Xbox Series X—the next-generation 4K gaming console by Microsoft—has a ton of power under the hood. Combined with Microsoft’s commitment to building a value-packed catalog of first- and third-party games, it’s an enticing pre-order for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced 4K HDR.
Xbox One X owners might not be so quick to upgrade, and for good reason. The console debuted at $500 just a few years ago, and games still look damned good on it. They’ll look better on the Series X, but likely not so much that you’ll feel compelled to crack open the piggy bank once again.
Unlike the shitshow that preceded the transition from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One, Microsoft is making it a little easier to hold out, and it’s all thanks to Smart Delivery.
Smart Delivery is the name of a platform feature that allows you to buy a game once and play it on any Xbox One console or higher. The name was inspired by a mechanic whereby the console will only download the assets it needs for your system, so Xbox One and Xbox One S owners aren’t stuck downloading massive games packed with 4K textures that they can’t fully appreciate.
What’s more, any game stamped with the Smart Delivery feature allows you to play it on any Xbox One or Xbox Series X console. It’s similar to Xbox Play Anywhere, which allows you to buy a game just once and play it across Xbox or PC, save progress included.
That means you can buy upcoming titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and play them on Xbox One, and when you’re ready for the Series X, you’ll automatically jump to the best version of the game for no added cost.
We’d love Smart Delivery on any new game headed for both consoles, especially considering Microsoft isn’t planning to launch any first-party Series X exclusives for at least a year, but sadly, that won’t be the case. Madden 21, for instance, will not support Smart Delivery (though EA has announced its own upgrade program).
The list of confirmed Smart Delivery titles is rather short right now, but they’re also some of the most highly-anticipated games on everyone’s radar.
Microsoft has confirmed that all its first-party titles will support Smart Delivery. Third-party developers live by a different set of rules, so we can’t say the same for every game. Knowing that, here’s the full list:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Call of the Sea
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Halo Infinite
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II
- Dirt 5
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second Extinction
- The Ascent
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Feeling a bit more confident about buying games on Xbox One in 2020? You can get a head start and pre-order several Xbox Smart Delivery titles right now.
Cyberpunk 2077 | $60
Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. You can customize your character’s cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you.
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, become Eivor, a legendary Viking raider on a quest for glory. Explore a dynamic and beautiful open world set against the brutal backdrop of England’s Dark Ages. Raid your enemies, grow your settlement, and build your political power in the quest to earn a place among the gods in Valhalla.
Scarlet Nexus | $60
Take on the role of Yuito Sumeragi, a new recruit to the OSF aiming to become an elite psionic like the one who saved him as a child. Armed with a talent in psycho-kinesis, explore the futuristic city of New Himuka and uncover the mysteries of a Brain Punk future caught between technology and psychic abilities in SCARLET NEXUS.
Enter the World of Darkness and rise through vampire society. Experience Seattle - a city full of alluring, dangerous characters and factions. In this sequel to the cult classic, your choices, plots and schemes will change the balance of power.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon | $60
Become Ichiban Kasuga, a low-ranking yakuza grunt left on the brink of death by the man he trusted most. Take up your legendary bat and get ready to crack some underworld skulls in dynamic RPG combat set against the backdrop of modern-day Japan.