Xbox One Anniversary Update Hits In August, Play Anywhere Starts September

Xbox One fans wondering about Microsoft’s Anniversary update and Play Anywhere plans for the console now have some dates to mark on their calendar. The console maker has set dates for the release of both in the next couple of months, bringing features such as background music and the ability to play games on both Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox One.

The Windows 10 Anniversary update is scheduled for August 2, per a Windows Blog post from Microsoft Vice President Yusuf Mehdi. This is currently being tested as part of the Xbox One Preview Program, with users giving feedback on new features such as the Cortana personal assistant plus changes to the home screen and games library.

Some of the new Xbox One features that are coming with the Anniversary update that are not being tested yet include the ability to play background music and the ability to choose a language regardless of the region the console is registered in. Background music was one of the original features of the Xbox 360 and has long been missed by fans since the Xbox One launched in November 2014.

Details on how the background music support will work have not been announced yet. The Xbox 360 allowed users to copy their music to the console from CDs. Whether Microsoft will allow users to transfer their digital music files over to the Xbox One or pushes them to streaming music services remains to be seen.

ReCore (Xbox One)
[Image via Xbox]

The Anniversary update will also bring support for the Play Anywhere program to the Xbox One. However, the program will not technically launch until September 13, according to a statement provided to Polygon. This has more to do with waiting for the launch of games that will support the initiative. The first is ReCore.

“The Windows 10 Anniversary Update and the related Xbox update coming this summer enable the Windows Store on Windows 10 and Xbox One to support Xbox Play Anywhere games,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. “Then, beginning with the launch of ReCore this fall and continuing with Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2 and others, when you digitally purchase a game that supports Xbox Play Anywhere, you have access to the game on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs for one price and your progress, game saves and achievements are shared seamlessly across both platforms.”

In addition to the titles listed in the statement, Xbox Play Anywhere will support the following titles.

  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • Crackdown 3
  • Cuphead
  • Killer Instinct Season 3
  • Scalebound
  • Sea of Thieves
  • State of Decay 2
  • We Happy Few

In addition to ARK: Survival Evolved supporting cross-buy and cross-play with Xbox Play Anywhere, Studio Wildcard plans to allow fans to run their own dedicated servers for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC gamers to play on together.

Halo 5 Warzone Firefight (Xbox One)
[Image via Halo Waypoint]

Meanwhile, the Windows Blog announcement of Xbox Play Anywhere confirms what many already suspected. All future first and second-party published titles will support Xbox Play Anywhere.

“With the Xbox Play Anywhere program, you can buy a game once and play on your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One with shared progress, shared game saves and shared achievements. Every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store.”

This means Halo 6 will indeed be playable on the Windows 10 PCs whenever it is released. The upcoming release of Forge – Halo 5: Guardians Edition does indeed pave the way for the next title in the series to come to the PC. This will mark the first time a mainline entry in the series will be playable outside an Xbox console since Halo 2.

What do you think of the Xbox One Anniversary update and Play Anywhere program? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Xbox]