Xbox Series X game download sizes may end up exhausting your data cap much like the Xbox One X. While Microsoft has talked up the virtues of the Xbox Series X Velocity Architecture that includes compression tech that would make game downloads smaller, it won’t make using it a part of the certification process for developers bringing their games to the Xbox Series X.
This was revealed in a recent episode of Podcast Unlocked by Xbox Series X Director of Program Management Jason Ronald. He was asked if Microsoft would mandate smaller Xbox Series X game download sizes by making it a part of the certification process, similar to how Xbox Live Arcade did.
“It’s not really a certification requirement but we work very closely with all the best developers all around the world,” he said. “We understand their technology stack, we understand how they design and build their games. So a lot of it is just partnering with them and really working through and making sure they’re aware of ‘here’s all the options available to us’ and finding the right solution that works with the kind of game that they’re building as well as what the players expectations were.
“Because at the end of the day it doesn’t benefit anybody if games are massively huge and it’s like a really long download time or like you were talking about with bandwidth caps and whatnot so it’s more of a partnership between us and the developer as opposed to a strict certification requirement.”
You can check out this episode Podcast Unlocked right here. Ronald’s comments are at around the 29 minute mark.
During the week Microsoft revealed that hardware accelerated decompression is a key component of its Velocity Architecture. This includes industry standard tech like LZ decompressor as well as Microsoft’s own proprietary algorithms for texture data known as BCPack. Considering how big current generation game downloads and subsequent patches have been, it’s odd that Microsoft isn’t making the use of this compulsory, especially with Xbox boss Phil Spencer claiming to have a player first focus.
This marks the second crucial Xbox Series X feature that Microsoft is making optional for developers to use, the first being Smart Delivery. However in the case of the latter, the company is able to bring enhancements to games that don’t support it. These games will benefit from modern day enhancements like HDR as well as a possible frame rate boost that won’t impact gameplay.
So if the game can run at higher resolutions, if it can run at a higher or more stable frame rates or if it can benefit from the faster IO speeds, we’ll go and do that,” said Ronald in a previous Podcast Unlocked episode.
”So that not only does the game play but it plays better than you’ve seen it before and then we are continuing to advance the state of the art of how we can enhance titles at the platform level itself. With Xbox One X we developed a whole series of new techniques, one such as the Hutchy method which allowed us to kind of increase the native resolution of the title without actually making changes directly to the title.”