Games are getting larger, and thankfully storage is also getting cheaper and smaller. Progress in internet speed isn't quite as rapid, however, and rural areas often struggle to keep up.
We heard hints of this back in June, with confirmations that only the Xbox One X will have to download 4K. It now seems the system is more far reaching.
According to Digital Foundry, Intelligent Delivery will let developers add tags to certain elements for customization. Users can then forgo audio and cutscenes in different languages.
When combining both elements, the savings could be huge. Games like Forza 7 could be as high as 100GB in 4K, which could take days on a slow connection. Remove the 4K assets and uncompressed, language specific commentary, and that could fall significantly.
It's up to Developers
The impact, however, will vary depending on the game and developer effort. Sports games will see the greatest effect, while games with no 4K support and little dialogue will be relatively unchanged.
If developers go further in their efforts, however, we could potentially see more drastic options. Players may be able to download multiplayer experiences separately or delete the campaign once they're finished.
Microsoft has also made it clear that Intelligent Delivery can be applied to existing games, as well as upcoming ones. It may have an effect on physical copies, allowing users to forgo a multi-disk installation process.
With many of the original consoles sporting small hard drives, this technology could be a saving grace, and it would be great to see the same on PC and other platforms.