Microsoft's new tech for Xbox One and Xbox One X paves the way for smaller sized downloads, saving your HDD space and minimizing download times. This new system is internally known as "Intelligent Delivery", and will ensure that gamers are permitted to download only the game assets they deem necessary, as opposed to downloading the full game.
Mike Ybarra, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Xbox, talked about the feature last month at gamescom, but the company has now released more information for game developers, detailing how it intends to deliver games more intelligently.
This tech will be incorporated in a way that provides users with a new option regarding downloading games. For example, they will be allowed to select the languages they feel are necessary to enhance their gameplay experience, removing the need to include other language assets, which only increases the download size without providing any additional functionality for some users. According to Microsoft, language-specific data is especially relevant in the case of sports titles, where the audio assets usually make up a major part of the game's full installation size.
Similarly, if a user is downloading a game on their Xbox console, the Store will intelligently decide if the inclusion of 4K assets is required or not. This will help in decreasing the download size, which is already massive for some games such as Halo 5, which occupies about 100GB of space on the Xbox One, and with the title expected to be updated to true 4K, that is sure to increase even further.
Regarding device-specific content, Intelligent Delivery allows developers to segregate artwork for either the Xbox One or the X, with the console only downloading the assets that are necessary for the console in question. This applies for users upgrading from the Xbox One to the Xbox One X as well. If, for example, a user has an Xbox One title on an external drive which is then plugged into an Xbox One X, they will be asked to download the data which is required for the console.
With Microsoft’s new system, the need to install a game that is separated into two discs by inserting both discs will also become unnecessary. Assuming one disc contains only data relevant to the single-player game mode, gamers will have the option to decide if they would like to install multiplayer data at a later time, or not at all.
To ensure that the transition to this new system is smooth, game developers will need to ensure that their titles are well optimized, so as to make full use of the Intelligent Delivery technology. In any case, it's good to see Microsoft taking steps to reduce the impact of steadily increasing download sizes.
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Source: Digital Foundry