At this year’s E3 Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would support running Xbox 360 games natively. Games you have available to download will appear in your Games to Install section of the My Games & Apps application on your Xbox One.
The game will download to your Xbox One’s hard drive or in my case, my external storage, depending on how you have your system setup.
When the game is done downloading it appears in your games listing, right next to the other Xbox One titles. If you want to play your Xbox 360 disc based games, you’ll need to hang onto those discs.
It’s also worth mentioning that many people instinctively think of Apple’s iCloud for such comparisons, but iCloud isn’t really a cloud service in the same way as this. On an annual basis, the next-cheapest service is Google Drive which, in terms of plan flexibility, is definitely the un-SkyDrive.
In fact, I was surprised to see that the cost per GB generally stays the same as you buy larger blocks of storage. Another pricing point worth mentioning: Dropbox, Google Drive and SugarSync have versioning and the ability to restore deleted files. You’d think the cost of the service would vary with the amount of storage you buy, but it appears to be a fixed cost on any plan. For a business concerned with conserving bandwidth from remote users this could be a cool feature. The SugarSync feature chart does have some self-serving elements in it; for instance, in the platform support section it lists everything SugarSync supports, but not the platforms it doesn't (like Windows Phone).
Speaking of storing your images in the cloud, SugarSync and Dropbox can be set up to backup photos you take on a device automatically to your cloud storage. I haven’t talked much about Google Drive, but it would seem to be the winner based purely on specs and price, the dot in the top-right if this were a Gartner Magic Quadrant. I’ve been falling in love with OneNote 2013 lately, shifting over to it after losing patience with all the bugs in Evernote (another story at another time).
One implication of it is that I’ll have to hold on to SkyDrive if I want to keep using OneNote. Microsoft will ship the Xbox One to customers on Friday with a built in 500GB hard drive that's been designed not to be removed or upgraded. Now the first reviews of the Xbox One have come in and they have confirmed that the console will not allow owners to view just how much useable storage space is available on the hard drive.
With Forza 5 and Ryse installed to the hard drive, in addition to a number of other review titles, our concern now is all about storage management. Neowin contacted Microsoft to ask why the Xbox One lacks a traditional storage viewing or management features. There also no word yet on just how much of the 500GB hard drive is actually useable out of the box, with no game or app installs. The bottom line is that people who get their console on Friday will not have a direct way to know if that long awaited game they are installing on their hard drive will be able to fit alongside all the other games and content they have already saved. Q: For Xbox 360 with cloud-based storage enabled, when does the local cache of the cloud content synchronize with the cloud storage? A: The new cloud-based storage for Xbox 360 is a great mechanism for synchronizing game saves and small data sets between all your Xbox machines, avoiding the need to carry around a USB key.
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That may not be completely true, but for all intents and purposes the result is that Xbox 360 games run on the Xbox One. Maybe at some point you will be able to buy Xbox 360 games directly, but at the moment this is not possible. It’s not just a straight disc image dump to Xbox Live, some prep work has to go into putting these games on the Xbox One. If you want to transfer your 360 save over, you’ll need to do so using your Xbox 360 system. It’s a little sparse as far as supported titles go, but I am sure Microsoft will continue to add games and improve the emulator.
My opinion is that it got this good reputation for a simple reason: It has the best software. Think of iCloud more as a set of synchronization protocols, along with some specialized feature backup, and you’ll understand it better. I’m not going to include Box because a) I hated its software that much and b) while it does have a free 5GB account, it seems to be targeting its services purely for business users.
Beyond that, presumably it refers you to SkyDrive Pro, but this is not a reasonable alternative.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never gone up that high on my Dropbox account, but if you wanted to use the service as a photo or video archive, SkyDrive could easily be inadequate.
Including the free plan it has 9 levels of service, moving up in pseudo-powers of 2 from 100 GB to 16 TB.
Dropbox charges an extra $39 per year for this service (which it calls Packrat) which makes it more expensive than SugarSync if you use this feature. Docs, Sheets or Slides, your files in those services don’t count against your Google Drive budget. I heard good things about it some time back and, from a features standpoint, it compares very favorably to the field.  Here’s SugarSync’s feature chart comparison of it vs.
It also takes some attachment scanning burden off the email gateway (and puts it on some other gateway or the client scanner, but that still may be desirable). As for the rest of feature chart, the other differences that matter (to me at least) revolve around more flexibility in choosing which files to sync with the cloud. I’m especially impressed that it has a very high free storage number and very high ends for storage purchase. If your storage needs are modest meaning 107 GB or less, and that’s a lot of storage for most people, then you can save money on SkyDrive and it works well enough. I can keep notebooks elsewhere, SkyDrive Pro included, but they won’t be visible on mobile devices. At first, the company announced that the console would support adding external storage but later said the feature would not be available for launch.
For saved games, settings, and other information that Xbox One customers save to the cloud, space is virtually unlimited. Considering that some Xbox One launch titles have large install footprints, up to 43GB in one case, that could be a big problem in the near future. I’ve tried a bunch of these services in the past: Box, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive. Google Drive was OK as was SkyDrive, but at the time Dropbox seemed the best deal because the software was drop-dead simple and many of the people I was working with already used it. To use these services effectively you have to install their client software (Windows, Mac, various mobile operating systems). I even install certain programs there, like the Sysinternals utilities, so that I only have to keep one location up to date.


Unlike the other services which have a "business" plan, SkyDrive Pro is really a completely separate service, part of Office 365. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has confused things by using the same name for two different, incompatible products or services. It’s sort of like Hightail (formerly YouSendIt), but I like the synergy with the cloud service.
A smart thumbnail is a lower-resolution version of an image; Windows pre-fetches smart thumbnails so scrolling will be fast. This is a bizarre set of circumstances for Office 365 users who would normally put their notebooks on SkyDrive Pro. Unfortunately, compared to SkyDrive and Google Drive, the price is kind of steep, especially north of 100GB. As far as we can tell, there is no storage overview to tell you how much hard drive space remains or allow you to delete items in one centralized location.
On the internal hard drive in each Xbox One, games and apps can be uninstalled or reinstalled instantly with the click of the Xbox One menu button. Any cloud storage service that also supported all the platforms I need would do as well… wouldn’t it?
I have a 200GB Dropbox account, the subscription for which expires in October, so I thought I would re-evaluate things. As I’ll explain below, the differences which may have justified a premium price for Dropbox in the past just aren’t there anymore. It uses different client software, different servers, and you can’t even use the same login credentials! With these, you can keep easy access to all your files on your mobile device without using up all the space.
I treat the storage constraints of my phone as a tool to force me to manage my photo collection now and then. It seems a given that if you’re a user of the Google ecosystem, particularly of those (like Apps and Picasa) which require cloud storage, that Google Drive is the way to go.
The conventional Windows programs in Office 2013 make SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro an easy option for file access. It’s another sign that Microsoft is confused about the distinction between the two services. There also appears to be no direct access to save games, either - these and game DVR upload clips appear to be synced with the cloud.
Saved games and settings information is retrieved from the cloud for any game as its being reinstalled. You can perform some file operations (like move or delete) on the small versions and the full copy is only retrieved if you need it, such as to edit.
It's interesting that in what is the most ambitious console operating system ever produced, the user seems more remote than ever from content. By being smart about how storage is managed, Xbox One keeps everyone playing, watching, and sharing their entertainment content rather than worry about limitations. Each of these maps to the remote storage and the client software replicates changes between the client and server. There can be time delays, maybe a few minutes for small files, but it’s a small price to pay.



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Comments

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