Xbox One update turbocharges downloads for virtually all users

The update began rolling out Wednesday.

A new update currently rolling out to Microsoft’s Xbox One game console can speed up downloads of games and other content by as much as 80 percent, Microsoft said.

Virtually everyone will benefit from the new update. Users who have broadband connections slower than 100Mbps should see their download speeds increase by up to 40 percent, as a result of Microsoft's update. But it’s those with even speedier connections who should really benefit: Users whose bandwidth exceeds 100 Mbps should experience up to 80 percent faster connections, Microsoft said. Additional improvements in the new update should make background downloads more resilient, and less likely to drop and report errors.

The system update, version 10.0.14393.2152 of the Xbox One software (otherwise known as rs1_xbox_rel_1610 161208-1218) is available to all users, not just members of the Xbox Insider Program. To find your console’s OS version, you’ll need to access Settings > All Settings > System > Console Info & Updates > OS Version.

Why this matters: The original Xbox One can operate in one of two states: instant-on mode, where it remains in standby much of the time, and an energy-saving mode, where it is essentially “off” when powered down. If you’ve chosen instant-on mode, this update doesn’t matter as much, as the console will power itself on, download updates automatically, then drop back into standby without any intervention from you.

In energy-saving mode, downloads and updates are only processed when you manually turn on the console...and then sit and wait while the game you want to play is updated. So why would you choose energy-saving mode? Instant-on mode uses 15 watts of power (versus 0.5W for energy-saving), so those with high electricity bills might choose the cheaper route—and now they’ll get into their games even faster than before.

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Mark Hachman

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