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4K assets for games will only go out to Xbox One X owners, says Microsoft

Huge downloads should go only to those who need them

Forza Motorsport 7 - race lineup
The field at the beginning of a race in Forza 7
Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

When it launches, only those who have the Xbox One X will download the assets optimizing games for its 4K capabilities. Those with a regular Xbox One won't, Microsoft said yesterday.

This is in contrast to the downloads for games on the PlayStation 4 Pro, whose optimization assets are pushed to everyone with the game, regular PS4 or Pro.

Stevivor got confirmation from Microsoft about Xbox One X asset distribution yesterday. It's not a trivial issue. Forza Motorsport 7's Xbox One X version clocks in at a 100 GB download — meaning that getting an Xbox One X without also owning a 4K TV means giving over a significant chunk of the new console's 1 TB hard drive to assets that aren't used.

Microsoft also told Stevivor that it will provide developers with "tools to make downloads more efficient.

"We have made available a feature which will give [developers] significant flexibility when it comes to what gets installed on a user's console," the company said in its statement. That includes language-specific assets, which can slim the size of a download. In any case, it will be up to developers to take advantage of these options.

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