Xbox One S and Xbox One owners, don’t worry. When the Xbox One X hits this fall, you won’t be downloading a bunch of huge game files you can’t use on your less powerful, less expensive system. Those files are reserved for the Xbox One X and will only download on the Xbox One X, Microsoft says.
Bandwidth is at a premium
For your everyday computer user, hard drive space and internet transfer caps are rarely concerns. Many people stream music and movies, and even keep documents in cloud storage.
For gamers, though, those concerns are very real ones, even in populated parts of America where connectivity is ubiquitous. With the Xbox One X, many games will see native 4K gaming become a reality, and will require assets – art, textures, models, cutscenes – to match the extra processing power and pixel space.
Forza Motorsport 7, for example, will see the game’s total size balloon to 100GB. For someone not expecting that, it could be a real hit to their monthly transfer cap on their ISP, and it’d take up a heck of a lot of space on the original Xbox One’s measly 500GB of HDD space.
Stevivor asked Microsoft for some specifics about how 4K assets and different Xbox consoles will work, and a Microsoft rep said that “with the launch of Xbox One X, when it comes to game content our intention is to download the correct assets to the correct console,” a Microsoft representative told the site. “This means, regardless of the TV you’re playing on, 4K assets will be downloaded to Xbox One X, and standard 1080p assets will be downloaded to an Xbox One S.”
Xbox One X consoles connected to 1080p televisions will still take advantage of those 4K assets through something called super-sampling, which will render a game at full resolution and then downsize it to match the 1080p screen.
In addition to only downloading 4K assets to the Xbox One X, Microsoft says it is giving developers tools to optimize download sizes, such as allowing downloads to only install applicable language assets. In a big RPG, that could mean a whole lot of space.
The Xbox One X releases November 7, 2017.