Microsoft Details One-Time Cross-Gen Purchases for Xbox Series X

Microsoft Details One-Time Cross-Gen Purchases for Xbox Series X

Also, Phil Spencer confirms how much power the Series X's processor has.

Microsoft seems to be saving its biggest reveals about the Xbox Series X for E3 2020, but today the company has trickled some new key info about its next console. In addition to confirming that the Series X will have a processor that's twice as powerful as the Xbox One X's, Microsoft says that first-party, cross-gen Xbox titles will embrace "Smart Delivery," meaning you'll only need to purchase them once.

The new Series X details come from an official post credited to Xbox head Phil Spencer. While much of the post serves as a recap of features we've heard about in the past—like support for up to 120 FPS, extensive backward compatibility, and ray tracing—the details on "Smart Delivery" and the Series X's processor help clarify some past comments and speculation about the new system.

Using the cross-gen, Xbox Series X launch title Halo Infinite as an example, Spencer says Microsoft's Smart Delivery feature will eliminate the need to buy two different versions of the game for different console generations. The feature will also be made available to third-party developers and publishers:

We're making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on. This technology is available for all developers and publishers, and they can choose to use it for titles that will be release on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.

In an interview with Stevivor last November, Spencer said the goal for Xbox's first-party titles was to have entitlements work cross-generation, but this marks the first time that Microsoft has put a name to the tech and confirmed that it will be available to other developers. "We talked about how important digital was going to be this generation, and yet we didn't move the digital purchases that you'd made on 360 seamlessly over to Xbox One," said Spencer. "I always thought that was a miss."

The new post on Microsoft's official site also confirms that the Xbox Series X's accelerated processing unit will boast 12 teraflops of GPU power. For months, rumors suggested that the Series X would target 12 teraflops, and a Digital Foundry analysis of the processor's design (via a photo posted by Spencer himself) backed up the speculation. That's double the compute power of an Xbox One X and more than 8 times that of an original Xbox One.

For more on the Xbox Series X, read our round-up of the details Microsoft announced after the console's reveal at The Game Awards 2019.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Halo 3 Gets New Armor in the Master Chief Collection, But Many Aren't Happy About It

The new additions look out of place to many, but 343 says a toggle option is being explored.

NPD: PS5 Sets New US Console Launch Records While Switch Holds Strong

A strong debut for Sony hasn't stopped Switches from flying off shelves.

The Last of Us Part 2 Takes Home Top Prize at The Game Awards: Here Are All the Winners

Hades, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Among Us did get some well-earned love too.

Perfect Dark Revival Unveiled at The Game Awards

Joanna's back in a new story conceived by The Initiative.

Need help?

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Weapons Tier List

Here's our guide compiling the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2019 weapons list, including all weapon unlock levels, and more.

Borderlands 3 Shift Codes List (August 2020)

All the info you need on getting and redeeming SHiFT Codes in Borderlands 3, plus how to get Golden Keys to earn loot.

Destiny 2 Xenophage Quest - How to Get the New Xenophage Machine Gun

This is how to complete the Destiny 2 Xenophage quest, including all puzzles, and more.

Apex Legends Wattson - Abilities, Skins, How to Win With Wattson Apex Legends

This is our guide to Wattson in Apex Legends, featuring all her legendary skins, new abilities, tips, and more.