Let us fondly – or not so fondly – remember the launch of the Xbox One. For me it began with purchasing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Madden NFL 25, and NBA 2K15. All these titles were also released on the Xbox 360 and I owned two of the three. The financial blow was softened because I was able to upgrade Madden and Assassin’s Creed to the Xbox One versions for a small fee if I traded in the 360 versions to GameStop. At the time I thought this was a very progressive move for Microsoft and for the time it was, but I still remember not being a big fan of this given the price tag at launch of the Xbox One.
I understand that gaming is a business and money must be made, but with the ever-increasing cost of hardware, games should be handled in a more consumer friendly way. I am sympathetic to the budget gamers out there: you should not have to re-purchase a game for the new console of the same brand. Let me explain: Grand Theft Auto was one of my favorite games of the 360 era, and even though the Xbox One version has upgraded graphics, and added a first-person camera view along with other upgrades, I personally don’t feel the Xbox One version of GTA 5 was a $60 purchase. Could there have been a trade in offer for those that upgraded consoles, I would’ve swallowed that easier, but double dipping for a full $60 really upset me.
Fast forward to present day and the Xbox brand is in a position to set a new consumer trend in gaming, the same way PlayStation did with the DualShock controller having its rumble feature built into the controller. The Xbox Series X will be using Smart Delivery to kick off the ninth generation of gaming consoles, allowing gamers to purchase a game once, and regardless of which console they are playing on they will be playing the best version of that game the console can offer. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios will be ensuring all their titles are compatible with Smart Delivery; this means you only need to purchase Halo Infinite once, or any other game that is made by Xbox Game Studios.
This is music to my ears. Not only will it cut down on the number of remastered versions of games that are only a few years old, but this is one of the most consumer friendly decisions I can think of in the gaming industry. Gamers won’t have to hold off on titles because of the fear of having to purchase an upgraded version. Less money spent re-buying games means more money to put towards new games, or anything else for that matter. This also allows developers to focus more on new experiences when they won’t have to completely repackage a game they just released not too long ago. We can only hope that this becomes the industry standard, because if it does I feel Smart Delivery will make the transition between Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles more accessible, especially in the initial phases of a new generation.