Xbox One Install Times “Should Be Faster,” Microsoft Exec Admits

Posted: October 24, 2014 in Game Articles

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by Eddie Makuch

Improving Xbox One install times ranks highly on Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s platform priority list, though it remains to be seen when gamers might start to see zippier install periods.

“It’s high on my priority list,” Spencer told IGN.

Part of the reason that Xbox One install times are slower than PlayStation 4 times in some cases, Spencer said, is a result of Microsoft dropping the always-online requirement for Xbox One. He said Xbox One launch titles like Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome were developed with the assumption that all Xbox Ones would always be connected to the Internet, but this changed. “The change to having to deal with an offline-only state meant that all the install code-flows weren’t as perfect as they could be,” Spencer admitted.

“It’s really our developer pipeline and our ingestion system where we have to do the most work” — Spencer said about improving Xbox One install times

In response to this, Spencer asked him team to install third-party games on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to measure the differences in install times. He said in some cases, Xbox One install times are in fact faster, but in others, Microsoft’s console does “significantly worse.”

“Are there systemtic reasons for that? Our drive’s obviously the same speed, moving stuff into memory takes the same amount of time; hard drive speed’s basically the same, so what’s going on?” he said. “I’m capturing the data. I want to be state-of-the-art in install times so people can start playing games as soon as possible. It’s high on my priority list.”

So what, then, is the issue? Spencer wouldn’t say outright, acknowledging only that, “There isn’t one thing to say why are we two seconds slower on this game or frankly why are we two seconds faster on a different game. The issues are a little bit in the weeds. It’s really our developer pipeline and our ingestion system where we have to do the most work.”

“I’m not defending it at all, because I do think install times should be faster,” he added.

Asked to specify where on the roadmap improving Xbox One install times is, Spencer reiterated that it’s high on his priority list, though he didn’t have a specific timeline to share.

“It’s kind of a constant,” he said. “It’s one of the things that’s on top of my list in terms of the parity experience between us and Sony, and making sure that the install times aren’t deficient on Xbox in any way.”

In January, Spencer first admitted that Xbox One install times need to improve. What are your thoughts on Xbox One install times? Let us know in the comments below.

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