Why The Xbox Series X Versions Of Games Will Arrive Later Than The Xbox One Equivalent

Why The Xbox Series X Versions Of Games Will Arrive Later Than The Xbox One Equivalent
Image: Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release on Xbox One and Xbox Series X in November 2020, but we won’t see the “proper” Xbox Series X version of the game until 2021. There’s major differences between current gen and ‘enhanced’ next gen versions of games, and these differences are the reason why most of upcoming crossgen titles don’t have set release dates on the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.

The core differences are fairly simple: next gen games need more development time to improve visuals, loading speeds and overall performance. While the Xbox One version of Cyberpunk 2077 will run on Xbox Series X with broadly improved visuals, there’ll also be an additional Xbox Series X optimised patch released in 2021, designed to take full advantage of the console’s capabilities.

Basically, next gen games need a bit more time in the oven.

Everyone who purchases the Xbox One version of the game will get a free upgrade to the Xbox Series X version (via Xbox’s Smart Delivery program), although it’s also likely to get a standalone release as well.

“[Cyberpunk 2077] will look better on next-gen consoles from day one… I can confirm this is not the final update; at some point we will have a more robust update for next-gen which we plan to give free of charge to anyone who purchases the PS4 or Xbox One version,” CD Projekt Red’s Michał Nowakowski told investors in June.

Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla are in a similar boat. Watch Dogs: Legion is due out on October 29 for Xbox One and PS4, with no release date for the Xbox Series X and PS5 versions.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is arriving November 17 with a similar caveat. Its enhanced next gen version will arrive later in ‘Holiday 2020’. Whether PlayStation 5 will feature a similar next-gen upgrade is currently unknown, so stay tuned for more information on how this system will work.

Waiting for the Xbox Series X version of every upcoming game is a noble pursuit, it’s also worth considering the free upgrade you’ll get when the game finally releases in enhanced next gen form. Cyberpunk 2077’s nebulous 2021 next gen release date could be very far away, and there’s plenty you’ll be missing out on if you hold out for this release.

Keep an eye on Kotaku Australia for more firm release dates for these next gen titles as we learn them.


  • Only a problem for the immediate short term, I guess. After a few months, this will no longer be an issue. I’m not getting either console anyway, but if I was, this would be another reason to wait for a while and work on the old backlog.

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