XBox 720 to Support Streaming Digital Downloads

Gaming News on Good e-Reader? Well, normally we never report on consoles or gaming apps, but we can’t help it when we have some juicy news. A confirmed source has informed us about the upcoming plans regarding XBox’s digital download distribution service.
One of the big aspects of the next generation of hardware is that the consoles will have expanded support for digital downloads.

One of the ways Microsoft’s XBox team is refining the next generation will be allowing players to run games as the game is downloading. Normally, when you download a game on the existing generation of consoles, or even Steam, you can’t play the game until its fully downloaded. The Xbox 720 will let you play the game, as long as you meet a certain data threshold. If you are downloading a AAA title, and it is around 10 GB of data, and you will be able to start playing the game once you hit a 2GB limit.

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DEEBO1587d ago

lol sony show them the way.

GribbleGrunger1587d ago

I don't know about Sony showing them the way but the more I read about the nextbox, the more I realise that there is going to be very little difference between the two. Even the add on 360 for the Nextbox is something that looks remarkably like the Sony patent. I'm not saying anyone is copying; I'm saying that both console manufacturers seem to have similar goals.

andrewsqual1587d ago

Just like the way there was/is no difference in 2006 or today in the 360 and PS3.

gaffyh1587d ago

Well if you have two equal or similar platforms, what it comes down to is exclusives, and we all know that Sony has MS beat in that respect, simply in terms of amount of first and second party studios. Add to that the influx of Indie developers due to Sony's Pub Fund, and I honestly cannot see what MS can offer gamers other than Halo, Gears, Forza and Fable. I've got a feeling they will try and get timed DLC exclusivity deals for COD, and give Activision a lot of money for it.

nukeitall1587d ago


That is the thing, everybody assumes the platform is similar, but it really isn't.

MS is master of software, and they have proven that by rewamping the Xbox 360 dashboard multiple times. They have vastly improved many aspects of Xbox Live.

Then we have Kinect as well and now their focus on other forms of entertainment.

People keep talking about exclusives, but they don't matter as much. We have seen that time and time again.

It just boils down to quality games and now approachable platform.

rainslacker1587d ago


I think Sony has provided plenty of proof they are capable and willing to provide quality software over the course of 3 console generations. I also think MS has proven that they can provide quality software as well. When it comes to quality games both have a proven track record. The only real difference is people's preference in what kind of games they want.

I couldn't care less about the dashboard or the XMB when I'm playing a game, but, I do recall Sony being highly praised over the XMB on it's release. I won't deny that it's become somewhat sluggish over the course of the generation, but I'd imagine that is likely due to memory constraints on the OS.

All that being said, Exclusives matter to me. Or rather, most Sony exclusives are good enough for me to care about them. If they went multi-plat I wouldn't be fussed over it because a good game is a good game. I want them to do well if they're good, but I couldn't care less how many they sell to decide if they're worth my time or money.

I do believe they're taking a different approach in appealing to different markets. These markets do seem to have a lot of correlation though.

I won't speculate on the specs part, because it's still rumor for one, and limited details for the other.

nukeitall1587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )


I think that is a fair assessment. I somewhat do care about sales in the sense that I play online a lot now more than ever. I never thought I would, but I do, but the sales affect the community size.

I haven't touch the single player portion of many of the games, because I now play so much online.

A game that has a full lobby, people communicating and vibrant community is now more important than ever.

So a platform that offers the tools to easily connect and play with others is vital. That is why I'm willing to pay for Xbox LIVE.

It automatically tells me how many gamers play a game I want to play, gives me party chat to easily schedule a game or wait for a game to be available and makes it superbly fast to patch a game (small download size, and no need to even restart the game, it hot patches on the spot).

My point being four things:

a) online community size and friends list i.e. I make a friend and he uses a free account and never shows up again. I want to have people on my friends list that play a lot, so I have a good pool of people to play with and they all need to have microphones. I'm not into the silent communication thing.

b) features and ease of use matters even if it isn't directly in-game, unless all you do is play single player games. That said it is part of the experience.

c) apps and other forms of entertainment are also consumed by me. I use my Xbox almost exclusively for entertainment, such as Netflix, Vevo and so on.

d) Exclusives are nice, but they aren't as important, because there are plenty of great games released by third party. The more the merrier, but a few less isn't noticeable, as long as I have quality games I would like to play.

but, yeah, sorry about the wall of text. You probably won't read it all. :D

jimbobwahey1587d ago

Exclusives are important for me personally because that's the main thing that separates the two consoles, although the rumors of the next Xbox supposedly having a backwards compatibility solution is very important to me too.

