Microsoft urges game publishers to offer free upgrades to next-generation Xbox consoles

Microsoft has introduced a Smart Delivery feature for next-generation Xbox Series X consoles that will give Xbox One players the next-generation version of selected games at no additional cost. While developersupport is not mandatory, Microsoft is reportedly pushing teams to use Smart Delivery or offer a free alternative. To accomplish this task, the software giant is said to have even imposed restrictions on the next-generation upgrade policy allowed by publishers.

Microsoft urges game publishers to offer free upgrades to next-generation Xbox consoles

Hot Hardware reports that Microsoft has sent developers a free notice that Xbox Series X game upgrades must be free. Publishers may not charge for the same upgrade even if they are not using the Smart Delivery feature.

For example, if a player has purchased Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on Xbox One X, Ubisoft cannot afford to add a certain amount of additional charges to the Xbox Series X upgrade, such as to unlock performance or graphics enhancements.

Of course, this is just a simple example of Valhalla, as the company has confirmed that it supports Smart Delivery.

Microsoft urges game publishers to offer free upgrades to next-generation Xbox consoles

If developers avoid this option for a variety of reasons, they also need to prepare a similar feature to implement a free upgrade of next-generation games.

For example, the current generation of Crazy Rugby 21 host players can benefit from EA’s Dual E. Le Way program, which receives a second-generation upgrade for free before the Madden NFL 22 release.

It’s not clear how publishers will affect future collaborations if publishers reject Microsoft’s next-generation upgrade benefits.