Microsoft Announces Smart Delivery, a Cross-Buy Equivalent for First Party Xbox Games

Buy Halo: Infinite on Xbox One, get it on Xbox Series X

Microsoft has already confirmed that the Xbox Series X (technically just called Xbox but specificity is required when we’re about to be talking about multiple Xbox systems for the next few hundred words) won’t have any exclusive Xbox Game Studios games when it launches this holiday season. This will be good for people who can’t shell out the cash for the new system but still want to play games like Halo: Infinite, as well as for developers who won’t have to devote all their time and resources to a system that has a significantly smaller install base. But today, the company announced that buying the Xbox One version of game will still get you the Xbox Series X version if and when you choose to make the leap to next gen.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer confirmed this through a post on the Xbox Wire, where he called the feature “Smart Delivery.” He says the idea here is to both ensure players don’t accidentally purchase the wrong version of a game and find themselves unable to play, as well as to make the games in question part of a larger library, regardless of which system they’re playing on. While this will be the standard for Xbox Game Studios games, the feature will be available to third-party developers as well, but based on the phrasing it sounds like companies can opt in or out at their discretion.

“This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re  playing on. 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. 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.”

Spencer’s post also broke down the innards of the console for the tech nerds in the crowd, as well as confirmation of features like suspend for multiple games and support of frame rates up to 120 frames-per-second. For the full write-up and breakdown on those, check out the Wire post.

While we still don’t know what a fair bit of Microsoft’s studios are up to, we do know so far that Halo: Infinite from 343 Industries will be on the list of games you can buy on one system and get it on another. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 from Ninja Theory is also among Xbox Game Studios’ Xbox Series X games, but as it isn’t slated to come to the Xbox One, it likely won’t be using the Smart Delivery feature.

Beyond this, Microsoft has gotten quite ahead of the competition when it comes to revealing new information about its next console, whether in the form of major rundowns like this or just pictures of its ports. On the other side of the hall, Sony’s been particularly quiet when it comes to the PlayStation 5. While the console will also be coming to stores this holiday season, the company has yet to actually show what the device looks like, and is reportedly having issues nailing down a price point due to the costs of some of its parts.