These file sizes are ridiculous and Microsoft needs to do something about them.
True 4K gaming. That’s what Microsoft promises us with the Xbox One X, and to their credit, they are delivering on their promise a whole lot better than Sony managed to with the PS4 Pro. Microsoft have managed to bring in the best possible support for the console’s launch line-up with a ton of games supporting the console (even more than what Sony did with the PS4 Pro). But here’s the problem- for most games, the 4K support comes in the form of additional enhancements released as game updates and patches.
Now, patches and updates for exiting games isn’t a new concept or anything- and we’ve even had some pretty large ones in the past (The Witcher 3 pushed things with an 18GB update, for instance). But 4K enhanced patches on the Xbox One X are going to ridiculously high file sizes, with Quantum Break‘s 4K patch coming in at over 90GB, and pushing the total size of the game on the system to over 178GB. It’s insane.
Consider how much space one game is taking up now- consider the bandwidth costs (unless you have unlimited internet, which most don’t, you’re spending anywhere from 10-20% of your monthly bandwidth on downloading patches for your games). Consider the fact that these file sizes mean you can maybe have 8-9 games on your system at a time, at most. It’s ridiculous.
To be fair, although this is just a further indictment of the situation, Microsoft games have had asinine file sizes all generation long, with games going as high as 100GB even before 4K updates (I am looking at you Forza Horizon 3). This is definitely a problem- huge file sizes is an issue for PC and PS4 games too (the Switch is the only system with relatively saner file sizes, but it suffers from low on board memory, so the same logistical issues end up arising anyway).
I understand that games are getting more elaborate and complex; I understand that 4K games are bound to be big. But at the same time, I don’t think even people who are spending $500 on an Xbox One X want to have a major chunk of their bandwidth lost to one game. There has to be a better way to do these things- even Microsoft’s solution, which relies on downloading core files, and accessing the rest from the cloud on an as needed basis (implementation similar to how Apple handles apps on iOS) relies bandwidth.
I don’t know what the solution is, of course- but between mandatory installs, massive file sizes, and huge updates, something will have to give one way or the other. Otherwise, functionally, most people won’t bother downloading 4K updates for a lot of their Xbox One X games- at which point, why bother?
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