As we approach the era of 4K gaming, game files are going to take up much more space on our console hard drives, and downloads are going to take longer than ever. Let's be honest: even in the age of 1080p gaming, download times and storage can be an issue. Microsoft is hoping to alleviate both of those issues going forward (according to Eurogamer) with a system that it's calling "Intelligent Delivery."
Intelligent delivery is already available to developers right now, and this is how it works. Microsoft is requesting game files to be divided up into chunks, and these data chunks will all be labeled with tags. The basic idea is that, when you install a game, you may not necessarily need everything that the game has to offer all at once. If you're able to select which portions of a game you actually want at any given time, you could drastically reduce download times, and free up a tons of space on your hard drive.
There are three main ways Microsoft plans for Intelligent Delivery to work some incredible magic for Xbox gamers, and we think that you'll find all three of these make perfect sense.
4K Textures for Xbox One X Games
Let's take Forza Motorsport 7. This game is going to run in dazzling 4K on the Xbox One X, but if you're playing on Xbox One, why should you have to download all of those 4K textures? Why waste over 100GB of hard drive space on your console when it can only output the game at 1080p?
With intelligent delivery, Microsoft would split those texture files apart as chunks, tagging the 4K textures for the Xbox One X, and tagging the 1080p textures for the Xbox One. This is the only viable solution. The Xbox One X is completely backward compatible with the Xbox One, and XBO is completely compatibel with Xbox One X games. Microsoft (and third parties) won't be releasing two separate versions of its games, so this gives them a way to separate the downloads.prevnext
Audio in Multiple Languages
You may not have known this, but one of the reasons your game files take up so much space is the audio. I know it doesn't seem like audio should take up that much space, especially compared visuals and game engines, but uncompressed, high-quality audio it a total drive hog.
With intelligent delivery, you can leave behind all of the audio you don't need. FIFA has narration and audio tracks in several languages, and all of that audio actually makes up the bulk of the file size. Unless you're a polyglot, you don't need to play FIFA in French, Spanish, Japanese, and English. You just need the English track, and dumping the rest means a much smaller download for you.prevnext
Have you ever noticed that when you download games like Call of Duty or Battlefield, that the single player campaign and multiplayer will download at different rates? Usually, you're able to jump into the single player campaign long before the multiplayer component is finished downloading and installing, or vise versa.0comments
Eventually, though, you have to have both installed on your console; you can't pick or choose. With intelligent delivery, Microsoft would theoretically enable you to choose to leave certain modes behind. If you finished that Call of Duty campaign and know for a fact that you'll only play multiplayer going forward, then ditch that 30GB campaign data! If you've been loving the latest racing game, but know that you'll never use its track editor, then shed that data and free up some space!
This could really change the way we download and play games, and we hope to see developers take advantage of it sooner than later.prev