Microsoft may use “intelligent delivery” to keep parts of your Xbox One X games in the cloud

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Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One X console will ship with a 1TB hard drive, which may seem a little low to download 4K assets for all Xbox One X enhanced games. Considering that old games like Halo 5: Guardians and Gears of War 4 are already close to 100GB without their 4K upgrades, it sounds like having an external hard drive may be mandatory for an hassle-free experience (unless Microsoft decides to release a 2TB Xbox One X console at some point).

But as it turns out, Microsoft may have a good reason to think 1TB of storage is enough for the Xbox One X. Speaking with GamesRadar at Gamescom, Head of Platform Engineering for Xbox Mike Ybarra hinted that Microsoft is currently thinking about a solution to reduce the footprint of Xbox One games on your console. “On the platform side [we’re] looking at things like what we call internally ‘Intelligent Delivery’,” explained Ybarra.

Without giving many details, the exec suggested that the intelligent feature would be able move to the cloud the bits of a game you no longer need to continue your playthrough. “People are more comfortable saying ‘I’ve done playing that, let me push that back to the cloud so I’ve got more room there.’ So we’re looking at technology like that,” added the exec.

Actually, the Xbox One already works a bit like that: when you download or install a game on your console, you can usually launch it and start playing without having to wait for the full installation to be completed. What Ybarra teased is very interesting, but maybe the Xbox team should go even further than that. Do you really need to fully download games that have a multiplayer modes if you’re only interested in the solo campaign, and vice versa? Instead of an “intelligent delivery” system, maybe it could it be possible to let gamers decide what parts of a game they want to download, but this may be just wishful thinking on our part.

Ybarra did not say if Microsoft has already started to work on this intelligent delivery solution, so it could be years before we see it materialize. Anyway, it’s great to see that the Xbox team has a forward-thinking approach for managing precious storage space on our consoles.