E3 2018: Jump into Games Twice as Fast with FastStart

Here at Xbox, we love to play games just as much as you do, so we understand how frustrating it can be to have to wait to play a game after you start downloading it. And with Xbox Game Pass, there are more reasons than ever to explore the catalog and find your next favorite game. That’s why we’re excited to announce FastStart, a new innovation from our Xbox Platform team that allows you to jump into your games twice as fast and play after downloading just a fraction of it.

Here’s how it works: FastStart identifies which files are needed to begin playing and prioritizes the download of those files first, enabling you to quickly jump into full-fidelity gameplay while the remainder of your title downloads in the background. Simply find the FastStart-enabled title you want to play in our catalog, hit ‘Download’ and your console will take care of the rest. It’s that simple.

Unlike the current “Ready to Start” system, which is manually configured during development, FastStart uses machine learning based on how gamers actually play each game. What’s more, as an Xbox platform-level feature, developers will not be required to do any extra work for their titles to experience the benefits of FastStart. While FastStart does not speed up download times, by identifying which files are needed to begin gameplay and prioritizing the download of those files first, you can expect to jump into your game, on average, twice as fast as you did previously. 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.

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 minimizing the possibility of experiencing gameplay interruptions.

You won’t have to wait long to experience the benefits of FastStart, as it will launch soon as part of the June update. For our initial release, a select number of popular titles will be enabled for FastStart. We’ll begin with English language versions of titles in our Xbox Game Pass catalog and then will expand to more games in more languages over time that are in Xbox Game Pass and on the Xbox platform. For a list of supported titles when FastStart launches and for full details, visit https://aka.ms/FastStartGames and stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more on FastStart.