We already knew that Microsoft has plenty of new features in the works for its latest home console, and now we’re getting a better idea of what at least one of those might look like.
Phil Spencer, the boss of Microsoft’s Xbox division, told a fan that digital preorders that enable players to preload games so that they are playable right at launch is coming soon. When asked whether Microsoft would include it in the August update, Spencer told the Xbox One owner to “stay tuned,” which likely means we won’t see it in that upcoming patch. Spencer went on to say that gamers won’t have to wait long for this capability. This is a feature that fans care about, and it’s something that Sony’s PlayStation 4 already has. Microsoft is working hard to ensure that its system doesn’t fall behind when it comes to features — it’s already behind the PS4 in terms of sales since their Novemeber releases in the multibillion dollar console war.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for more, and we’ll update this post with any new information.
Load digital preorders in advance is something that PC games have had for a long time, and Sony recently announced that it would enable it for every future game on PS4. The preloading process ensures that gamers don’t have to wait around for hours downloading huge files during a big game’s midnight launch, but it also alleviates some of the strain on the digital-distribution system. Fans that preload spread the bandwidth over few days as opposed to having everyone slam the system at one time when it launches.
With digital preloads, Microsoft is working to add as many features as possible to the Xbox One, and Spencer is making an effort to listen to fans. He often responds to player concerns and requests on Twitter. His team even has a feedback system called “user voice” that enables fans to submit ideas for Xbox One, and other people can post their support if they like the idea of something. Microsoft then uses that site to inform fans about what features it is working on.
Xbox’s feedback site right now lists features like “remote downloading” and “low battery notification for controllers” as “in-progress.” Both of those are coming in the aforementioned August update.
A popular request on the Xbox One feedback site is “HDMI pass-through while console is off.” Microsoft’s new console enables gamers to hook up their cable box to the system, but TV only works if the Xbox One is on. Nearly 2,000 people have voted in favor of adding pass-through support while the system is off, which is something that AV receivers are capable of.
Earlier this week, Spencer revealed on Twitter that his team already has enough new features in the works to ensure monthly Xbox One updates continue from now until October, and it seems clear that Spencer’s attentiveness to fans and the feedback system is playing a big part in that.