There’s no question video games are taking up more and more room these days, with some titles pushing the 100GB threshold. With the Xbox One X just around the corner and 4K textures on the way, those file sizes will only go up. Even if you purchase retail disc copies of games, the entire game is still installed on your Xbox One hard drive taking up space. Sure you can get external hard drives that range in speed and size like the Seagate HDD/SDD Game Drive options or the massive 8TB Seagate Game Drive Hub, but those can still fill up pretty quick.
Microsoft has already mentioned that upcoming Xbox One games will only download the 4K textures if you’re using an Xbox One X, which will save space for original Xbox One and Xbox One S owners. However, according to documentation examined by Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry, Microsoft is going even further with their new process called Intelligent Delivery. Not only does Intelligent Delivery cover digital versions of games, there seems to be support for multi-disc releases as well — something currently unsupported by the Xbox One.
Essentially, the concept involves splitting game content into ‘chunks’ of data and then adding tags to them. Multiple tags can be attached to a chunk, and they can be device-specific or language-specific, for example. In the case of the latter, this means that game audio or cutscenes in non-relevant languages don’t need to be downloaded – Intelligent Delivery could, in theory, install just the assets applicable to your region, with other languages an optional ‘on demand’ download, accessible via the Xbox One dash.
In plainer English, depending on how these chunks are assigned, your Xbox One would potentially only download content that the user actually wants to use. For example, you could specify that you only want to download single or multiplayer content based on your play preferences. Games could also avoid downloading extra languages unless you specifically request it. For longer campaigns, games could also load the first few levels and then load later levels as you complete more of the game, keeping space lower initially and potentially freeing up space by removing assets for previous levels. In the case of multi-disc games, extra assets like language options and higher-resolution textures could be placed on a second disc.
If you want the full nitty gritty low down, check out the video below.
While this was revealed at Microsoft’s XFest developer event earlier this year, developers do have to adapt the way they master their titles and content assets. According to Digital Foundry, it’s something that we can definitely expect to see in first-party Microsoft titles but could be hit and miss for third-party titles.
Last Updated on September 15, 2017.