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Pre-downloads coming to Xbox One this year

Phil Spencer labels it "one of our most requested features"

Microsoft is updating Xbox One to allow games to be pre-downloaded and accessible the moment they are released.

The service will become available on a game-by-game basis, beginning with Forza Horizon 2 and FIFA 15. No further games were announced as featuring the pre-download functionality.

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Microsoft announced the new service during its Gamescom press conference on Tuesday, amid a spate of game and hardware reveals, including a Tomb Raider exclusivity deal and a trio of hardware bundles.

Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, said pre-downloading was one of the "most requested" Xbox One features.

It works by installing a game onto the Xbox One ahead of its release, and allowing that data to be accessible the moment the game is officially released. This, in theory, eliminates download times preventing people from playing the moment a game goes live.

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