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Cyberpunk 2077 will be upgraded on Xbox Series X for free

Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077
Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077 (Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

What you need to know

  • Xbox has confirmed that first-party games will only need to be bought once to play on Xbox One and Xbox Series X.
  • This feature is called Smart Delivery.
  • CD Projekt Red has confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will also receive a free upgrade on Xbox Series X.

Earlier today, Xbox dropped some official specs for the Xbox Series X, including the news that it would feature 12 teraflops of graphics power, using Zen 2 and RDNA 2 technology. The report also shared the confirmation of Smart Delivery, which means that Xbox first-party games like Halo Infinite only need to be bought once and then players will receive the full upgrades on Xbox Series X.

While there's no mention of this technically being required for third-party companies, one major player has already jumped in with support. CD Projekt Red has confirmed on Twitter that the highly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 is getting a free upgrade on Xbox Series X. Whenever the upgrade arrives, players on Xbox will not have to pay anything extra to play the game with what will presumably be features like a higher resolution and a better framerate.

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It'll be interesting to see what other third-party companies jump in on this, as well as whether or not Microsoft's main console competitor Sony does anything similar with the PlayStation 5. Given how similar Xbox One X and PS4 Pro patches work, it certainly seems likely there will be near-identical approaches. Cyberpunk 2077 is currently scheduled to release on September 17, 2020, while the Xbox Series X will release sometime in Holiday 2020.

Related: Cyberpunk 2077 features acid rain and other deadly environmental challenges

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

6 Comments
  • I thought this was a requirement for all Xbox games? The whole point of the Xbox Series was that a game was developed on the Xbox platform and then scaled graphics based on the console model it was being played on to ensure infinite forward compatibility and at least one generation of backward compatibility.
  • Microsoft probably isn't going to force that on third parties, though they're committed to it with first party titles. Other publishers and developers will have the choice whether to support it or not. MS's only leverage here is soft, namely that it's bad PR to not do it. But they don't have a market dominating position so it would be difficult to dictate terms like that, even if Phil Spencer was the type to even go there anyway, and I don't think he is.
  • In this case, it's CDPR committing to deliver upgrades for Xbox Series X (as the game launches before Xbox Series X) via an update, which is available for free. CDPR could easily skip an upgrade, although likely stupid. I'm also sure there's a possibility we'll see some developers repackage games in "GOTY" editions years later or something, with the graphics/engine upgrades bundled under a separate SKU - like Skyrim between generations.
  • I think that's the mindset behind games released post Series X released (although I'm more leaning towards if you want to play Series X games on Xbox One you have to use xCloud based on the trickle of information coming out of Microsoft) but this is releasing before the Series X. Basically what this means is you buy the game now, you get the "remaster" on Series X for free (not exactly a remaster, but that's the easiest way for me to describe the situation).
  • This isn't about being backwards compatible, this article states that Series X version will be upgraded. This is essentially Xbox One game that's being upgraded to take advantage of Series X power.
  • Yay my Amazon pre-order is safe to keep.