Microsoft Blurs Line Between Xbox One And PC Gaming With New Windows 10 Updates
Being a PC gamer can be a challenge in today's console-centric world. Cool games launch first on consoles, and the PC gamer has to sit and wait until a launch date is announced, sometimes months or even years after the game landed on the console. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a perfect example; that game is still not available for PC gamers, but has been out for console gamers for months. It appears that Microsoft is now gearing up to merge Xbox and PC gaming in a much more cohesive manner.
We talked about a Windows 10 preview build not long ago that promised gaming improvements. It appears that some of that improvement will come in a new method allow PC gamers to play Xbox games on Windows. Hints in the Windows 10 preview build have asked for people to test the install phase of the game State of Decay and report issues found with the process. The problems being reported
Windows 10 already has some of the Xbox infrastructures integrated; for instance, downloaded games come from Xbox distribution servers, not the servers where store apps are grabbed. In the case of State of Decay, the game has .xvc files, which are used for Xbox One games. Windows 10 preview builds also have PowerShell commands that allow the OS to work with those .xvc files. That means PowerShell can now install Xbox games.
State of Decay has some PC elements in its setup; for instance, it attempts to install and update DirectX runtime during setup. Microsft is said to be building a common set of system services and APIs for handling games called GameCore; it already has something similar for other software called OneCore. It seems Microsoft is trying to make it so that console games can be played on the PC.
It's not clear what end goal the software giant has; it could be something optional for developers to enable for their games, or we could be nearing an era where developers only have to build games for the Xbox, and PC gamers can enjoy them as well. PC gamers won't mind, as long as the games have the same graphics and controls they are used to.