Microsoft's Intelligent Delivery could make full hard drives a thing of the past

xbox one intelligent delivery
With each console iteration, games are getting bigger. Higher resolution textures and more complex sounds add a lot of baggage. These days, games are filling up 500GB hard drives fast with their 50GB requirements. Other games make the problem even worse by nearing 100GB. As the release of the Xbox One X nears, 4K assets will make this issue even worse. According to a report from Digital Foundry, Microsoft plans to roll out a new system called “Intelligent Delivery,” which will cut down the amount on players’ reduce size and times of downloads, by allowing players to download portions of a game’s data, rather than downloading whole games in a single block.

According to the report, Intelligent Delivery gives users the option to pick and choose what assets to download, giving them the ability to pass on files they don’t need. For example, gamers on the original Xbox One or Xbox One S won’t need to download the 4K assets used with the more powerful Xbox One X. This concept involves splitting the game content into tagged chunks of data. Tags can be made specific to a device or a language, meaning only the necessary assets are downloaded with other chunks available as an optional download.

How Intelligent Delivery affects a game’s size would vary from game to game. Some install sizes, such as with sports titles, are mostly made up audio assets for every language option. Only downloading the language’s desired by the player would drastically reduce the download. At the same time, Xbox users could delete these language or artwork chunks if space becomes more limited.

Chunks of data are not limited to just high-resolution textures and audio. Developers can also create content-specific chunks. This would work best for games with both single and multiplayer modes. Don’t plan on playing multiplayer? Only download the single player campaign. Already finished the campaign and only play against friends online? Delete that chunk and only keep multiplayer. Other non-crucial elements could be partitioned off into chunks as well such as level editors.

Downloadable games aren’t the only ones benefiting from Intelligent Delivery. Instead of requiring a connection to the internet when a game is too big for one disc, multiple discs could be separated between essential data and optional chunks.

Intelligent Delivery may become a useful new tool that would likely appear in Microsoft’s upcoming first-party titles. Third-party developers could implement the system as well, but to what extent will be based on developers’ preferences. Additional info can be found in Digital Foundry’s latest video.

Updated on 09-14-2017: Language changed to reflect that this information is based on a report from Digital Foundry.

Gaming

Once the dust settles, 'Fallout 76' will be a nuclear wasteland worth exploring

The launch of Fallout 76 has been nothing short of apocalyptic, but that doesn’t mean the game is dead on arrival. Bethesda has a path forward, paved by The Elder Scrolls Online, another game that suffered a rocky start.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Movies & TV

How much does Netflix cost? Here’s a pricing breakdown of its plans

Wondering how much a Netflix subscription costs? You're not the only one. That's why we put together a quick-hit guide covering all the Netflix plans, whether you want to opt for 4K streaming or a disc-based option.
Gaming

Joker from ‘Persona 5’ will take your heart in ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

Joker, the leader of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts from Persona 5, will arrive to Super Smash Bros. as its first DLC character. The announcement was a surprising one, because Persona 5 is a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
Gaming

‘Magic: The Gathering’ enters esports relevance with $10 million prize pool

Wizards of the Coast is pushing Magic: The Gathering into esports relevance with a prize pool of $10 million across the tabletop version and Magic: The Gathering Arena. Will the game be able to compete with Hearthstone and Overwatch?
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for December 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles, as well as bundles that feature games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

Get some bang for your buck with these Nintendo Switch console deals at Walmart

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the past, but you can still get some bang for your buck on game consoles before the holiday season is done. Walmart has various Nintendo Switch bundles on sale right now.
Product Review

‘Just Cause 4’ is mindless fun that leaves little room for much else

Just Cause 4 revels in explosions and over-the-top action, but its world feels empty and hollow. With few new ideas and a stale open world, it's a fun but shallow piece of escapism.
Gaming

‘CS:GO’ goes free-to-play and players are not happy about it

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), has gone free-to-play this week in a controversial move. Players are angry that the problem of cheating will get much worse now that anyone can make a disposable account to play.
Gaming

The most common Xbox One X problems, and how to fix them

The Xbox One X is a brilliant console, but it's not without its issues, ranging from simple annoyances to severe hardware problems. Here are common Xbox One X problems and how to fix them.
Gaming

How to delete and reinstall games on your Xbox One

Removing and reinstalling games on the Xbox One's hard drive isn't difficult, but it's a process that not everyone is familiar with. Thankfully, our guide will run you through each step so you'll know precisely what to do.
Gaming

‘Street Fighter V’ players will get bonuses if they allow in-game ads

Capcom will show in-game advertisements on Street Fighter V starting December 11. Players may choose to deactivate the ads, but they will miss out on some bonuses and content if they do so.