Microsoft has been persuading companies working on cross-gen games to allow next-gen game upgrades to XBOX Series X for free. This is according to a report published by VGC today. This means that XBOX console consumers who own games for XBOX One will be able to receive a free copy of the game on disc-less next-gen consoles via Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system.
Alternatively, if the publishers opt to remain out of Smart Delivery, they can offer such upgrades through their own schemes (like via retailer promotions). This is, however, different from XBOX Series X backwards compatibility, a feature that will allow players to run legacy XBOX One games on the upcoming console with performance benefits.
In the absence of such arrangements, the publishers could offer ‘two-game cross-gen bundles in disc or digital form,’ reports VGC. This includes separate versions of the same games that will be supported on both consoles.
A Microsoft spokesperson had earlier issued a statement to VGC saying that “developers and publishers ultimately decide how they deliver their games, and we work with them to provide the best possible experience based on their needs.”
It would seem that Microsoft is availing soft options in lieu of twisting the arms of corporate giants by providing them alternatives. On the other hand, Microsoft has strongly maintained that any game that releases on XBOX One and Series X without Smart Delivery support will not be able to avail for that feature at a later date.