The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are game-changers for next-gen gaming. With immense graphical and computing prowess, both the consoles are set to take on the next generation of games. Amidst all the great features of these consoles, one of the most interesting ones is the next-gen upgrades.
The reason this is interesting is that it enables users to upgrade games that are playable on the current consoles for the next-gen consoles. For example, Cyberpunk 2077 will be available as a free upgrade for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Once an optimized version is available for the next-gen consoles, users can download it at no additional cost.
Although, the process of upgrading to the next-gen edition is very different for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Before diving into the details, it is important to know that there are only a select few developers who have announced free next-gen upgrades. Others may or may not choose to follow suit. Consequently, some developers may even charge for next-gen upgrades.
Now that the basics are clear, let’s take a look at how the next-gen upgrade systems work differently for Xbox and PlayStation.
Smart Delivery is a system designed by the Microsoft team to ensure a smooth next-gen upgrade experience. This basically means that if you’re playing a game on Xbox One and switched to the Xbox Series X, Smart Delivery will automatically deliver the Series X version of the game when it is available.
The official Xbox Wire blog has elaborated on three scenarios to help players understand exactly how this works.
One important point to note here is the difference between the optimized version of the game and games that can run in compatibility mode. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable on the Series X in compatibility mode. When a version of the game optimized for the Series X is released by CDPR, Smart Delivery will automatically recognize this and upgrade the game.
Additionally, this will also be the same for certain games with physical discs but will be announced on a case-by-case basis.
The major takeaway from this is that Smart Delivery makes life easier for players. All they have to do is run their next-gen titles on the Series X. The console will do and take care of most of the rest. It is literally a two-step process that allows users to upgrade to the next-gen versions. Although, things are a little different in the case of PlayStation 5.
While Sony cleared the air regarding the backwards compatibility on the PS5, it announced a rather extensive process for next-gen upgrades. Additionally, this process is different for physical disc games and digital games. Take a look at the steps for upgrading the games below.
Digitally owned titles
Physical Disc titles
The catch with the disc upgrade is that the disc will always have to be in the PS5 to play that game. This seems rather unnecessary considering you have to download the full game, anyway. Still, there is a lot of manual work to be done by the players here for next-gen upgrades. This is in stark contrast to the Smart Delivery system of Xbox, which makes life easier for users.
Upgrading to the next-gen will be a big talking point going forward as well. This is because there will be many developers who would want to charge for the upgrades. In any case, the difference in the process of upgrading is quite evident for both the consoles. Xbox users definitely have something to boast about here, while PlayStation 5 has seemingly fallen behind in this aspect.