Xbox Head Phil Spencer took to the stage at the Windows 10 briefing earlier today to discuss gaming on Windows 10. He started off by talking about how personal gaming is and how invested gamers get with their games by sharing their experiences with others. Using Microsoft’s experiences with Xbox Live, which is the most active gamer network with over 50 million members, gaming on Windows 10 is about to get a lot more social and interactive.
Any device that runs Windows 10 will have the Xbox app installed. With the app, gamers will have access to the Activity Feed currently used by Xbox One gamers. With the Xbox app, gamers will be able to voice and text chat across platforms, and be able to share content and interact on content their friends share. In addition, the Xbox One’s “Record that” feature will be making its way into Windows 10 devices. Gamers will be able to load up their favourite game – any game, then record the previous 30 seconds of game play by using the Windows key + G combination. The captured gameplay can then be shared on Xbox Live or OneDrive and then to any other social network.
For a long time gamers have been asking for cross-platform gaming. At the briefing, Xbox announced that Fable Legends will also be coming to Windows 10. News in itself, but it gets better. If you see that one of your friends is playing Fable Legends on their Xbox One through your Activity Feed, you can join their game with the click of a link and jump right into the action while playing your copy of Fable Legends on your PC. It will certainly be interesting to see what other games will support this down the road, and if popular games like Call of Duty and Battlefield will support this functionality as well. Still, it’s a start for cross-platform gaming.
Xbox One Streaming
Rumours have been cropping up lately indicating that Xbox was working on bringing Xbox games to your PC (or vice versa). What they have been working on is allowing gamers to stream their Xbox One games from their Xbox One to any Windows 10 device in your house. After setting up a relationship between the Xbox One and your PC or tablet, you can then play on your Xbox One but using your PC or tablet as your screen. Using the Xbox controller, the game – and console – functions exactly as if you were playing it on your Xbox One connected to your TV.
Spencer also announced DirectX 12. By allowing direct access to the CPU and GPU of the system, DirectX 12 allows developers to add more complexity to scenes that would cause DirectX 11 to stutter and freeze up on the same hardware. Performance has been increased by up to 50%, while at the same time the power consumption required by DirectX 12 has been cut in half. This is a big deal as it allows DirectX 12 to be used to develop higher-end mobile games without draining the device battery quicker.
So far Epic, Unity and other developers have adopted DirectX 12.
Windows 10 will be coming to Xbox One eventually, which will allow developers to easily bring their applications over to the TV. Microsoft’s “Continuum” focus will allow Universal apps to work the same on the Xbox One as they do on mobile devices and PCs. More information about Windows 10 on the Xbox One and Windows 10 gaming will be available at GDC in March.
What Windows 10 gaming features are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.