Xbox Series X Smart Delivery Makes Console Backwards and Forwards Compatible

Each new console generation presents gamers with the same ol’ dilemma: do I buy the current version now and play it first, or do I wait for the new console to drop and get the better edition? Well, for the first time in gaming history, Microsoft is making sure you don’t have to worry about that. Announced earlier today, Xbox Series X is utilizing a new system they call Smart Delivery. As part of their plan for the Series X to host, “four generations of gaming,” Smart Delivery will allow you to buy a game just once and have access to all versions. Here’s the official statement from this morning’s Xbox Wire announcement:

This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re playing on. We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on. This technology is available for all developers and publishers, and they can choose to use it for titles that will be release on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.

This is a huge step forward for gamer-first console design. While the Series X certainly isn’t the first console to support backwards compatibility, this approach is the first time that games will also have (I’m coining a phrase here) forwards compatibility. I distinctly remember trading in my old PS3 copy of The Last of Us to get a discount on the PS4 version. That was just how things were. With Smart Delivery, you can buy your game digitally and not have to worry about upgrading in the future. While this feature is optional, it will come included in all Xbox Game Studios titles, and is up to developers to utilize.

One such studio taking advantage of this service is CD Projekt Red. In an announcement on Twitter, the studio stated that any purchase of the Xbox One edition of Cyberpunk 2077 will also unlock the Series X version (when it’s ready, of course).

If you want to check out the full Xbox Series X features post, you can find it here. With the upcoming renewing of hostilities in the ever-raging console wars, this is a big step towards putting the Series X in the good graces of gamers.

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