be an advantage for current Xbox Customers.
Xbox One is expected to reach an eventual 50-million-unit sales mark. Microsoft wants to retain that number (while enticing some of the 30 million users that left for Sony during the current generation back), the Smart Delivery system ensures that current Xbox One owners will have a lot of reasons to upgrade to Series X, as not only will compatible games receive a free enhanced version, but their progress and legacy in those games will transfer to the new console without a hitch.
While Sony’s PS4 is getting some major AAA hitters this year, games like The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima will probably be backwards compatible with the PS5 (they are expected to feature some enhancements). However, a The Last of Us Part II “Remastered” edition is also expected at some point, and so far, all would seem to indicate that we would have to purchase the game “all over again” as was the case with the previous entry in the series. Unless Sony creates a similar program which is unlikely at least at launch.
“The Player is at the center of the gaming experience” is a Microsoft philosophy for the new generation, and as such we are extremely interested in which games will eventually support the Smart Delivery system program.
Here is a list of the games confirmed to support the system so far:
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Call of the Sea