Back in June, when the available information about the Xbox One was changing on an almost daily basis, I wondered whether the Xbox One would allow pre-loads similar to Steam’s longtime support of the system for most games.
In the latest Q&A session in IGN‘s “Ask Microsoft Anything” series, Chief Xbox One Platform Architect Marc Whitten finally clarified the situation.
One of the questions asked was, “Will digitally downloaded games be able to be pre-loaded before release, so that they’re simply unlocked and ready to go at 12:01 a.m. on the day of release?” Marc Whitten replied, “Not at launch, but you’ll see us do this much more over the life of the program.”
There’s no doubt, though, that it’s in Microsoft’s best interests to provide this service for its users sooner rather than later. Obviously no one is going to be pre-loading launch games, though I’ll be happy to test it out if Microsoft wants to send me my Xbox One early.The biggest releases like Call of Duty and, surely, Titanfall, will benefit from pre-loads (while smaller titles won’t really need the option as sorely). If Microsoft wants to eventually create the console version of Steam it was dreaming of at the Xbox One reveal, supporting pre-loads will be an important step in that direction. Even more so knowing that Sony already supports the option, in rare cases, on the PlayStation 3.
It’s easy to see how Microsoft might be wary, though, after last week’s Grand Theft Auto V leak. Sony’s European customers were allowed to pre-load GTAV and the download quickly resulted in a leak not only of the soundtrack list but of some major spoilers for the game’s highly-anticipated story. Sony subsequently removed the download.
Other answers out of Microsoft’s Q&A session confirmed that an Xbox One and 360 can be signed into the same gamertag, that user reputations will, by and large, reset with the Xbox One, that the Xbox One is not currently a Media Center Extender (sorry all 10 of you), and that games do not require demos the same way they did on Xbox 360 due to the lack of distinction between Arcade and retail games.