Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed today how the company’s gaming ecosystem is going to work going forward. In addition to the powerful new Xbox Series X hardware, Spencer detailed Smart Delivery. This initiative ensures that if you buy a first-party Microsoft game on Xbox One, it will work on Series X at no additional charge. Smart Delivery is also available as an option for third-party developers and publishers. Developer CD Projekt Red confirmed this morning that its upcoming open-world adventure Cyberpunk 2077 will support the multi-generational cross-buy program.
Here’s what CD Projekt Red said in a post on Twitter:
Gamers should never be forced to purchase the same game twice or pay for upgrades. Owners of Cyberpunk2077 for Xbox One will receive the Xbox Series X upgrade for free when available.
This is the first third-party studio to confirm support for the Xbox One/Series X cross-buy program. For its part, Microsoft confirmed that any game exclusive it publishes will automatically use this feature.
“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,” writes Spencer. “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 different from Xbox Play Anywhere, which enables you to buy a Microsoft game and play it on PC or Xbox. Third-party games usually do not support Play Anywhere.
Cyberpunk 2077 cross-buy may mean no Xbox Series X remaster
Compatibility is one of the core features that Microsoft is hyping up for the next-gen Xbox. The Series X plays Xbox One games, and therefore it also supports that system’s emulation for Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. And Spencer says they will look better than ever.
But fans have come to expect that sort of backward compatibility. What was still a question was how cross-generation upgrades would work.
In the past, publishers have made a lot of money repackaging older games as selling them as remasters for current hardware. Smart Delivery would seemingly spoil that business while also giving customers more confidence that their purchases have some permanence.
So CD Projekt Red can’t sell the same game to people who upgrade from Xbox One to Xbox Series X. But it might see fewer people hold off on purchasing Cyberpunk 2077 until they purchase a new box. That could lessen the effect of the transition to the Xbox Series X (and PlayStation 5). You can start buying Xbox Series X games now, play them on Xbox One, and then get the upgrade for free.
Cyberpunk 2077 launches April 16 for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 4.
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