Microsoft announced Smart Delivery for the Xbox platform a few months back but as we get closer to launch, the team is releasing more details. Today, Microsoft published a deeper dive into Smart Delivery, what it does and how it works, in addition to confirming the list of supported games so far.
Smart Delivery is a core part of Microsoft's Xbox platform strategy and could even be seen as an evolution (and much needed improvement) to the UWP and ‘Play Anywhere' systems that have been in place on Xbox One and Windows 10. The gist of it is simple, you buy a game once and it carries across systems with you, with the console ensuring you are downloading the version optimised for the hardware you are currently playing on.
So in the case of Cyberpunk 2077, you can buy it on Xbox One in September, then if you pick up an Xbox Series X, you can continue to play the game in backwards compatibility mode on the new console. Later on, when CD Projekt Red ships an enhanced Xbox Series X version of Cyberpunk 2077, Smart Delivery will ensure that the Series X enhanced edition is downloaded to your console, all without having to repurchase content.
Smart Delivery is not limited to digital games either, if you purchase a physical Xbox One copy of a supported game, you can put that disc into your Xbox Series X and Smart Delivery will obtain the enhanced version for you. If you own multiple Xbox consoles and switch between them, Smart Delivery will also ensure you are playing the version optimised for that console, so your Xbox One won't get bloated with larger files intended for the Series X version.
Currently, the following games are confirmed to support Smart Delivery:
- 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
- Gears 5
- Second Extinction
- Metal: Hellslinger
That list of supported games will grow over time and you can expect all progress, achievements, save files and such to carry over between consoles, making the upgrade a more seamless process and guaranteeing a decent library of titles from day-one. Smart Delivery will also be supported for Xbox Game Pass titles, although as usual, it is up to each individual publisher to opt into this. EA for example is doing its own upgrade program for Madden NFL 21 for current and next-gen consoles instead of utilising Smart Delivery.
KitGuru Says: While Microsoft still needs to deliver on the first-party exclusives front, the Xbox team already has an excellent footing with consumer-friendly platform features. Game Pass and programs like Smart Delivery are really leading the way in that regard.