What Is Xbox Smart Delivery, and How Does It Work?

What Is Xbox Smart Delivery, and How Does It Work?
Xbox Series X

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X will include a feature named Xbox Smart Delivery. This system lets players to seamlessly use their games across multiple console generations.

What Is Xbox Smart Delivery?

The idea behind the new Smart Delivery feature is simple: Once you’ve purchased one version of an Xbox game that supports Smart Delivery, you’ll always have access to it, even on future (and past) models of the Xbox.

This will allow players to seamlessly move between multiple consoles and console generations as often as they like. The graphics, including video resolution, will change depending on which console generation they’re on, but it will always be optimized for that console specifically.

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Not Every Game Will Support It

Microsoft has committed that all exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles optimized for the Xbox Series X, including Halo Infinite, will use Smart Delivery.

This means if you purchase an Xbox Game Studios title like Halo Infinite on the Xbox One, your purchase will let you play the game on the Xbox Series X console in the future—at no extra cost, and with all the optimizations the developer offers for the latest console generation.

This is reminiscent of the Xbox One’s backward compatibility for games written for the Xbox 360. In that system, certain games that have been modified may be played on the Xbox One simply by inserting the original Xbox 360 disc or buying them digitally with your Microsoft account.

This system worked by ignoring the original game disc entirely and downloading a modified version of the game in question, then loading it within a virtual version of the Xbox 360 system running on the Xbox One.

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Microsoft has stated that developers will not need to build multiple versions of their games to be compatible with Smart Delivery. However, Microsoft has not yet elaborated on how this feature works behind the scenes.

Third-party games, like Cyberpunk 2077, require developers and publishers to opt into Smart Delivery. Not every game will support it.

Confirmed Smart Delivery Games

Here are a few games that Microsoft has confirmed will be compatible as of June 2020:

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

Because Smart Delivery removes the frustration of purchasing games for newer consoles, there is no incentive to wait for the Xbox Series X to purchase a new game. The version you buy today for the Xbox One will seamlessly upgrade for Xbox Series X.

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