02 June 2021
If Microsoft gets to have its way, all Xbox gamers will be able to get next-gen Xbox game upgrades for absolutely free. The claim is based on a new Video Games Chronicle (VGC) report citing "sources with knowledge of Microsoft‘s next-gen policies". It is said that the tech giant is in the favor of free upgrades for cross-gen titles and is recommending the same approach to developers.
The cross-gen titles are those that will be released on both Xbox One series and upcoming Xbox Series X consoles. With Microsoft's idea, gamers will only have to pay for the Xbox One title and they will receive a free upgrade to the Series X title. This will be made possible via Xbox's Smart Delivery program. It is a program that allows users to pay only once and play the title across all supported Xbox devices.
It is worth noting that Microsoft has not made it mandatory for developers to offer free upgrades. It is only encouraging them to do so and even if they want to, it is up to them whether to use the Smart Delivery program or any of their own upgrade policies. It means they are free to offer any special discounts or bundle offers of their own.
The latter approach is the one opted by 2K for its NBA 2K21 basketball game. It has priced the Xbox Series X version at $69.99 but is offering a bundle featuring Xbox One version for $99.99. This way, NBA fans will be able to save money if they wish to go for both variants. As for the completely free upgrade approach, it has been opted by titles like FIFA 21, Destiny 2, Assasin's Creed: Valhalla, and Cyberpunk 2077.