Microsoft is looking at using the Cloud to help Xbox One X 4K games take up less space on your hard drive

The 4K future being offered by Xbox One X looks amazing but at a slight cost to your Xbox One external hard drive: really big file sizes. For example, Forza Motorsport 7 is a 100GB download if you want the full fat 4K experience. But don't worry, Microsoft has a plan...

We spoke to Mike Ybarra at Gamescom and he's well aware of the issues ahead ("games will get bigger as you have bigger assets") but he explains that Microsoft has a plan. "On the platform side [we're] looking at things like what we call internally 'Intelligent Delivery.'" It's basically a way of reducing the footprint a game will have on your storage space. As Ybarra explains things, it picks and choses what's stored on you HDD and keeps the rest elsewhere. The technology effectively says, "'Hey, here’s the bits you need for this section’ and keep[s] the rest on the Cloud." 

It still sounds like Microsoft is expecting people to upgrade, with Ybarra mentioning that, "in general people usually always have more storage than they need," but, talking about the Intelligent Delivery idea, he observes that, "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." That actually sounds a lot like a streaming solution, keeping the section of the game you're playing on the hard drive, and deleting/loading areas as needed. 

There's no word yet when or if this technology will be used when the Xbox One X launches, but it sounds like Microsoft is thinking about the future - if a game like Forza 7 is touching three figure file sizes at launch that's only going to increase from there. 

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.