It may not be all hard wires and physical configuration for the Xbox One X. Recent reports indicate that Microsoft is considering using cloud storage to consolidate large game files for the upcoming console.
For the Xbox One X, a number of titles sport massive file sizes — like Forza Motorsport 7 clocking in at 100GB, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare requiring 130GB of space — which means that players will have to swap hard drive storage space for a fully immersive 4K experience. Moving some of this data to digital storage will help these high-res games take up less space, making for a better user experience overall, or so Microsoft hopes.
During gamescom this week, corporate Vice President of Xbox and Windows gaming platform Mike Ybarra opened up about the hefty cost of 4K capability on the new system, and explained Microsoft’s cloud storage plan in a bit more detail. “On the platform side [we’re] looking at things like what we call internally ‘Intelligent Delivery,'” Ybarra stated. This so-called smart distribution will essentially reduce the footprint a game has on a users’ storage space. According to Ybarra, the technology selects what’s stored on the HDD and then keeps the rest elsewhere, effectively holding the necessary data on the console and kicking everything else to the cloud.
Ybarra also hinted that Microsoft is expecting players to upgrade, as “people usually always have more storage than they need.” But in terms of the Intelligent Delivery approach that toggles between containing data on the console and in the cloud, the situation is markedly different. Ybarra observed that “people are more comfortable saying, ‘[I’m] done playing that, let me push that back to the cloud so I’ve got more room there.'” Thus, Microsoft is looking into such a technology that will fulfill that type of mentality.
As it’s described, the proposition sounds quite similar to a streaming solution, in which the section of a game that’s currently being played is kept on the hard drive while certain areas are deleted and loaded as needed. It’s important to note that this technology is simply an idea at this point, as there hasn’t been any indication when or it it will be implemented when the console launches. It doesn’t seem likely, though, since Xbox One X pre-orders have already begun.
By the sounds of it, it seems like cloud storage is in the cards for Microsoft’s future, and may even become commonplace as Xbox One X game files get larger and larger in size.
Xbox One X will launch on November 7, 2017.