A huge topic of conversation has centred around the lack of true next-gen games since the launch of Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. With the pandemic, huge install bases on last-gen systems and the usual crossover period, it has felt particularly dry. But we've had something pretty consistent to substitute that with - next-gen upgrades. Some of our favourite games have received free enhancements to take advantage of the Xbox Series X|S hardware, but is it enough to persuade Xbox fans to upgrade this early?
Let's look at the facts. There are hundreds of games now optimised for Xbox Series X|S, the majority of which are eligible for Smart Delivery. With this comes faster load times, higher resolutions and increased frame rates. For the most part, the majority of these are free of charge and are as simple as booting up your console and installing a patch. It's something new for this generation, as previous eras have encouraged a wave of remasters.
While we still get those, they're nowhere near as predominant as they were thanks to Smart Delivery. It feels like every week a new game we own is getting a lovely boost and injecting a new bit of life into our titles. Just recently DOOM Eternal had some ray tracing and FPS increases, while A Plague Tale: Innocence is set to receive a next-gen upgrade this week. What's even better is that both of these games are also included with Xbox Game Pass.
How Xbox has handled these upgrades has been nothing short of seamless, too. As mentioned before, Smart Delivery is infused into most of the titles, and instead of just being marketing jargon, it actually adds more than you think. Take DOOM Eternal, for example. You can currently play the game on your Xbox One, buy an Xbox Series X tomorrow, upgrade the game on that console and continue where you left off - it's as simple as that. This is something which PlayStation 5 users unfortunately aren't blessed with a lot of the time. As highlighted by our sister site Push Square, DOOM Eternal has a free upgrade, but doesn't support save transfers.
There could be an argument made about the lack of next-gen specific games for sure, and we wouldn't blame anyone for thinking that. Free upgrades of existing games isn't going to tickle everyone's fancy, and some users perhaps aren't as interested in boosted visuals and increased frame rates. At the end of the day, it's all about the games, and if you're done with your Xbox One library, it's a fairly dry time.
So, is an Xbox Series X|S worth the upgrade for these next-gen enhancements alone right now? Some will argue yes, others will argue no. There's no right or wrong answer, but it's interesting to see where everyone stands. The full next-gen experiences will come with games such as Starfield and Redfall next year, and even Microsoft Flight Simulator later this month, but is the current catalogue worth it for now? You tell us!
Let us know your thoughts on next-gen upgrades in the comments below.