Microsoft: Xbox One will let users start playing games while downloading

Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One console will offer owners a way to purchase and download major retail games the same day they are released on discs, something that Microsoft currently does not allow for the Xbox 360. Now the company has confirmed that when owners decide to buy and download those Xbox One games, they can start playing them before the full download is complete.

Polygon reports that they confirmed this news with a Microsoft spokesperson today. Previously, Microsoft had announced that disc-based Xbox One games would need to install its content the console's 500 GB storage drive. However, Microsoft also confirmed that disc games can still be played while they are being installed; it now appears that same feature will extend to games purchased as a digital download as well.

This will certainly be a huge time saver for Xbox One gamers, especially since the games themselves will likely have large file sizes. Xbox One game discs will be based on Blu-Ray which means that the games themselves could have file sized of well over 10 GB. Sony's rival console, the PlayStation 4, will also allow for downloadable games to be played before their download is complete.

Source: Polygon | Image via Microsoft

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Don't worry Microsoft will be on hand to sell you an official 500gb external for double the price of an internal.

You thought they would have learned from Sony by now. Who wants to be running an external when you could have easily just had user replaceable internals.

Merson316 said,
Don't worry Microsoft will be on hand to sell you an official 500gb external for double the price of an internal.

And in your rush to attempt to make a smart alec remark, you neglected the part where any USB drive will do. You don't have to buy a Microsoft branded one, even if such a thing existed.

With regards to the internal drive, don't forget that they'll likely be using 2.5" drives. Only recently have larger drives arrived in that form factor, and even now they cost significantly more than their 500gb brethren. On overclockers.co.uk for instance, your average 500gb drive is around the £40-50 mark. 750gb around the £50-55 mark, 1TB around £60-65, and 2TB gets into crazy money at £125-130.

Why push up the base price of the console even more than it already is, when 500gb should be fine for most owners, and for those that need more a cheap USB drive will be fine. A host powered 500gb drive is around the £40-45 mark.

Merson316 said,
Don't worry Microsoft will be on hand to sell you an official 500gb external for double the price of an internal.

You thought they would have learned from Sony by now. Who wants to be running an external when you could have easily just had user replaceable internals.

If I can, and this could be the case, take my external with me to another XB1, plug it in, login with my account and play the installed content I have on it, then that beats having a fixed internal drive anyday. And last I saw, the internal drive on the PS3 is fixed, you can't take it out and use it as is on another PS3, and I bet the same will be the case for the PS4. If though the external hdd on the XB1 acts as a big portable memory card that I can use on any XB1 then I'd say they've clearly won in that regard.

Yes, they are non replaceable because the operating systems are installed on it. Apparently a fragment of the hypervisor works from a flash chip, the rest is all on the hard drive. The problem this creates with removable hard drives is that those will need to come preinstalled with those operating systems. So be prepared to not have the complete 500GB at your disposal.
Fortunately external storage is now no longer limited in use.

It will be more awesome if MS bring back the disc-less feature and you can bring all your games anywhere with the portable HD. 1TB HDD @ 50 GB / games = 20 games.

GP007 said,

If I can, and this could be the case, take my external with me to another XB1, plug it in, login with my account and play the installed content I have on it, then that beats having a fixed internal drive anyday. And last I saw, the internal drive on the PS3 is fixed, you can't take it out and use it as is on another PS3, and I bet the same will be the case for the PS4. If though the external hdd on the XB1 acts as a big portable memory card that I can use on any XB1 then I'd say they've clearly won in that regard.

TCLN Ryster said,

And in your rush to attempt to make a smart alec remark, you neglected the part where any USB drive will do. You don't have to buy a Microsoft branded one, even if such a thing existed.

It will. That's the one good thing Microsoft is good at.

Merson316 said,

It will. That's the one good thing Microsoft is good at.

