Microsoft may give developers tons of freedom in how they handle next-gen Xbox Series X optimizations, but there's one thing they forbid: charging money for next-gen game upgrades.
Internal Microsoft mandates prohibit game developers and publishers from selling game upgrades on the Xbox Series X platform, sources tell Video Game Chronicle. Instead of treating current-gen game upgrades as premium DLC on next-gen consoles, Microsoft is encouraging developers to support its Smart Delivery program, which automatically selects, downloads, and applies any developer-issued next-gen game upgrades.
Third-party games-makers have two options for cross-gen transitional games. First, they can support Smart Delivery, or second, they can release a separate next-gen exclusive SKU of the game. There's lots of wiggle room here. 2K Games, for example, is releasing a $69.99 next-gen exclusive version of NBA 2K21. EA is also releasing next-gen exclusive versions of FIFA 21 and Madden 21, but these games have a new program called Dual Entitlement, which gives a free copy of the next-gen version to anyone who buys a PS4 or Xbox One copy.
Read Also: Microsoft clarifies next-gen Xbox Series X game enhancements
Also remember that not every game will get (or necessarily needs) Xbox Series X upgrades.
The console will natively boost any game you put into it, including natively upscaling games to 4K resolution, boosting and tightening frame rates, tightening anti-aliasing, and dramatically boosting load speeds.
But only games that're optimized for the next-gen console will be able to tap the full might of its 12TLFOP GPU, 3.8GHz Zen 2 CPU, and ultra-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD. Games that're updated or built from the ground up for the Xbox Series X can achieve ray traced audio and visuals, blistering-fast load times, and 4K 120FPS gaming.
The Xbox Series X releases Holiday 2020. No pricing has been revealed yet.