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.

This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we could earn a small commission if you click-through and make a purchase. Stevivor is an independent outlet and our journalism is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

About the author

Steve Wright

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


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    • Agreed. Was wondering, would it be a better idea to buy a higher capacity Xbox One X if it’s offered, or just buy the standard 1TB model and get a 2TB+ external w/ USB 3.0?

  • Makes perfect sense to me. Put the main assets required for original XB1 systems on disc so all games play in both systems no prob, then leave the 4K assets required for XB1X as specified download for XB1X systems ONLY..

  • So I’ve got a question (genuine, not troll) – I own an Xbox One S and intend to get Forza 7 at launch. My plan was to buy the game, install it to my external drive and then just connect that to my Xbox One X (that is, when the FCC finally pull their finger out and I can actually buy one)! Would I still be able to keep it on my external drive and just download the assets to the X (so if I feel like having a drive on the S I don’t have to download all new assets)?

    • Good question. I think that you have to download patches to the same game file you can’t have the 4k patch on the X internal and the game external. Prob the best solution I can see is copy Forza onto the S internal and keep it there for when you want to go back to the S. Plug external into the X and download the patch as presumably the X will become your main console so you’ll want to use your external HDD with the X.

      • It’s ‘probably’ possible – I’m forever having to move files around because I keep changing where stuff installs to, and I know it will run with DLC on the Internal and the main game on the External or vice-versa.

        Game assets might be a different story though…