Microsoft rolled out the first of its plans for gaming on the Windows 10 operating system during a presentation on Wednesday. Xbox head Phil Spencer was on-hand to reveal how the upcoming OS and the Xbox One console will work together. As promised, he talked games and this does not appear to be a repeat of Games for Windows LIVE.
The Battletoads t-shirt wearing Spencer touched on how gaming will be personal on Windows 10 because “we’re not just viewers, we are active participants.”
The Xbox app is the cornerstone of the gaming experience on Windows 10. It will allow users to use their Xbox LIVE account on the Windows PC. This makes the Friends lists, activity feed, text chat, and voice chat available on any device, as a recent leak revealed.
The Xbox One’s Game DVR feature will also be available in the Windows 10 Xbox app. This will allow users to capture a 30-second clip of gameplay from any game on a PC by pressing “Windows + G.” It does not have to be a Microsoft game or run on a Microsoft service. For example, Spencer demonstrated capturing a gameplay clip from Civilization: Beyond Earth running from Steam.
There’s no word on if the clip recording can be extended. However, users will be able to edit and share the clips they capture from the Xbox app.
More exciting, Spencer demonstrated cross-play between the Xbox One and a Windows 10 PC using Fable Legends. Lionhead Studios’ Lauren Carter joined him on stage where she announced that the co-op RPG game was coming to the PC while she played on the Xbox One and Spencer played on the PC. Windows 10 will also support game streaming from the Xbox One to PCs and devices running the operating system on the same network. Spencer showed how he was not only able to control the console through the Xbox app, but also stream and play Forza Horizon 2.
Windows 10 itself is coming to the Xbox One, as well. More details will be revealed at future events like the Game Developers Conference (GDC). However, Microsoft has confirmed that universal Windows 10 apps will port over to the console.
DirectX12 was mentioned as well. While the Xbox One already uses many of the graphics API’s features, it will allow PC game developers more access to the CPU and GPU. Spencer showed a demo between DirectX11 and DirectX12, where the PC running the older graphics system freezing up as the scene became more and more complex.
Spencer closed by saying the Xbox team will treat gaming on Windows 10 with as much passion and energy as they’ve dedicated to the Xbox One.
Cross-play between the Xbox One and Windows 10 is an interesting announcement, but its success will depend on support. Obviously, Fable Legends will support it, but what about other big upcoming first-party games like Quantum Break or even Halo 5? Will Microsoft be able to get any buy-in from third-party studios? Those are questions that still remain.
What do you think of the Windows 10 and Xbox One announcements? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Microsoft, Crave Online]