Xbox July Update brings official FastStart support for select titles, app/game grouping, more

The Xbox One July Update just started rolling out today, and along with it come several very welcomed additions. FastStart and grouping are both included in this new update, with the former being my favorite addition.

We all have a horror story of day 1 updates to games or picking up our favorite title from a massive sale and being hit with a massive download size, only to realize it’ll be hours before you can start playing. FastStart can help remedy this on select titles, with that list growing as the exclusive-to-Xbox service gets more popular.

I still remember a time before Internet-connected consoles. Going to GameStop and picking up the latest Madden football or Cabela’s hunting game for GameCube, and then playing the title as soon as I got home. Man, those were the days.

Fast forward and next-generation consoles like the Wii/PS3/Xbox 360 came out. With Internet connectivity, updates started to happen for both systems and games, delaying players from gaming when they wanted to most. Though not as large, and with the ability to game while offline on those consoles, updates or downloading games from servers always added a bit of waiting for players and a little frustration too.

Then you have today, where some games require day one updates of 60GB just to be playable, that is, until FastStart. FastStart enables certain games to become in half the time (reportedly) than before. Through crowdsourced information, your console will “know” what content you��ll likely experience at the beginning of the game, and prioritize the download of it.

This will allow you to start playing games much faster than before, as you’ll have the beginning content downloaded before anything with the rest being installed in the background. Though some games previously supported a similar style, this is a new technology unique and patented to Microsoft for use on Xbox only, which promises to bring better speed.

Obviously your Internet connection is a determining factor, and Microsoft says that you need at least a 20Mbps download speed in order to use FastStart.

Also coming in the July Xbox Update is grouping of apps. This means you’ll be able to have specific folders within your app/game pages to sort things better. In Microsoft’s blog post, one group featured was “❤ 100% Complete” to show what games you’d already completely beat, leaving the unfinished titles at the top or in another folder for later completion.

This update is available now and FastStart is enabled on select Xbox Game Pass titles. Microsoft says that FastStart will come to more games in the coming months and years, and we can only hope that AAA titles like Call of Duty or Battlefield eventually adopt this new feature.

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