Microsoft bringing PC and Xbox gaming closer together

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 25, 2019
Windows, Windows 10

Remember the mysterious test that Microsoft wanted Windows 10 Insider Build testers to run recently without revealing anything about it?

Microsoft wanted users to report any issues found during the installation and launch of State of Decay, but did not reveal any information other than that.

Turns out that Microsoft could have had testers install the Xbox One version of State of Decay, or at least a large part of it, on the Windows 10 device.

Brad Sams over on Thurrot suggests that the State of Decay test was Microsoft's first public test at making available an Xbox One game as the "primary installation for Windows".

Microsoft did not confirm nor deny that; Sams discovered that the game installer downloaded the data from an Xbox Live domain and not from the usual server that Microsoft Store apps and games were offered from.

There is more evidence. It turns out that the downloaded files used the .xvc format. Microsoft created the format for the Xbox One but it seems the company added support for it to the upcoming version of Windows 10.

The State of Decay installer, which you can run from PowerShell as Sams notes, loads a legacy DirectX installation setup routine which installs the required DirectX components on the computer.

Microsoft has an interest in pushing the company's Xbox One system and gaming on Windows 10. Making it easier for game companies to develop games that work on Xbox One and Windows 10 with little overhead will certainly help with that.

While it is certainly easier to develop games that run on PCs and consoles, thanks to consoles becoming more like PCs in many regards and improving development options, improving that process further could give Microsoft the boost it needs to compete with Sony and Nintendo in the console market, and increase Windows 10's attractiveness as well.

It is unclear at this point whether the functionality will find its way into Windows 10 version 1903, the next feature upgrade version. It seems unlikely, considering that we are just 1-2 months away from the release of that version.

Microsoft could plan to have everything ready before the launch of its next console (Xbox Two, maybe). This would give it ample time, a year at least, to test and integrate the functionality in the operating system.

Closing Words

More Xbox games on PC is a good thing for PC gamers; most would probably prefer that Microsoft would not make the games Microsoft Store exclusive. Another concern that some gamers may have is that developers might use shortcuts by launching the Xbox One version in its unmodified or nearly unmodified state on PC; this could be problematic in regards to controls, graphics, and other functionality.

Now You: what is your take on this?

Microsoft bringing PC and Xbox gaming closer together
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Microsoft bringing PC and Xbox gaming closer together
Microsoft could plan to bring PC and Xbox gaming closer together by supporting Xbox games on Windows 10 devices.
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  1. Jon Bovi said on March 3, 2019 at 3:07 am

    This is a good idea, that is if Xbox disks would likewise install in a Windows 10 gaming PC.

    It sure would do well for more sales of gaming PCs. For example, in my local Best Buy, they stock tons of Xbox games but zero PC games.. I find that odd, as they do sell gaming PCs. I know they sell games via the web, but then why stock Xbox games and no PC games?

    That said, to truly make Windows and Xbox closer-together, Microsoft should offer an Xbox PC.

    That said, for those who hate on Xbox, understand that it’s still likely overall the most affordable way to play many popular modern games.

    As for me, I guess I prefer to play my games on an overpriced gaming PC that I built myself, only to find out later that I can now buy a faster PC for almost half of what I paid 2 years ago, ha.

  2. supergirl said on February 26, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Having come to Computing/Gaming thru Commodore/Amigia,
    I have never understood why Anyone would buy a gaming console..

    A Computer is ALWAYS superior….& when its not it soon will be…

    1 word….emulators….

    Am I Wrong..?

    1. badbanana said on February 26, 2019 at 11:24 am

      there are those *cough* who would prefer to just insert a CD or game cartridge and have it run without bothering to install/configure/update/update/update a computer and debug/debug why the game won’t run because of conflict with some other applications previously installed.

      1. zakius said on February 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm

        well, those should buy a gaming console, not xbox

    2. Yuliya said on February 26, 2019 at 2:50 am

      *raises hand*
      PC Master Race

  3. zakius said on February 26, 2019 at 1:27 am

    yet another reason to not buy xbox

  4. Dave said on February 25, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    That’s cool. I don’t play mmo’s anymore but increasing the player base by including more platforms while giving none an advantage would be a good thing for people who do.

    On a side note: MSI FTW Martin ;)

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