• The latest version of the Xbox beta app for mobile devices allows users to fully download and install Xbox games, whether or not they own those games.
  • Xbox One and Xbox Series X owners will be able to have games preloaded on their systems and can start playing immediately if and when they decide to purchase them.
  • Microsoft has not yet discussed this new feature or provided a public release date.

One of the key words for Microsoft as it approaches next-gen is “convenience.” Load times will be relatively miniscule, Smart Delivery will allow Xbox One owners to easily 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 One games 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 buy 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 that software 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 planning to buy an Xbox Series X (or stick with their Xbox One). for several months or years) and prefer physical support. As it stands, even if you buy a disc copy of a new game, you’ll still have to wait a long time for it to install while downloading the inevitable day one patch. With this new feature, you can eliminate all advance downloads and start playing instantly when you insert the disc.

The concept of preloading games isn’t entirely new, but the bloated size of games in recent years has become an annoying obstacle for many gamers, especially those with slower internet speeds. Any effort to remove this obstacle is welcome, and with video game sizes sure to increase further as developers aim for 4K resolution and higher frame rates, the last thing anyone will want to do when buying a new game is to sit around 4 hours waiting for a 100gb file to download and install. Writer Jerko Cilas demonstrated the feature on Twitter:

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.

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