With the introduction of the Xbox brand, Microsoft has largely moved away from supporting games on PC. They used to be at the forefront of the PC gaming market, but their focus on Xbox left PC gaming behind. Now, services such as Steam dominate PC gaming, while Microsoft has taken a backseat role in terms of PC gaming. That should change with Windows 10.
Ever since the Windows 10 reveal, Microsoft has greatly focused on the gaming aspects of the new OS (and the return of the beloved start button). They envision a unified family of gaming products running on the Windows 10 operating system, with plans to even bring it to the Xbox One. Soon enough, that vision will be realized, as Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be available beginning on July 29th.
The gaming features for Windows 10 are numerous, and many involve integration with Xbox One. For example, Windows 10 will have a dedicated Xbox Live app, which will allow gamers to stream any Xbox One exclusives to Windows 10 devices, including tablets and PCs. They are also launching some games simultaneously on Xbox One and PC, with cross-platform support between the systems, something that hasn’t really be done much on Xbox platforms in the past. One of the first games to utilize this functionality will be the upcoming asymmetric multiplayer title Fable Legends.
Outside of the Xbox brand, Windows 10 will see the debut of the extremely popular MOBA League of Legends on the Windows Store. League of Legends coming to the Windows Store is part of the new partnership between Microsoft and the China-based Tencent. Their partnership extends beyond League of legends as well, with Tencent aiding Microsoft in launching the OS worldwide.
Furthermore, Windows 10 is being built with Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality device in mind. HoloLens will be used for games, specifically Minecraft, but it will also be used for non-gaming purposes as well. There’s still a lot of questions surrounding HoloLens, but expect to hear more about the HoloLens in the coming months.
Those interested in trying out the new OS and all its new features may have an opportunity to download Windows 10 for free. Anyone currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge for the first year that it’s available. Windows users should already be seeing a task bar notification prompting them to reserve their free upgrade. Those that do so will have Windows 10 automatically download once it releases in late July, and they can then install it at their leisure.
Windows 10 is now right around the corner, and PC and Xbox gamers alike should be excited about the number of gaming-centric features its bringing to the table. With its release date in late July, don’t be surprised to see Windows 10 pop up during Microsoft’s E3 press conference.
Windows 10 will be available July 29th. Those that already have legitimate versions of Windows 7 or 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 for free for a limited time once it’s made available.