Personally speaking I'm really fond of Halo, Gears of War and Forza more than the exclusive games on my PS3, so provided Microsoft doesn't screw something up spectacularly, my preference in their exclusive offerings (combined with BC) have me leaning heavily in favor of choosing the next Xbox over the PS4.

Irishguy951586d ago

Bleh, the 360's only real win over the Ps3 has been it's system software and features. Xbox live/dashboard features have been amazing since it's release/ YOu have alot of people on this site who love trophies some who won't even buy games without them. MS had Achievements in from Day 1. Sony broguht them in later. MS had cross game chat and invite in day 1. They had 'press one button to see notification' since day 1 too. The main improvement MS have made is the 8 person party chat...other than that they had most of the best things about the Xbox which was ease of from day 1.

Sony caught up to that eventually and are still a little behind without the chat.

But...well, Sony had more games. Nuff said for me.

rainslacker1586d ago


I will admit, in my post I wasn't really considering multi-player. I'm probably the polar opposite of you in this regard. I rarely play the MP portion of games, and when i do it's usually not for very long.

Anyhow, in all these years, your reason for paying for XBL is about the only one that seems like it isn't some sort of defense, and is actually very reasonable. Connecting people is important when it comes to MP, otherwise it does tend to feel a bit barren. I can't speak to XBL as I don't have it, but I will admit that Sony could work on that a bit more, and hopefully we'll see that in the PS4. The Vita seems to be a step in the right direction, but it's not what I'd consider intuitive to the lay-man.

your points
a: can't speak to that. Seems rather anecdotal. I will have to disagree though, as it seems that a pay wall will eventually cause some people to go away just because they stop believing in the price of entry.

b: I agree

c: This one I understand. But again, I don't see how you should have to pay to use those apps. I know it's the most common reason people state that it's not worth it and it adds false value, but it seems those services should be free, particularly if NextBox wants to win the living room.

d: I think exclusives are important because they help define the systems. Nintendo is known for Zelda and Mario. MS is known for Halo, Gears, etc. Sony is known for GT, Uncharted, many PS1 IP's, etc. Third party is also important, but for the most part if it's available on any system, then when it comes to games, it's the exclusives which set a console apart. Other things that set consoles apart from one another is the services they provide, the user experience, and the overall social structure between them. All of it plays a part, and the exclusives are obviously important to a lot of people, which is why they exist.

np at the wall of text. I do it routinely.:)

nukeitall1586d ago


"a: can't speak to that. Seems rather anecdotal. I will have to disagree though, as it seems that a pay wall will eventually cause some people to go away just because they stop believing in the price of entry."

It is from personal experience. Heck, I have multiple accounts myself. It used to be worse before trophies though, as people werent even attached to their account.

That said, I haven't really noticed anyone stop playing on Xbox LIVE and shift to another platform because it is free. I mean PC has existed for a long time, and so have PSN.

However, yes, some people will turn away and some people will be barred from trying because of the fee. However, those that stick around are the ones I want to play with. They play enough that they are willing to pay.

This of course might shift in the future as MS introduces other services that people sign up for instead of gaming.

"c: This one I understand. But again, I don't see how you should have to pay to use those apps. I know it's the most common reason people state that it's not worth it and it adds false value, but it seems those services should be free, particularly if NextBox wants to win the living room."

It's kind of pointless to really discuss this. Why? Do you ask if the people that buy Coach handbags why they pay for it? Or if Nike shows are really better? Sure they are, and so is Xbox Live apps than many other platforms. They are tailored to the console by MS and the newest features appear on the platform so MS wants to be compensated for it. Netflix was first on Xbox and they are further moving in that direction. Some is a hit, others are not.

It's one of those things where it is a premium service.

