Although the PS4 and Xbox One initially launched with some key features missing, the consoles have slowly but surely begun to become more competent media devices. Moreover, the consoles have done their best to match their next closest competition: the PC.
Obviously, matching the PC in terms of power is almost impossible, but the PS4 and Xbox One can at least mimic that platform's feature set. For years, the PC has been an easy, no frills experience and it's about time the consoles start to catch up.
One way that the PS4 has already matched the PC is in pre-loading, the ability to download a game before it unlocks on release day. PS4 gamers earned this feature back in June, and it has become a staple ever since, supporting upcoming titles like Destiny and Assassin's Creed: Unity.
For Xbox One gamers, the wait for pre-loading has been a little bit longer, but we are happy to report that, starting today, Microsoft's console will support the feature. Pre-loading is available now for Madden NFL 15 and will soon support all major Xbox One releases.
Xbox head Phil Spencer confirmed that pre-loading was coming to Xbox One at Gamescom last week, but the only titles he mentioned at the time were Madden and Forza Horizon 2. Presumably the feature will expand to include more first party and third party releases — games like Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, etc. — as the year goes on, but those are the only two titles we know of at the moment.
While pre-loading may not have been a major concern with the last generation, it has become essential this time around. Internet speeds have improved, but game download sizes have more than quadrupled. And they will only continue to get bigger.
Moreover, having to wait several hours for a 30GB Call of Duty file to download deflates that initial appeal of pre-ordering. Now, however, gamers can pre-order the game, download it a few days ahead of time, and rest easy knowing that at 12:01 they will be off and gaming.
Are you happy that the Xbox One now supports pre-loading? Does this impact your buying decisions (Xbox One vs. PS4)?