Microsoft announces Xbox Play Anywhere, a feature which will give players both an Xbox One and a PC digital version of supported games when purchased, with synchronized saves.
While Microsoft may have had plenty of leaks ahead of its official E3 Press Conference, the company still had some big tricks left up its sleeve. After getting the Xbox One Slim news out of the way – which was leaked yesterday – Phil Spencer let the first big batch of news take gamers by surprise.
Coalition Studio head Rod Fergusson took to the stage to not only hype up the release of Gears of War 4, but also reveal a very exciting feature for both Xbox One and Windows 10 users everywhere: the Xbox Play Anywhere feature. When gamers digitally purchase games that have the marking featured above, they’ll be able to both own it and play it on both Windows 10 and Xbox One.
This isn’t just limited to owning seperate versions of the game, either – players will find that both their save progress and their achievements are synchronized between the platforms. For example, someone could play the first chapter of Gears of War 4 in their living room on the Xbox, and then later pick up where they left off from the computer. It’s a fantastic idea, and certainly explains why Xbox head Phil Spencer wasn’t worried if PC gamers don’t buy an Xbox One.
Rod Fergusson also confirmed that Gears of War 4 would feature cross-play between both Xbox One and PC versions of the title in all of the game’s co-ops modes, which include multiplayer, campaign, and even the long-awaited return of horde mode. The Play Anywhere functionality brings plenty of potential for other developers to include cross-play in their own titles, and we expect plenty of Xbox One exclusives will begin to support the feature.
The news will drastically change how console games will impact the gaming community as a whole, though it’ll be interesting to see how PC gamers and console gamers can co-exist, especially when it comes to shooting titles where it seems mouse-based players would have an advantage. If more console titles include cross-play, it’s likely they will adopt a feature similar to Rocket League wherein players can choose whether or not to play with gamers from other device types.
We’ll keep you posted as more news about Microsoft Play Anywhere releases from the company. In the meantime, players can take a gander at an overview of the Microsoft E3 Press Conference here.