Publishers seem reticent on wide-sweeping Smart Delivery support on Xbox Series X, and may push towards re-selling separate next-gen SKUs for specific games.
Microsoft is making a big deal out of Smart Delivery, a concept that's not entirely new but quite simple. And they really should. Smart Delivery is a consumer-friendly idea that carries your games across multiple Xbox console generations.
The idea is simple: You buy a game once, and you can play it on any Xbox console, including Xbox Series X.
Since the hardware specs vary, so too will game performance. Microsoft's online cloud will automatically download and apply optimizations for the games depending on what console you play it on. Ownership can move forward and backward between consoles and generations.
Pop in Halo: Infinite on Xbox One, and you'll get the base version. Buy an Xbox Series X, and your copy jumps forward, and the network will automatically download assets and supercharge your experience.
Microsoft won't have first-party next-gen console exclusives. Every first-party game is coming to all Xbox consoles and PC at the same time. They're trying the Xbox Series X as an extension of the current generation insofar as game releases.
It's the performance that'll be exclusive, not the games.
But third-party developers aren't forced into this mandate. They can choose to support Smart Delivery, or avoid it entirely. For example, EA is doing something called Dual Entitlement with Madden 21 on Xbox Series X, which essentially gives you a free copy of the game on Xbox Series X if you buy it on Xbox One.
Dual Entitlement isn't the same as Smart Delivery because each game is treated as its own different release. Smart Delivery uses optimization patches, not SKUs.
Okay, so now that we know exactly what Smart Delivery is, let's check out a list of supported games:
- Gears 5
- Halo Infinite
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla
- Destiny 2
- DiRT 5
- Scarlet Nexus
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
- The Ascent
- Call of the Sea
- Second Extinction
- Metal: Hellslinger
Admittedly this list is pretty scarce. It seems publishers are more eager to re-sell and re-release their games separately to maximize sales.