- The latest version of the Xbox mobile beta app allows users to fully download and install Xbox games whether they own them or not.
- Xbox One and Xbox Series X owners will be able to have games preloaded on their systems and will be able to start playing immediately if they decide to buy them and when they decide to buy them.
- Microsoft has yet to discuss this new feature or provide a public release date.
One of the key words for Microsoft as it approaches the next generation is “convenience”. Load times will be relatively miniscule, Smart Delivery will make it easy for Xbox One owners to upgrade to the next-gen version of a game for free, and backward compatibility will bring nearly the entire back catalog of Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox games. One to both Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. And now another time and effort saving feature has been discovered.
First spotted by users on the Reset era Forums, a brand new update for the Xbox Beta app on mobile devices adds functionality that lets you download and install games on your Xbox, whether or not you own the games. You won’t be able to start the game until you purchase it, but you can preload it on your system at any time so that when and if you decide to pay for it, you don’t have to wait minutes or hours for the software to download.
There are a number of reasons why this is a smart and useful feature for Xbox owners, but it will be especially handy for those who plan to buy an Xbox Series X (or stick with their Xbox One for several months or years) and prefer physical media. As it stands, even if you buy a disc copy of a new game, you will still have to wait a long time for it to install while downloading the inevitable Day 1 patch. With this new feature, you can complete all downloads in advance and start playing instantly when you insert the disc.
The concept of game preloading isn’t entirely new, but the growing size of games in recent years has become an annoying hurdle for many gamers, especially those with slower internet speeds. Any effort to remove this obstacle is welcome, and with the size of video games sure to grow even larger as developers aim for 4K resolution and higher frame rates, the last thing anyone will want to do when ‘he will buy a new game is to sit for about 4 hours while waiting for a 100GB file to be downloaded and installed. Writer Jerko Cilas introduced the feature on Twitter:
Here is proof that I didn’t pre-order Valhalla, but I can install it through the new Xbox preload feature. For now, you need the Xbox Android app (beta) to start the download. Now I can buy a 💿 version or the digital version. Either way, the game will be ready. https://t.co/1QR52YWsub pic.twitter.com/TgmO3rfUBk
– Jerko Cilas (@DarthChillash) September 23, 2020
At the time of writing, Microsoft has yet to make any official announcements or statements about the feature, so we can’t be completely sure when or if it will roll out to the public. That said, it appears to be in testing and could possibly be ready for prime time when the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch on November 10.