Published on June 16th, 2020 | by Adrian Gunning

Xbox Series X: Buy A Game Once and Play the Best Version Across Generations with Smart Delivery

Today, Xbox detailed what Smart delivery means for players and highlighted the benefits of the technology, including the belief that you should only have to purchase a cross-gen game once on Xbox.

Xbox reiterated that all Xbox Game Studios titles that are Optimised for Xbox Series X, including Halo Infinite, will support Smart Delivery. They also detailed how Xbox Game Pass will support Smart Delivery for titles that use the technology, with players being able to utilise Xbox Game Pass and Smart Delivery to play the best version of a game, should the developer make that available to them.

Xbox also discussed games that would be optimised for Xbox Series X after launch. Using Cyberpunk 2077 as an example, you’ll be able to play it on Xbox Series X at launch in compatibility mode. Once the Xbox Series X optimised version is available, you’ll receive an upgrade, carrying over the progress that you’ve already made.

Xbox also detailed some of the initial titles that will use Smart Delivery, including Halo Infinite, Gears 5, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Destiny 2 and more.

Xbox Series X: Buy A Game Once and Play the Best Version Across Generations with Smart Delivery by Will Tuttle

Here at Xbox, we’re building the future of gaming by putting players first and ensuring that you are at the centre and in control of your gaming experience. Whether you’re exploring an expansive library of Xbox Game Pass titles with more than 10 million of your fellow gamers or taking your gaming on the go with Project xCloud, it’s clear that the future of gaming is brighter than ever.


Nowhere is that more evident than with Xbox Series X, our fastest, most powerful console ever. Not only will Xbox Series X set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, it will empower the world’s greatest developers to create games that launch us into the future of gaming. Putting players first also means introducing a host of new features and technologies to improve their experience.


One of the most exciting of the technologies we’re introducing with Xbox Series X is Smart Delivery, which will ensure that you always play the best version of the games you own for your console, across generations. This technology is available for all developers, and all Xbox Game Studios titles that are Optimised for Xbox Series X, including Halo Infinite, will support Smart Delivery.


But what does that mean for you, the player? Well, it means that if you purchase the Xbox One version of a supported title, we will deliver the best version of it to your Xbox One, as usual. If you decide to jump into the next generation with Xbox Series X, we will automatically provide the Xbox Series X version of the game at no additional cost when it becomes available. You won’t need to do anything in terms of choosing a version to download. We’ll take care of all of that. And it’s not just limited to games that you purchase digitally; physical discs of Xbox games can also support Smart Delivery if the developer or publisher decides to implement it.


Below are a few different scenarios in which Smart Delivery will work across generations with the games and consoles you own now and those you may own in the future.  Smart Delivery will ensure that only the best version of the game will be installed on your hard drive, so you don’t have to manage your storage space:

  • If you own Gears 5 or are loving it via Xbox Game Pass now, you can play it today on Xbox One. Then, if you pick up an Xbox Series X this holiday, all it takes is a push of a button to download it and you’ll have the Optimised version of Gears 5 – available on day 1 at launch with the console – at your fingertips.
  • When Halo Infinite launches alongside Xbox Series X and Xbox One this holiday, you only have to buy the game once and you’ll get the best version for whichever console you own, or both.  If you pick up Xbox Series X for your living room, Smart Delivery will recognise that and deliver you the Optimised version there. If you decide to move your existing Xbox One to a bedroom or the office, Smart Delivery will recognise that too and deliver that version when you’re playing on Xbox One.
  • Lastly, some new and existing Xbox One titles will be Optimising their games after the Xbox Series X launches.  For example, if you buy Cyberpunk 2077 when it launches on September 17, you’ll be set to explore Night City on Xbox One.  If you pick up Xbox Series X at launch this holiday, you can play it there too in compatibility mode picking up exactly where you left off. Then, when CD PROJEKT RED delivers an Xbox Series X Optimised version of Cyberpunk 2077, you’ll automatically get upgraded once it’s available at no additional cost.


We’re also happy to confirm that Smart Delivery will be enabled for Xbox Game Pass titles that leverage it. Outside of our Xbox Game Studios titles, it will be up to the individual developer to determine whether they take advantage of Smart Delivery.


As was the case with our current backwards compatible titles, you won’t have to worry about losing any progress either. Thanks to our commitment to compatibility across generations, you can be assured that when you purchase a game on Xbox One today, your game library, progression and entire gaming legacy moves forward with you if you jump into the next generation with Xbox Series X.


But what about the games?  Below you’ll find the initial list of new and existing titles that will be Optimised for Xbox Series X and confirmed to support Smart Delivery. Please note: this is in addition to the thousands of games you’ll be able to bring with you to Xbox Series X via back compatibility on day one. As this list grows in the weeks and months leading up to the Xbox Series X launch, we’ll keep it updated to reflect any additions.


  • Halo Infinite
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Destiny 2
  • DiRT 5
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Chorus
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
  • The Ascent
  • Call of the Sea
  • Gears 5
  • Second Extinction
  • Metal: Hellslinger


We hope this gave you a better idea of what we’ve got planned for Smart Delivery and how this new technology will ensure that the player is at the centre of the gaming experience. We’ll be sharing more on Smart Delivery and adding titles to the list above in the coming months.

About the Author'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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