Microsoft confirms that its Play Anywhere feature on Xbox One, first confirmed during the company’s E3 2016 presentation, will launch in just a few short months.
The difference between console and PC gamers has been the subject of countless thinkpieces and video game forum rants, but the difference between Xbox One and PC gamers specifically has always felt as though it were significantly smaller. That’s likely due to the fact that Microsoft was a titan of the computing industry long before it ever designed the first Xbox, and it has remained closely tied to both PCs and consoles ever since.
That’s why it wasn’t completely surprising when Microsoft announced its intent to create a cross-platform program called Play Anywhere, a feature that would give players both a PC and Xbox One version of a supported title when it was purchased for one platform. Now, just a month removed from debuting the idea of Play Anywhere on the E3 2016 stage, Microsoft has revealed Play Anywhere will go live on September 13, 2016.
While the initial reveal last month was a bit ambiguous, Microsoft has since clarified that Xbox Play Anywhere won’t always support cross-play, so the service will likely feature frequent updates for gamers that reveal which upcoming titles are fully supported. The first Play Anywhere title will be ReCore, which also launches on September 13, while other upcoming games with Play Anywhere support will include exciting releases like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3.
Of course, there are a few steps gamers will have to take prior to launch in order to receive access to the Play Anywhere feature. Play Anywhere will require the Windows 10 Anniversary update, scheduled to go live this summer on August 2, while Xbox One users will need the new summer update for the console, which is set to be released in the near future. The Play Anywhere program does not require Xbox Live Gold, though, so fans of Microsoft’s gaming brand won’t need to upgrade their online service if they don’t already have it.
The Microsoft gaming brand has been a hot topic in recent weeks, and the Play Anywhere program’s bold step towards merging the Xbox One and PC platforms’ respective gamers into a broader group of gamers should serve as evidence that Microsoft is still interested in the video game industry. Phil Spencer recently had to confirm Microsoft isn’t backing out of gaming, however, so regardless of how obvious it may seem that Microsoft is still committed to the console and PC gaming markets, it never hurts to give fans even more reason to believe that is exactly the case.
Do you think Play Anywhere is a big step forward for modern gaming? Does it affect you at all, or do you stick to a specific platform for a reason other than not wanting to buy a second copy of a game you already own? Let us know in the comments below.