One of the interesting gaming announcements from Microsoft's Windows 10 event on Wednesday was the reveal of cross-play between PCs running the new operating system and the Xbox One. Fable Legends was used as the demonstration game on stage, and Lionhead Studios provided more details, including a beta opportunity, afterwards.
Fable Legends on Windows 10 will share all the same social aspects, matchmaking, and cloud features that will be available to the game on Xbox One. Both platforms will utilize Xbox One to allow players from either side of the gaming divide to join together in matches of four heroes versus one dungeon master-like villain as they adventure in Albion.
The game can be played with the controller or mouse and keyboard on the Windows 10 devices. Fable Legends will even support hot-swapping between the two, and the ability to customize your layout, according to a FAQ published by Lionhead.
Xbox One #FableLegends players will be able to play with or against #Windows10 players! #CrossdeviceDon't expect to see Fable Legends on Windows 8 or Windows 7. The game is exclusive to Windows 10 due to its use of cross-platform play and the DirectX12 graphics API. There's no word on what kind of PC will be needed to run the game yet, as Lionhead is still working on those details. Just know that a DX12 graphics card is not required to play.
— Lionhead Studios (@LionheadStudios) January 21, 2015
Those interested in taking part in the Fable Legends beta can do so by signing up at the game's website. You'll have the option to choose to participate in the Xbox One or Windows 10 versions of the beta or both.
The Xbox One beta is currently running behind a closed beta, but Lionhead will open it up to more soon. Meanwhile, the Windows 10 beta for the game will launch as soon as the new Windows 10 technical preview launches. It's expected to be released sometime next week, and you can register for it at Microsoft's website.
This is actually Microsoft's second attempt at cross-platform play between Windows PCs and an Xbox console. The 2007 release of the first-person shooter, Shadowrun, supported cross-play between the Xbox 360 and Windows Vista operating system.
The Games for Windows LIVE service, combined with poor reception of Windows Vista and mixed reviews of the traditionally role-playing franchise reworked as an FPS, hindered sales of Shadowrun. Meanwhile, cross-platform play also received a mixed reception due to the mouse and keyboard users having a distinct advantage over console controller players.
Fable Legends appears to be avoiding some of these issues. The reception of Windows 10 is generally favorable so far, at least more than Windows 8 and definitely more than Windows Vista. Additionally, the title is more of a third-person adventure game where control scheme won't matter as much as a fast twitch shooter.
What do you think of Microsoft's cross-play initiative between Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One with Fable Legends? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Fable Legends]