Google’s new Incremental File Storage System Will Allow Users to Play Games Before They are Downloaded

Mobile gaming has been growing rapidly for the past few years. According to market research company Newzoo, mobile gaming now counts for new half of the revenue generated in the gaming industry. Most of it comes from the in-app purchases since most of the big mobile games such as PUBG mobile (and Fortnite) follow the freemium model. Many new applications and games release on the application stores, mainly the Google Play store daily.

Now, Google is experimenting with a new file system that will supposedly allow mobile gamers to play their favorite games while the game downloads in the background. We have seen a similar implementation in console and PC games for years now, and it is refreshing to see that Google is trying it out for Android, possibly for Android 12. The file system that will allow this to happen is called an Incremental file system that will enable applications to execute data while at the same time allowing its binary and resources to be downloaded and stored.

According to XDA developers, Google submitted the file platform to merge it with the Linux kernels last year. The Linux kernel maintainers criticized it since Google decided to create its own platform rather than using the existing FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) platform. Google decided against the FUSE system because of the increased power required by the system to execute and store data simultaneously.

The reason behind the adoption is the fact that games on mobile are now becoming huge. Most AAA games like Asphalt 9 or Modern Combat require more than 2GB of space. Then there is PUBG and Fortnite that require more than 5GB of space. The Incremental FS will allow players to play the initial hours or modes of the game while the rest of the game downloads in the background. The data will be downloaded and executed in different increments so that the game can be played once a single increment (no matter how big it is) is downloaded.

Lastly, it remains to be seen when the filesystem will be included with the Android. It may seem Google is wholeheartedly going after the project, but the company has a history of shutting down projects at different stages.

Mohsin Naeem


Mohsin is a budding writer who has a thing for PC hardware and gaming. He has been building computers according to the need of his clients and is well versed in the area. He is an economics major and the analytical skills he learned from his academics adds to his writing and gives him a unique way to observe the tech industry.