Games are just getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and the built in storage of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One simply can’t keep up unless you replace or add to them with external storage. Even then, it’s easy to run out of space on a 2TB drive when games like Battlefield 1 start to head towards the 100GB mark.
With 4K games for Xbox One X set to make things even bigger than before thanks to even higher resolution textures and assets – Forza Motorsport 7 is set to be 100GB in size at launch on Xbox One X – Microsoft have had to come up with some way to try and save a little space. Eurogamer have been privy to internal documents that detail a software system called Intelligent Delivery, which was revealed to game makers at Microsoft’s XFest developer event.
It boils down to breaking up game data into different chunks, so that non-essential data can be omitted or downloaded later. This seems to already be in place for Microsoft’s first party games, where Forza 7 will only download the 4K texture data when installing on Xbox One X and won’t balloon game sizes on Xbox One, but it can go further than that, and mean that only the voice and language data for your local country is downloaded by default, that single player and multiplayer data are separated, so that you can delete the single player campaign of Call of Duty once you’re done with it, and more. All of this will still be available on demand via the Xbox One dash. Considering that high quality audio makes up a significant part of game sizes, this will help quite significantly.
This also opens the door for developers to deliver their games on multiple discs once again – something that was once common a few generations ago, and persisted on Xbox 360 for larger games. Currently the system will allow for up to two discs, but the technical limit is 15, though you’d have to wonder what publisher would want that expense on their accounts.
Of course, the onus for all of this is on the developer, but as long as the implementation is simple enough for them to use, I can see most of the major players adopting this for future titles.