July’s Xbox One update has added the much-anticipated FastStart feature for certain games.
Microsoft described FastStart as: “A new innovation from our Xbox Platform team that allows you to jump into your games twice as fast and play after downloading just a fraction of it. FastStart works by identifying which files are needed to begin playing and prioritizes the download of those files first, enabling you to quickly jump into full-fidelity gameplay while the remainder of your title downloads in the background.”
Microsoft was keen to point out that FastStart doesn’t employ any form of game-streaming, explaining: “While FastStart does not speed up download times, by identifying which files are needed to begin gameplay and prioritizing the download of those files first, you can generally expect to jump into your game twice as fast as you did previously, on average. Games will still download based on your local bandwidth. That means if a game previously took an hour to download and play, you will now be able to begin gameplay after just 30 minutes.”
There’s one caveat: Microsoft has revealed that, for FastStart to work properly, you will need to have access to broadband with a minimum speed of 20Mbps. And other question-marks remain, most notably the list of games which will be able to take advantage. On the plus side, Microsoft said that English-language versions of Xbox One games will be the first ones to become FastStart-enabled. But it hasn’t yet revealed which ones will take advantage of FastStart, and said the feature will apply to a “Select” group of titles.
The Xbox One’s July update has also added a feature called Groups: “With Groups, you can create multiple collections of content made up of anything from within My Games & Apps. You can also assign custom names to each Group, organize and order them, and add individual Groups to Home. Groups will appear across My Games & Apps, Home and Guide, so you’ll be able to access your Groups at a moment’s notice. Best of all, Groups are tied to your Xbox Live account, so they will automatically sync across multiple Xbox One consoles.”
We’ll bring you more news about FastStart-supporting games as it emerges.