Microsoft at Gamescom announced it would enable Xbox One pre-loading this fall. It turns out the company has one-upped itself, as pre-loading is already available today for Madden NFL 15.
Madden NFL 15 doesn’t launch until next week. Those who pre-ordered the game now have the option to download the full game in advance. They will then be able to play it immediately upon the game’s release at midnight on Aug. 26.
The option to use Xbox One pre-loading for Madden NFL 15 obviously has no impact on those who ordered the Madden NFL Xbox One bundle. Those people don’t yet have an Xbox One console to begin with.
Originally Microsoft announced Xbox One pre-loading would debut with FIFA 15 (Sept. 26) and Forza Horizon 2 (Sept. 30). Fortunately for Electronic Arts, which publishes both the Madden and FIFA franchises, the company can still claim it was “first” to offer pre-loading on Microsoft’s platform.
That’s not to say EA is the first company to offer it at all. It also doesn’t hide the fact that Xbox One is among the last platforms to offer pre-loading. PC gamers have enjoyed pre-loading for years via Steam, and PS4 owners have had the ability to pre-load games since June.
Xbox One owners are the first, however, to participate in the EA Access subscription program. Microsoft has embraced EA’s plan weeks ago while Sony rebuffed it. Through the EA Access program, subscribers can play Madden NFL right now, though only for six hours.