Why it matters: Digital game downloads are convenient, but they aren't perfect. For some users, it can take dozens of hours for a game to finish installing. Microsoft is partially solving this problem today with FastStart, an Xbox One feature that prioritizes critical game files to let you play "select" games while they download in the background.
Though the Xbox versus PlayStation debate has raged on for the better part of the last decade, both systems are pretty comparable in the end. Which device a given gamer buys typically comes down to personal taste or exclusive game preferences.
However, Microsoft is looking to gain a tangible, if slight, advantage over Sony with an upcoming software update. The update will include "FastStart," which is a feature designed to address one of the biggest frustrations of modern gaming: Being forced to wait for your titles to download before you can play them.
For those with a poor internet connection, these wait times can sometimes be several hours, if not days long. Naturally, this isn't ideal, particularly for those who play competitive titles in which getting early access to the game can give you an advantage over your late-coming peers.
FastStart aims to solve this problem by offering a Blizzard-like "play the game while it's downloading" system. The feature works by prioritizing the download of critical game files to let you start playing as fast as possible. Microsoft says players will be able to jump into the game "twice as fast" as they could previously.
However, there are two restrictions worth mentioning with FastStart - it's only available for "select" English-language games for now, and players will need to have at least a 20MB internet connection to take advantage of it.
At any rate, if you want to try FastStart for yourself, it's available today as part of Microsoft's July Xbox Update.