New “Smart Delivery” feature for Xbox Series X will also be supported for physical discs

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Yesterday, Microsoft made headlines by sharing new details about its Xbox Series X console. Xbox head Phil Spencer confirmed that the next-gen Xbox will deliver 12 teraflops of computing power, support hardware-accelerated ray tracing and other groundbreaking features including a patented form of Variable Rate Shading.

The head of Xbox also unveiled a new “Smart Delivery” feature that will allow game developers to provide free Xbox Series X upgrades for existing and upcoming Xbox games. “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,” explained Spencer.

Microsoft is committed to supporting Smart Delivery for all of its first-party games, and Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red also confirmed to be on board yesterday. Microsoft’s initial announcement for Smart Delivery didn’t really specify if the feature would only be supported for digital games purchased on the Xbox Store, but a Microsoft spokesperson has since told Polygon that “Physical discs of Xbox games can  support Smart Delivery if the developer or publisher decides to  implement the technology.”

This is great news for Xbox gamers who still prefer purchasing physical games, and we’re looking forward to seeing how support for Smart Delivery will be explained on video game packaging. However, there’s still some uncertainty regarding PC versions of Xbox Play Anywhere games that will support Smart Delivery. Will the digital licence also provide access to the Xbox Series X upgrade for free when the Xbox Play Anywhere game is played on the next-gen Xbox? “We look forward to sharing more specifics in the future,” the Microsoft spokesperson said to Polygon.