My take on it is, if you don't like it, don't pay for it. Let the others that do, use it.

I don't complain about people buying Nike shoes or Coach handbags.

"d: I think exclusives are important because they help define the systems."

That is true in the past, when consoles was strictly about gaming. Now a days that is less and less true. The Wii didn't sell on the strength of Mari/Zelda, nor did Xbox 360's exclusive really move the needle late in it's lifecycle. The PS3 was early on sold almost strictly as a blu-ray player.

Point being that, it is overall a package of games (exclusives and mulitplatform), features, social integration, price, where your friends game, exciting technology and so on.

It certainly will be interresting.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1586d ago
The_Infected1587d ago

"10 GB of data, and you will be able to start playing the game once you hit a 2GB limit."

Wasn't the PS4 suppose to do the same thing but even quicker? I thought PS4 was suppose to let you play almost as soon as you start the download?

LOGICWINS1587d ago

Its SUPPOSED to, but we haven't seen this in effect yet. How good a person's Internet connection is will play a role.

Snookies121587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

I doubt the PS4 would let you play it as soon as it starts downloading. It has to allocate some time to get things in order. The game would look like a mess if it tried to load open worlds and whatnot with only like 20 MB downloaded lol. (Unless of course Gaikai comes into effect. I could possibly see them having the entire game uploaded to the Gaikai database, and allowing you access to stream that while downloading the game yourself.)

Regardless, we'll have to wait and see just how much is needed to start playing. Either way, this is a great innovation no matter who came up with it first. It's good to see that both are embracing it.

matrixman921587d ago

if it let you start playing as soon as it started would MAYBE get a sound effect before the game crashed lol

GribbleGrunger1587d ago

I honestly can't see how an open world game could use this, especially when some open world games give you complete access to the world from the moment you start.

a08andan1587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

Well I think that when doing this on ps4, when you start to download a game, you fill first begin playing it through Gaikai while files are being downloaded in the background. Once enough files has been downloaded it will switch over to the local files when you for example switch area in the game. Or sumthin like that :)

GribbleGrunger1587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

Very good point, a08andan. I was actually discussing this possible solution with my son the other day. The only bone of contention is that Sony themselves said that it would download a portion of the game before it would be available to play. Now, if Gaikai WAS a possible solution, surely you would be able to begin playing immediately? We'll see though because it certainly 'sounds' like a feasible solution.

bangshi1587d ago

Just look to World of Warcraft.

Let's you play with very, very little downloaded in advance.

I was actually shocked at how little you have to download.

So to those saying 'open world blah blah' it doesn't matter, it will download what it needs

I'm pretty sure Mark Cerny touched on it downloading the parts it needs to over bits it doesn't depending on what the player does.

rainslacker1587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

It would probably depend on the game itself.

World of Warcraft does this sort of thing. You are required to download a specific set of data required to just start the game, and then the actual resource data is downloaded in background. If you start up, or get to a place, that isn't downloaded yet, it will have a loading screen as it downloads the necessary data. It seemed to me that they could also predict which set of data you might need ahead of time based on where you were, and it would download that to make it as seamless as possible.

No two games are the same, so some sort of intelligent down-loader would be required. It's possible even downloading 2 of 10 GB's wouldn't give you the required files needed to play the game. However, in most cases, games are set up to where the resources are linear. Meaning that the down-loader could make a logical conclusion on which set of data is required next.

Edit: Should have scrolled down more. Bangshi already addressed WOW.

TrailerParkSupervisr1587d ago

@gribble. Well it would be safe to assume when downloading an open world title it would just download the map area first. Cut scenes, quests that don't appear til later in game can be downloaded later. Same for all audio. Even in a game like sky rim. You are not going to be able to do everything in 30 minutes.

humbleopinion1587d ago

Two different things:
Microsoft is letting you play games which are downloaded to your own harddrive, by basically preloading the first chunk of the game and launching it.
Sony is using cloud service to let you play (PS3) games without downloading them to your hard drive. Your PS4 is basically acting as a streamer in this regards, and the game itself is never downloaded to your console.

UnholyLight1587d ago

As much as I would like to believe the PS4 is able to let you play as soon as you start the download, I think maybe it's more a figurative statement but who knows. Like Snookes12 says, the whole Gaikai thing may make it possible..

