Start Playing Sooner: Microsoft Rolls Out Xbox FastStart


Hate waiting for games to download? Xbox has a solution.

The July Xbox update, which started rolling out yesterday, includes a feature called FastStart, which will let you jump into the action after downloading a fraction of a game. First announced at E3, FastStart “works by identifying which files are needed to begin playing and prioritizes the download of those files first,” Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb explained in a blog post. That way you can “quickly jump into full-fidelity gameplay while the remainder of your title downloads in the background.”

Microsoft says this new feature will get you into your game in half the time it would normally take, which should be great news for impatient gamers.

This feature is currently enabled for English-language titles in the Xbox Game Pass catalog, and Microsoft plans to expand it to “more games in more languages over time,” Hryb wrote. To try it out, find a FastStart-enabled title in the catalog and press “Download.”

Besides that, the update brings a new organizational feature that lets you create Groups of games and apps. Groups you create will appear on My Games & Apps, Home, and Guide and automatically sync across all Xbox One consoles tied to your Xbox Live account.

“You can also assign custom names to each Group, organize and order them, and add individual Groups to Home,” Hyrb wrote.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something, you can now just press the Y button anywhere in the dashboard to bring up the search dialog.

The July Xbox Update also makes it easier to use Share Controller on the web. First introduced in March, Share Controller lets Mixer streamers on Xbox One share their controller with a viewer watching via Mixer.com.

“First, we’ve enabled full mouse and keyboard support for PC users, along with Share Controller Key Bindings,” Hyrb explained. “Second, we’ve added multi-touch support for touch-enabled devices. This allows multiple controls to be used at the same time! For example, you can control the joystick and press A at the same time on your touch laptop.”

New leaderboards will show which viewers who have contributed to a streamer’s channel the most.

Finally, Mixer streamers can now switch to full-screen webcam broadcasting at any time. When you switch to this mode, game audio is muted automatically. Hyrb said this feature is “perfect for talking to your audience while switching from game to game or setting up before you start playing.”



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