What Is Xbox Smart Delivery and What Does It Mean for Xbox Series X Buyers?


May 7 2020, Updated 10:14 p.m. ET

xbox series x
Source: Microsoft

Microsoft has revealed a modicum of information about its upcoming Xbox Series X, but there's still a lot we don't know about the system. One particular aspect of the upcoming console is especially confusing for people: what, exactly, the new Smart Delivery feature is. It sounds like an important addition to the console's arsenal of high-end architecture or even a way that games will be installed on the system, which can make it difficult to understand how it relates to new games.

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Smart Delivery has been referenced in several of Microsoft's latest Xbox Series X commercials and game footage reveals, but its meaning can be a bit opaque. Is it a free or paid feature? What does it do? Does it mean anything for the average user? Will it cost more? These are all valid questions that have, indeed, plenty of answers we can give you. Here's everything you need to know about Xbox Smart Delivery and whether it should matter to you as a consumer. 

xbox delivery
Source: Microsoft
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What is Xbox Smart Delivery and how do you use it?

In a nutshell, Xbox Smart Delivery is all about the way you own your digital games on your Xbox Series X console and Xbox One. If you buy one Xbox game that supports Smart Delivery, you'll have access to the "higher tier" of that game as well, meaning you won't have to buy a game twice just because you upgrade your console. This is not a feature you have to opt-in for and you don't have to pay extra for the privilege. It's just part of the new Xbox Series X ecosystem. 

Think of it this way, if you're still confused. If you buy a copy of Halo Infinite for your Xbox One console when the game releases this holiday season, you will gain access to the Xbox Series X version. That way, if you decide to splurge on an Xbox Series X, you'll simply be able to seamlessly transition to the newer version of the game without spending extra money. Previously, you would have had to simply buy another copy. That's a waste of money all around, so Smart Delivery is beneficial.

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Source: Microsoft

There are several games that have been confirmed to carry the Smart Delivery label, though not every purchase you make will do so in the beginning. Right now, we do know that titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Halo Infinite, Cyberpunk 2077, Chorus, Dirt 5, and Call of the Sea have all been confirmed to receive the Smart Delivery upgrade. That means some of the year's biggest hits will be cross-generation, which is great news. 

Smart Delivery is a simple yet effective way to help gamers get more value out of their consoles as well as ensure anyone who's slow to upgrade to the Xbox Series X doesn't get penalized. Now that you know that, it might help make the transition from Xbox One to Xbox Series X a little easier. 

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