Save for a handful of exceptions, Xbox gaming and PC gaming are very separate affairs, but Microsoft is hoping to unite the camps with Windows 10.
Xbox’s Phil Spencer took control of Wednesday night’s Windows 10 press event to showcase the new Xbox app for Windows 10, which lets you play Xbox games on your PC, compatible tablets and phones, and share your exploits with friends.
The app lets you sign in with your Windows ID and immediately presents you with the familiar Xbox One dashboard.
The My Games view shows all of your titles across all your devices (including PC games) as well as your friends and their respective gamertags. The Activity Feed has made the cut too, letting you post content not just from your console, but your PC as well.
The ability to share gaming clips has now come to Windows. This includes existing games that you may have had for years. You will be able to capture and share the last 30 seconds of gameplay, with the keyboard shortcut ‘Windows + G’, posting it to your Activity Feed for your friends to view on all manner of devices.
The Xbox app actually serves a much greater purpose. Thanks to the help of the new, more powerful DirectX 12 platform, gamers will be able to enjoy cross-play, playing titles such as Fable Legends on their PC against their rivals on Xbox One.
Windows 10 devices will also be able to receive a live game stream from an Xbox One console – — like we’ve seen from Nvidia and Sony in the past. Provided you’re on the same network, you could play Forza from your console, your Surface, or just about any Windows 10 device with DirectX 12 support. That does appear to leave less powerful tablets and smartphones out in the cold, but we’ll wait and see if that’s for the time being or forever.
Thanks to support from big companies in the gaming space like Epic and Unity, we can expect to see a ton of games with support for these new features.
Naturally the demo we experienced was a perfect world scenario, showing zero lag and playing against computer-controlled opponents. What we’re more intrigued to see how this feature fares during online play, with more connections and variables in the mix.
This feature has the potential to be a major feather in Microsoft’s cap, but only if it lives up to expectation.