Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's Netflix-style games service is getting an upgrade called FastStart. According to the company, it will allow you to get into games twice as fast compared to the tech used in Xbox Game Pass right now. It will be made available for select titles in an update later this month. In addition to this, big name games such as The Division, Fallout 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and The Elder Scrolls Online will be coming to Xbox Game Pass as well. Microsoft also reiterated that its upcoming titles like Forza Horizon 4 and Crackdown 3 will be coming to the service day one while third-party games such as Ashen and Warhammer: Vermintide 2 are on the way as well.
And while Microsoft touted the benefits of FastStart on stage at its E3 2018 event, the fine print suggests you'll need a 20Mbps line to get the best of it.
"Games will still download based on your local bandwidth, and you’ll need to have an internet connection with at least a 20Mbps download speed to take advantage of FastStart. That minimum speed helps maximize the number of users who can take advantage of FastStart while minimising the possibility of experiencing gameplay interruptions," reads a post from Jason Ronald, Principal Group Program Manager, Xbox Platform on the official Xbox site.
This caveat notwithstanding, the FastStart system uses machine learning and doesn't require developers to do any extra work to optimise their games for FastStart. That said, Ronald's post states that FastStart doesn't speed up download times. Instead, it identifies files needed to begin gameplay first and prioritises those over others, which could result in massive benefits over time.
"That means if a game previously took 30 minutes to download and play, you will now be able to begin gameplay after just 15 minutes. In addition, since FastStart takes advantage of machine learning, we will continue to improve our algorithm over time getting players into the fun as soon as possible," the post continues.
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