After truly and utterly trouncing the Xbox One’s sales by racking up an incredible 110.4 million PlayStation 4s sold (as of the last count) it may seem mundane to claim that Sony needs to borrow anything from Microsoft. However, months out from the launch of the Xbox Series X and the PS5 and Sony may be dropping the ball where it matters most.
One of the key features of the Xbox Series X will be its Smart Delivery system. The name may be subversively boring but it could be the thing that makes the Xbox Series X a ridiculously affordable console.
It will allow gamers to buy a game on Xbox One and get a free upgrade on Xbox Series X when that is available. CD Projekt RED has signed up for the feature with Cyberpunk 2077, as has Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Sony has announced nothing like this for the PS5 and this could be a problem. A non-scientific, but no less revealing survey from Mortal Kombat game director Ed Boon showed that price is the biggest factor that gamers are thinking about when it comes to buying a next-gen console.
The Xbox Series X, with its Smart Delivery , is much better value for money. Throw in Xbox All Access, a subscription service that will provide access to an Xbox Series X, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Live Gold, and all the gamers who can’t find $400 at once have a cheaper way to enjoy next-gen gaming.
Major third-party publishers may be planning to support the PS5 with their own Smart Delivery programs, meaning that Sony will not have to. EA has announced a strange upgrade program for Madden NFL 21. This was criticized for several reasons and shows that this is an imperfect solution and one that only a platform holder can really solve.
It’s also possible that Sony was planning to announce something like this at the PS5 reveal event. That event was delayed, giving Sony more time to copy notes from Microsoft and announce its own PS5 Smart Delivery feature.