Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - The Xbox Series X and Series S support a new platform-wide backwards compatibility feature - called Smart Delivery.

At its May Xbox Series X event, Microsoft announced Smart Delivery, and then, in June, it published a blog post to detail the feature, which it said, "ensures you only have to purchase a title once, knowing you will get the best version of the title on whatever Xbox console you choose to play on." Here's everything we know so far.

What is Xbox Smart Delivery?

In a nutshell, Smart Delivery allows you to buy a game for the Xbox One and get a version for Xbox Series X included. That way, if you upgrade to the Xbox Series X when it launches, Microsoft will automatically let you play an optimised version of the game. You'll always get to play the best-quality version, and you only have to buy the game once.

What are the requirements?

To use Smart Delivery, you'll need a new-generation Xbox console. You also need a compatible game. 

Which games will support Xbox Smart Delivery?

So, when you buy an Xbox One version of a supported title, Microsoft will deliver the best version of it to your Xbox One, per usual. If you upgrade to Xbox Series S or Series X, Microsoft will automatically provide the Xbox Series S or X version of the game for free. Microsoft said you won’t need to do anything in terms of choosing a version to download. Plus, Smart Delivery is not just limited to games you digitally buy.

Physical discs of Xbox games can also support Smart Delivery, so long if the developer or publisher decides to use it. Microsoft said Smart Delivery is available to all game developers. All Xbox Game Studios titles made for Xbox Series X, including Halo Infinite, will also support Smart Delivery. Finally, Xbox Smart Delivery is compatible with Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft's $10-a-month game subscription service.

Here's an example list of games confirmed to be compatible with Smart Delivery:

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

How does Smart Delivery work?

Microsoft provided a few scenarios to describe how Smart Delivery works, such as: 

"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... all it takes is a push of a button to download it and you’ll have the Optimized version of Gears 5 - available on day one at launch with the console - at your fingertips."

"When Halo Infinite launches... 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 recognize that and deliver you the Optimized 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."

Steelseries celebrates its 20th anniversary, a legacy of glory

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 15 June 2020.