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Only Xbox One X will download 4K assets for available games

Xbox One X consoles will be the only ones in the Xbox One family to download 4K assets for compatible games, Microsoft has today confirmed with Stevivor.

Using the estimated 100GB download of the 4K-compatible Forza Motorsport 7 as a guide, Stevivor asked Microsoft how an Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X would each handle the download.

“With the launch of Xbox One X, when it comes to game content our intention is to download the correct assets to the correct console,” a Microsoft representative told Stevivor, steering away from Forza 7 specifically.

Assets are tied to your console and not the TV it’s connected to, Microsoft stressed.

“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.”

It’s important to note that while an Xbox One S can output games in 4K, it upscales from their 1080p source. The Xbox One S can also output using HDR, but that doesn’t appear to impact download sizes between it and the original Xbox One.

Moreover, Microsoft advised it will give “developers tools to make downloads more efficient” on both Xbox One S and Xbox One X.

“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,” the Microsoft representative continued. “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.”

Microsoft promised to share more “on additional features… for end users” in the coming months.

We’ve asked Microsoft if Windows PC downloads are being addressed in a similar fashion — specifically, if PCs that cannot output in 4K will download 4K content. We’ll update this story when Microsoft replies.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.