So, the news has broke that those buying fancy new Xbox One X consoles later this year may have to download 4K texture packs.
Surely that’s a good thing, right? It means that standard Xbox One owners don’t have to waste storage space with assets they’re never going to use. Well, surprise, surprise, according to the internet, it’s just wrong, Microsoft is a bastard, and the world’s going to end. Okay, so perhaps I’m making the last one up, but you get the point.
At this point, the mid-generation console refresh seems to be more hassle than it’s worth for platform holders. Developers obviously can’t be arsed to make the best use of them, and consumers seemingly just get annoyed at the mere mention of them doing, or not doing, anything differently.
I mean, come on, what’s the point of a machine being able to output 4K without 4K textures? And did gamers really think that it somehow wouldn’t require more storage space? More importantly, did they really expect them to fit on a disc, and for everyone to have to install them whether or not they owned an Xbox One X? Gamers, use some common sense, please.
Forums are awash with posters complaining about downloads and data caps, but who the fuck these days has limited broadband bandwidth, especially if you’re a gamer? Trust me, if you do, the Xbox One X is not targeted at you. Gaming now requires the internet, and decent internet at that. Live with it. Whether you’re playing on a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, or Nintendo Switch, the internet is pretty much a necessity. Stop acting like having to download some assets to make games look nicer – something that we’re all asking for, pretty much all the chuffing time – is a hardship. It really isn’t.
And then there are those specifically groaning about Forza 7 requiring a 100gb download. My heart well and truly bleeds. Let’s face it, on a standard Xbox One it’s likely to take up 50gb or more anyway. ‘But it’s going to use up a great deal of the Xbox One X’s 1tb drive!’, they complain. For the love of god – just do what everyone else does: plug in an external hard drive and forget about it.
The truth is, most casual gamers will probably never fill a 1tb hard drive, or at least not often enough to make it an issue. Making a higher capacity hard drive the standard would just increase the price of an Xbox One X unit unnecessarily. Plus, going by past experiences, the price of a 2tb portable external hard drive would probably be cheaper than the jump from a 1tb Xbox One X model to a 2tb anyway.
I bought a 4tb external hard drive for less than £100, which fits my entire library on. I don’t even need the internal storage space at all, and it means I can easily move my games to another console without having to painstakingly re-download everything.
So, gamers who want to live on the cutting edge of technology, stop getting your panties in a twist and just jump onboard. If you want breathtaking 4K experiences you need better assets, and better assets take up more space. They’re certainly not going to fit on a game’s disc in most cases, and the sooner you accept that, the better.