A big question on Xbox fans’ minds was how the Xbox One family of devices would handle 4K assets, and Microsoft has finally provided an answer. Only the Xbox One X will download 4K assets, regardless of your television, with the Xbox One and Xbox One S downloading standard 1080p assets.
Speaking with Stevivor, a Microsoft representative said that the company’s intention is “to download the correct assets to the correct console.”
“This means, regardless of the TV you are playing on, 4K assets will be downloaded to Xbox One X (if available) and the standard 1080p assets will be downloaded to an Xbox One S.”
This means that owners of the original Xbox One won’t have exorbitant download sizes for benefits that will not be available to them, like 4K visuals. Thanks to a technique known as supersampling, those using the Xbox One X and playing a game that is capable of rendering at 4K will still get a better picture quality even on a 1080p display.
Microsoft is also ensuring that developers themselves have the tools and flexibility to make downloads more efficient.
“As part our developer readiness for Xbox One X, we have made available a feature which will give them significant flexibility when it comes to what gets installed on a user’s console. In addition to 4K specific assets, developers have options when it comes to language specific assets as well, which depending on the title, can drastically reduce the install footprint. This ability to intelligently install the best assets for each console and language are available on all Xbox One devices, and it will be up to the developer of the game to determine the specific implementation.”
Most Xbox One and Xbox One S consoles only come with a 500 GB internal hard drive, making it difficult to download a lot of games without uninstalling some or purchasing an external hard drive. The base Xbox One X model will come equipped with a 1 TB hard drive, allowing players to download larger files while not taking a huge hit to their storage.
The Xbox One X launches on November 7, 2017 for $499.