Not to mention that this is also a vision, much like how PSN and Xbox Live have been constantly overhauled and improved over the years I am sure this service is one of those things. It probably WILL become instant someday, but who knows if that will happen at launch, year 1, year 2 etc?? If I remember correctly the Gaikai thing was working towards this type of integration and having some aspect of it at the beginning stages, but not the full thing! Correct me if I am wrong people :)

hesido1587d ago

This is all up to the developers. What the next gen consoles will do is to allow developers to let players start their game after necessary amount of data is downloaded. This will be possible as the underlying game OS will be providing them with the necessary "hooks" to the download mechanism of the consoles. The devs will probably be able to arrange and mark contents within the download archive and know precisely how much of the required parts have downloaded, courtesy of the console's OS.

If the developer doesn't use this functionality (they will be encouraged to use this, incentives may apply), this feature won't be used at all, it is not magic wand.

hesido1586d ago

@People thinking you will start playing stream from Gaikai. This doesn't make sense as the Gaikai stream will choke the bandwidth so much the actual game will not be able to download. If you have a fast connection that can do both, you may as well wait half an hour to download the whole game.

What will happen is, after minimum amount of data for starting the game is downloaded, the game will start. No gaikai streams, I assure you. Some type of games can really make good use of this, for example an RPG game will let you create your character while downloading the first chapter/world of the game. If you finish making your character early, you'd still have to wait.

extermin8or1586d ago

yeah the ps4 is suppossed to be able to use Gaikai to start streaming immediatly- then eventually once a certain amounts downloaded you can play off your system files- although they did say that the immediate play might not be available day one, but they did say the 1st part involving GAIKAI might not be a day 1 thing...

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 1586d ago
Jek_Porkins1587d ago

You realize that Microsoft probably had this in development long before Sony showed it off right? That is how console development works, they don't see what Sony does and say "We need to do that too!", there simply wouldn't be enough time.

Looks like Microsoft and Sony have the same ideas for going after just about every type of gamer and will offer similar experiences.

MasterCornholio1587d ago

" "We need to do that too!", there simply wouldn't be enough time. "

Which is why Sony purchased a firm that has been working on this tech since 2008.

"On July 2, 2012 shortly after rumors on the Internet started to appear, Sony Computer Entertainment announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire the cloud-based service for $380 million USD.[25]"

Ever since i got fiber optics im extremely excited for this tech.

Mr_Writer851587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

You realise that this story is from a website that don't report gaming news? If it ran a story with something bad to say about the Xbox you would dismiss the site for wanting hits.

Has any gaming website reported this? How come their sources can tell them about all the 'always online' and 'no used game' and 'Kinect/living room focus'.

But only the sourse for digital books/comics website knows of the streaming of digital downloads?

Now this could all be true, but if you question one news story with no evidence to back it up, surely you must do it for all of them?

dcbronco1586d ago (Edited 1586d ago )


Pimping gamers for hits on your site is a thing now. Gamers made EA the worst company in America while unemployment, foreclosures and corporate crime are at a all time high. Fanboy attitudes make for easy marks. Non-gaming sites will continue to use gamer because gamers allow it and because in the business world gamers are in that category that spends a lot of disposable cash. Even if you have a site that gamers won't spend on, your hits will show an advertiser that you get attention and your site will make more. Half of Forbe's articles seem to be gaming because after the more people realize that none of the "experts" have a clue. But a fanboy can still be pimped.

AngelicIceDiamond1587d ago

@Deebo Lol next gen consoles were gonna do it anyway.

turnerdc1587d ago (Edited 1587d ago )

Lol, just like OnLive guided Sony? Share button, live spectating, game streaming, game recording, free trial with every game? Yup, all done by OnLive over 2 years ago. Also I'm sure this was done way before Sony and Microsoft even thought of it. The earliest I can remember is Blizzard allowing you to play your games after a certain limit while they were downloading. In the end though, EVERY company looks at others for ideas and inspiration. To deny that is just being a fanboy.

ichimaru1587d ago

is that...Sense? Hey guys this man has common Sense! get him!!!