Play games while you download them on Xbox One, Microsoft announces

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jul 16, 2013 05:10 PM EDT

Here's something interesting. It's been confirmed that players will be able to play a game while it downloads on Microsoft's Xbox One, whether it's a digital title players grab from Xbox Live, or a disc based game.

Having to wait for a game to install was a bit of an adjustment, but it was something that most gamers got used to. Personally, I never minded it too much. It gave me time to empty my bladder, make a sandwich, or familiarize myself with my new disc based joy with games' ever decreasing in size instruction manual, but that's another story. Hell, sometimes I'd do all three if I was in a serious multitasking kind of mood. Not the most sanitary course of action though.

The feature isn't instant though. The game will only become playable once the download reaches a certain percentage. It's a nice touch, but it definitely won't be a deciding factor for consumers, as, on the flip side, a Sony engineer said the company's PlayStation 4 will allow for gamers to do the same thing, likewise with the percentage. Neither company has specified an exact percentage though.

As far as more comparison notes, both consoles are expected to arrive in November later this year, though only Microsoft has provided a release window, citing November specifically. Sony has yet to provide a specific date, let alone a window.

No matter your preferred futuristic console, both have been high in demand at some of the big name retailers. Pre-orders have sold out for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at stores like Target, Best Buy, GameStop and so on, forcing retailers to have to bring in more stock to ensure pre-order demands are met upon release. Don't expect to find any deals on eBay either.

Microsoft had a bit of a calamity with their PR campaign for the Xbox One. At the console's official reveal, Microsoft policies included a mandatory online check in every 24 hours, limited ability to trade, share, and sell used games, and an ever listening Kinect. After considerable backlash, Microsoft finally decide to remove most of their policies on the Xbox One, but it's still left a sour taste in most gamers' mouths.

The Xbox One will retail for $499, and Sony's PlayStation 4 for $399.

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