Xbox One Pre-Loading Confirmed, Begins with FIFA 15

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Whether accurate or not, there’s a stereotype that gamers are an impatient bunch. Queueing in front of stores for midnight launch parties and pre-ordering games are just two examples. So when Microsoft today at Gamescom confirmed that Xbox One pre-loading is coming in September, Xbox One owners unsurprisingly pumped their fists in the air.

Xbox One pre-loading has been one of the console’s most asked-about features for months. Pre-loading has been available on PCs for years, allowing a soon-to-release game to download onto a user’s computer before its ship date and be ready for activation and play once the official ship date rolls around.

Sony enabled PS4 pre-loading in June, whereas Microsoft at the time was still discussing whether Xbox One pre-loading was a high-demand feature and/or a technical priority.

Apparently it is. Microsoft said Xbox One owners will begin to see pre-loading functionality in September with FIFA 15 and Forza Horizon 2. Those games release Sept. 26 and Sept. 30, respectively.

“Preorder and pre-download gives gamers additional options for where they can purchase game content and the ability to purchase in their preferred format,” Microsoft said in a statement. “This also enables the title to download ahead of availability, so gamers can begin playing immediately upon the release of the game.”

FIFA 15 is likely just the first of many EA-published games that will get the pre-loading treatment. After debuting EA Access yesterday for all Xbox One owners, Electronic Arts has clearly shown it’s “in the game” with respect to strategic Microsoft partnerships. EA Access subscribers will also be the only ones to try Madden NFL 15 without buying it outright.

Many other games are likely to get the Xbox One pre-loading treatment after Forza Horizon 2 hits at the end of September. Activision, another company that’s all-in with Xbox partnerships, could very well release COD: Advanced Warfare for pre-loading, and we may see 2K enable pre-loading for Evolve on Xbox One as well. And other than Forza Horizon 2, we haven’t even touched on first-party games such as Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

What’s your take on Xbox One pre-loading? Is it a feature you’ll use, or is it just a “nice to have”? What games, if any, would you be most likely to pre-load if the option were available? All games, or just some? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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