Xbox One
Xbox One

Xbox One fans anxious to get their hands on the latest game titles will have an easier time, thanks to a new downloading feature Microsoft recently announced for its next-gen console. The Redmond, Wash., company confirmed on Monday to videogame website Polygon that the Xbox One will allow users to play games while they are downloading content to the system's hard drive.

Microsoft announced the Xbox One console at the E3 Expo in May. The company said the Xbox One would require users to install disc-based games, which will be playable while they are being installed. It, however, didn't indicate how that functionality would work with games being downloaded from Xbox Live. Since then, Microsoft has clarified that users will be able to download part of a game and play that part while later levels download in the background.

This feature might make the Xbox One more appealing to gamers. The console has received mixed reviews since its came out, with many gamers criticizing its originally planned digital rights management policies and always-online requirements, which have since been revised. Many have also taken issue with the fact that the Xbox One will be region locked, meaning the device will only be available and functional in select countries upon its November release.

Nevertheless, the Xbox One has been in fierce pre-release competition with Sony’s PlayStation 4, with both devices selling out of presale units at several retailers. Sony recently announced that the PlayStation 4 will also have a functionality that will allow users to play games as they download. Sony’s functionality will allow users to select between single-player or multiplayer levels as their primary download. The Xbox One is expected to work similarly, but that hasn't been confirmed.

It's notable that while the Xbox One requires users to install games from physical discs onto the console, discs are still needed to subsequently play games. The partial download gameplay option will likely benefit gamers who don’t want to deal with physical discs, as well as for gamers with slower Internet speeds.

Where it is still available, the Xbox One is selling for $499.99, though most retailers appear to be sold out of pre-release units. The PlayStation 4 is $399.99 and will release in December.

Do you think the partial download gameplay option on the Xbox One is a good feature? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter @FionnaatIBT.