The start of a new console generation typically means leaving your older games behind, only to buy them as upgraded remasters later on down the road. I say typically, because this generation is going to be a whole lot different than those that came before. Microsoft is actively pushing a feature called Smart Delivery, which automatically upgrades some Xbox One titles to their Xbox Series X counterparts at no additional cost. On top of that, Microsoft is going back and patching up some of its older games for the new system — Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and so on.
It’s a consumer-friendly move, no doubt. But we think Microsoft can do more.
Just as Microsoft’s done with a number of Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles, could the company potentially upgrade Xbox One games without the developer’s help? For instance, could Microsoft somehow unlock the frame rate on The Witcher 3 or Red Dead Redemption 2? Could players somehow see better performance in something like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey?
Even better: could titles that released early on in the generation get a resolution bump on top of that? Could Microsoft pull off some magic and, say, force something like Ryse to run at 1440p or even 4K? Microsoft is certainly doing more than it has to with certain games on legacy Xbox consoles. But why stop there?
Now that Halo Infinite has been pushed back to 2021 and the Xbox Series X is prepping for a launch without a new first-party title, perhaps Microsoft should do more to examine what else it can offer players in Infinite’s absence. A beefy machine doesn’t hurt, though games that’ll take advantage of the Series X’s power may be in short supply this holiday season.
Maybe it’s time to think about all those fantastic older games that aren’t getting the Smart Delivery treatment. If Microsoft can somehow work some magic on those, it’ll have yet another box checked off that the PS5 doesn’t when both launch this holiday season.
Just an idea, folks. Just an idea.