The 4K future being offered by Xbox One X (opens in new tab) looks amazing but at a slight cost to your Xbox One external hard drive: really big file sizes (opens in new tab). 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.