Smart Delivery for Xbox Series X and Xbox One consoles is a feature lets you play the best version of the game on your Xbox One or Xbox Series X. For example, if you buy Yakuza: Like a Dragon for Xbox One, when you upgrade to the Xbox Series X, you get an enhanced version of the game at no extra cost.
Microsoft has been talking up the feature this week and what games can expect from Xbox Series X with it. Interestingly, Smart Delivery is optional and not all game developers and publishers may decide to support it. In these instances, Xbox Series X Director of Program Management Jason Ronald explained what we can expect from games that don’t have Smart Delivery support.
These games will benefit from modern day enhancements like HDR as well as a possible frame rate boost that won’t impact gameplay.
Ronald made his comments on a recent episode of Podcast Unlocked, an Xbox-focussed podcast. He also shed light that “there’s a large amount of testing” done to ensure that when a game is played on the Xbox Series X it’s as “the creator originally intended”. The Xbox Series X’s custom processor and Xbox Velocity architecture help make this possible.
“So if the game can run at higher resolutions, if it can run at a higher or more stable frame rates or if it can benefit from the faster IO speeds, we’ll go and do that,” said Ronald.
”So that not only does the game play but it plays better than you’ve seen it before and then we are continuing to advance the state of the art of how we can enhance titles at the platform level itself. With Xbox One X we developed a whole series of new techniques, one such as the Hutchy method which allowed us to kind of increase the native resolution of the title without actually making changes directly to the title.”
In addition to this, Ronald divulges that there are other techniques in the works specifically for the Xbox Series X that allow the aforementioned bump in frame rate and addition of HDR.
“We’ve invented new techniques like that so we can apply it to more titles,” he said. “We’re also looking at areas where in select titles we can actually double the frame rate without actually breaking the way the game actually plays and then we have things at the platform level like auto HDR support where we can actually retroactively apply HDR to games that were written well before HDR was even created. So even games like Geometry Wars or even Fusion Frenzy from the original Xbox that’s almost 20 years old, seeing those games running in HDR – it really brings a fresh perspective to those games.“
It’s great to know that Microsoft intends make older titles play as well as they can on Xbox Series X hardware even if they aren’t on Smart Delivery. Reason being, the current list of Smart Delivery games is on the shorter side. You can check out Podcast Unlocked right here.
Xbox Series X Smart Delivery games list
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Call of the Sea
- Chorus: Rise as One
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Destiny 2
- Dirt 5
- Gears 5
- Halo Infinite
- Scarlet Nexus
- Second Extinction
- The Ascent
- Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
- Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Xbox Series X India release date
The Xbox Series X is likely to launch in India around the same time as it does the world over. According to Xbox boss Phil Spencer “significant delays in region launches” harm Microsoft’s prospects. This is an interesting turn when you consider that the Xbox 360 and Xbox One were officially released in India nearly a year after their international launches with the original Xbox skipping the country altogether.
“I will say, having lived through the Xbox One launch I know that significant delays in region launches hurt us,” said Spencer.
“It hurts us with the sentiment of the fans. Every time I go to Japan I am reminded that we were nine months late in launching there with Xbox One. And the Internet means everyone knows where everything is launched. Not like 30 years ago when it was kind of it’s ‘not here yet’ and you don’t get the roar of people getting excited from other regions. We haven’t started on a plan B but I’d be hesitant to do something like that. Fundamentally some of the issues we have to work through are more software-related than hardware and when you’re done with software it scales globally so I’m not predicting that but as I said, we’re managing day to day kind of watching how things are going and managing our productivity.”
Now, while Spencer called out Japan specifically, it’s safe to say that his plans extend to other regions including India as well. Microsoft’s other divisions have a huge presence in India and an Xbox Series X launch on par with a global release would be a welcome change of pace from the company. We’ve reached out to Microsoft India for comment and we’ll update this story if we hear from the company.
With that in mind, Spencer also stated that the safety and security of the Xbox team is of utmost importance over any short term gains in launching the Xbox Series X in the current environment.
Xbox Series X India launch and BIS concerns
That said, it’ll be great if India does eventually get the Xbox Series X in time with the rest of the world. The Xbox One released in India nearly a year after its global launch as did the Xbox One S while the Xbox One X made it here almost three months after its international release as did the Xbox One S All Digital edition.
In a market where Microsoft plays second fiddle to Sony (arguably third fiddle if you factor in the Nintendo Switch), a day and date India Xbox Series X release would be a fantastic statement of intent. Reason being, Sony’s never done a day and date launch for India either. In fact, the PS4 India release date was delayed due to BIS issues faced by Sony. Before electronics can be sold in India, they need to go through mandatory certification via the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). This includes a number of gadgets such as consoles.
The Department of Electronics, and Information Technology (DeitY), introduced compulsory BIS certification requirement in 2012, which went into effect in 2013. The process is often thought to be time consuming.
Sources in the supply chain speaking to The Mako Reactor claim that Microsoft’s India distribution partner, Redington has been efficient in this regard and it could be crucial in getting to the Indian market on time with an international Xbox Series X release date.