The release of Windows 10 also marks Microsoft's effort to bring PC and console gaming closer together. Cross-play and console to PC streaming are being supported, but what about being able to play actual Xbox games? Comments from Xbox Head Phil Spencer during a Brazil Game Show interview suggest being able to play Xbox 360 games on Windows 10 is a "would like to have" feature somewhere down the line.
Xbox One backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles is currently in testing for the Xbox One, with a planned November release as part of the New Xbox One Experience. Gamers being gamers are never satisfied, and Spencer was asked by Gizmodo Brasil about the possibility of original Xbox games becoming backwards compatible at some point, as well.
"It's something I want to do, but it is a matter of priority," Spencer said in regard to original Xbox backwards compatibility. "I would love to have the ability to play Xbox 360 on PC at some point too, so we have different things we have to think about when we plan these things. But it would be great to have support for original Xbox games. So yes, I want it, but we have many other things we want to do as well."
It's interesting that Spencer brought up playable Xbox 360 games on Windows 10 PCs on his own, with no prompting from the interviewer. It's possible this was previously asked by a fan or brought up elsewhere, but it sounds like something that the Xbox boss has at least been contemplating.
The message on if or when the ability to play Halo 3 or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Windows 10 devices is a familiar one, however. The development of new features for both the operating system and the Xbox One has been a juggle of priority and available resources.
There are two Windows 10 and Xbox One cross-play games currently in development – Gigantic and Fable Legends. Both are currently running extended beta tests, with the latter the closest to release and testing the cross-play features. Interestingly, Fable Legends was not featured in this "Greatest Games TV Commercial" for the Xbox One, suggesting the game may not be ready for a 2015 release.
Meanwhile, streaming Xbox One games to Windows 10 devices has shaped up into one of the more developed features, with a recent update to the Windows 10 Xbox app improving the video quality and stability of game streaming.
The Xbox app will probably play a central role in the ability to play Xbox 360 games on Windows 10. In addition to improving streaming, the Xbox app has received a constant stream of updates since the Microsoft's new operating system launched.
So what priorities could come before playing Xbox 360 games on Windows 10? Support for the New Xbox One Experience is obviously the top priority at the moment, with the planned November launch, and it currently working through a beta. There will also be post-launch support and a likely slowdown of output during the holiday period between mid-November and mid-January. It's just a fact of life in software development that this is a period where it is hard to get much work done beyond basic customer support.
Beyond that, continuous improvements to the Windows 10 Xbox app will be in the works, as Xbox on Windows 10 is a popular topic at the Xbox User Voice feedback forum, with nearly 400 suggestions so far. Additionally, expect support for the 2016 launch of Oculus Rift and the possibility of finally seeing Windows 10 to Xbox One streaming.
That said, is the ability to play Xbox 360 games on Windows 10 even a feature you would like to see? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Xbox]