You are so right! On my all my Windows PCs I can only use a Microsoft motherboard, video card, mouse, keyboard, hard drive, Ethernet cable etc. Microsoft restricts all their software so you can only use it on Microsoft branded hardware. After all, that is what they are good at. /s

Trent Devers said,
You are so right! On my all my Windows PCs I can only use a Microsoft motherboard, video card, mouse, keyboard, hard drive, Ethernet cable etc. Microsoft restricts all their software so you can only use it on Microsoft branded hardware. After all, that is what they are good at. /s

Wow. You're totally missing the point (even with terrible sarcasm). Where on earth did I say that you can ONLY use Microsoft branded equipment? /facepalm I said that they most likely will create them, at a premium price of other brands of course. Microsoft (just like Sony) make a lot of their revenue from accessory sales so any further cash flow from licensed products is a no brainer for them.

Example: http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/...h-Drive/ListingDetails.html

Edited by Merson316, Jul 17 2013, 12:28pm :

minster11 said,
It will be more awesome if MS bring back the disc-less feature and you can bring all your games anywhere with the portable HD. 1TB HDD @ 50 GB / games = 20 games.

It should still work with anything you've digitally downloaded though, at least I don't see why not? Should be cool to be able to have a "full" disc install and opt into making it digital and not needing your disc anymore, if possible.

GP007 said,

It should still work with anything you've digitally downloaded though, at least I don't see why not? Should be cool to be able to have a "full" disc install and opt into making it digital and not needing your disc anymore, if possible.

Unfortunately, all the DRM naysayers nipped the possibility of that in the bud. Without the DRM, there's almost no way of preventing you from re-selling your disc once you've installed it. Unless of course they move to a kind of CD key system that invalidates the key once the game has been converted, they did after all confirm recently that the kinect 2.0 can read barcodes. Still unlikely though as offline consoles would never be able to do that check.

The option for publishers to have their games install with a license key, that was mandatory before the policy reversal, still exists, but it requires an online profile verification. If you install your game without that available license key it will ask you to have the disc present in the drive, so you will not be able to play it without that disc, like on the Xbox 360. Both options are now available instead of just the first one but for the games that tie the license to the optical medium there will be no digital sharing features available when that launches later this year. So, if you want those features for all your games, you will need to buy your games digitally.

Tray and play for the digital age? Fine by mw. That was one of the.most underutilized features of GFWL (I'm sure there are other prior examples). I'm glad to see thus feature becoming more and more mainstream throughout gaming. It'd be a fantastic new "standard feature" as games grow in size!

This was announced during the X1 reveal...the reason I am going digital only this gen...physical media is dead to me. I havent been to gamestop in while.

Random thought on harddrives: bet they both went external friendly because there's no inventory overheard for them, and no need to keep up with the PC market. I mean, really, how cheap is 1tb? How long until we see people making external SSD drives? Or possibly seeing game console friendly NAS devices?

Chikairo said,
Random thought on harddrives: bet they both went external friendly because there's no inventory overheard for them, and no need to keep up with the PC market. I mean, really, how cheap is 1tb? How long until we see people making external SSD drives? Or possibly seeing game console friendly NAS devices?

I have a 128GB SSD encased in a USB 3.0 case, I will happily use this and benefit from the blistering speed, don't play many games so no problem. And for NAS, the console would need to support iSCSI or NFS but to be honest the bottleneck here would be Gigabit speed, 10GbE is no where near the home market (even 2.5" drives can do 2400Mbps through SATA3 - you don't want that limiting to 1000Mbps via gigabit Ethernet,

duddit2 said,

I have a 128GB SSD encased in a USB 3.0 case, I will happily use this and benefit from the blistering speed, don't play many games so no problem. And for NAS, the console would need to support iSCSI or NFS but to be honest the bottleneck here would be Gigabit speed, 10GbE is no where near the home market (even 2.5" drives can do 2400Mbps through SATA3 - you don't want that limiting to 1000Mbps via gigabit Ethernet,


Nice! Very cool! I wonder if you could move the cache to an external drive? Hmm... Or would USB2/USB3 bottleneck it?

The local cache cannot be moved towards an external drive and the Xbox One will support network attached storage for media files (not for games AFAIK as they only work from specially formatted partitions).

I bought the digital download version of The Last of Us on PlayStation 3, and it allowed me to play it while the download was still in progress.

Chugworth said,
I bought the digital download version of The Last of Us on PlayStation 3, and it allowed me to play it while the download was still in progress.

Awesome! Hopefully it'll become a common feature, with older games redone to do the same. I'd really like to see it be an expected feature for PC games, too

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