Microsoft is urging publishers to offer next-gen game upgrades at no cost

Polycount

Posts: 2,470   +549
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In context: One of Microsoft's most heavily-promoted Xbox Series X features is "Smart Delivery," which grants Xbox One users next-gen versions of select games at no additional cost. While not mandatory for developers to support, Microsoft is reportedly pushing more teams to either use it or offer their own free alternatives.

To accomplish this task, the tech giant has allegedly placed restrictions on how publishers are allowed to handle next-gen upgrades. As we said, they are not required to use Smart Delivery to grant customers next-gen game upgrades, but according to Hot Hardware, they also cannot charge for those same upgrades.

For example, if you purchased Assassin's Creed: Valhalla on the Xbox One X, Ubisoft could not then ask you for an extra $10-$20 to unlock basic Xbox Series X features, such as performance or graphical boosts. Of course, we're only using Valhalla as a hypothetical example here -- the game has already been confirmed to ship with Smart Delivery support.

If a developer does decide to skip Smart Delivery for one reason or another, it needs to have a different -- but functionally similar -- system in place to issue no-cost next-gen game upgrades to users.

EA is doing just that with its "Dual Entitlement" program, which lets you snag a copy of, say, Madden NFL 21 on current-gen consoles and receive a free next-gen version up until the launch of the next game in the series, Madden NFL 22. It's not quite as sweet a deal as Smart Delivery, but it's close enough for Microsoft, it would seem.

It's unclear what sort of consequences (if any) publishers will face for refusing to abide by Microsoft's preferences regarding next-gen upgrades, but perhaps we'll find out in the future.

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m4a4

Posts: 1,863   +1,609
TechSpot Elite
Just console things. On pc No publisher would ask you to pay extra to raise your graphics setting...
It's technically a different platform. Traditionally they lose more development time (money) doing so than PC.

However, in this day and age, porting games has become a heck of a lot easier/cheaper. So, it's starting to become standard (which I do support, especially from big publishers).
 
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GeforcerFX

Posts: 952   +442
Just console things. On pc No publisher would ask you to pay extra to raise your graphics setting...
No but Nvidia and AMD sure ask a lot (sometimes) to be able to turn those settings up :laughing:

This should be pretty easy since were jumping x86 AMD to x86 AMD. Even if developers and publishers don't do the move those games can still be played on the newer systems since both are supporting backwards compatibility (though the PS5 might be more limited on this at launch) you just don't get all the extra graphical performance from the new hardware.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 759   +448
This is great from a console players perspective. But from a PC gamers perspective it’s quite amusing. That being said I just bought the command and conquer remaster..
 
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veLa

Posts: 984   +517
Good move. They should also urge mandatory crossplay while they're at it.

I'm not a fan of battle royale games, but it's been great partying up in Warzone with my friends who only have consoles.
 
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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,903   +2,273
Meanwhile I can still play any PC game published over a span of 30+ years. No payment required. Backwards compatibility used to be a selling point if it was available, now its another way to squeeze money out of you.

I shouldnt be surprised, this IS the gaming industry we're talking about, but still.

This is great from a console players perspective. But from a PC gamers perspective it’s quite amusing. That being said I just bought the command and conquer remaster..
That's a Bit different, as the OG C&C came out two decades ago and the remaster is a dramatic upgrade, and the original needs some hammering to run on a modern system.

Now if you bought the remaster of a game that came out 4 years ago, then yeah that's a bit silly. With the VM system of the xbox developers really dont need to do any work to make games run on the new xbox.
 

LuckyMenace

Posts: 15   +11
It’s matter of time when they stop releasing games for the older consoles anyways. A stop-gap solution to drive sales of the new consoles seems like a no-brainer.