Microsoft forbids devs to charge money for Xbox Series X game upgrades

A new internal Microsoft mandate says developers can't sell Xbox Series X game upgrades for money.

1 minute & 40 seconds read time

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.

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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.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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