If you’re using Windows 10, you’ll either have just download a hearty big Windows update or have it waiting for you. Perhaps you started work twenty minutes late today because of this ‘Windows 10 Anniversary Update’ installing. Maybe you’re even mentioning that on a website you know your colleagues read, to support your excuse. Once you do have the update installed, you’ll find a few updates and additions to its games hub, the Xbox app. It’s important to have a solid PC games centre included with Windows, so I welcome advancements. Microsoft still have a long way to go, mind.
Between the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and last week’s Xbox app update, Windows 10 Xbox and gaming stuff is… better than it was?
Support for the new wireless Bluetooth controllers, introduced with the new Xbox One S model, is now live. Preparation for Xbox Play Anywhere, which will share games between Xbox One and Windows 10 accounts, is now done and waiting for a game to come out and support it. The built-in recorder can now capture at 60fps, and clips from non-Microsoft/Xbox games can be shared and seen across Xbox Live too. Xboxeers and PCfolk can voice chat together. Things that aren’t major but make it better? Read more about all that over here.
I do think it’d be good for Windows to come with a solid games store and hub. For many people, the idea of even downloading and installing Steam or any other games store program, let alone trusting it, is weird. (Heck, and even if you can convince someone, Steam’s hardly an inviting interface.) If a store is right there and has games, that’s good! More people gaming on PC is good for us all.
Microsoft’s current interest in PC gaming seems more thought-through than any of the squillion previous times that they’ve declared they’re taking PC gaming serious. Maybe, this time, they’ll even stick with it. Or maybe it’ll be another repeat of the awfulness that was Games for Windows – Live, and Microsoft will inconvenience players to bolster their own inferior ecosystem then lose interest, give up, and leave developers picking guff out games’ guts for years afterwards.
Microsoft’s refusal to engage with the healthy, well-established stores and marketplaces which already exist on PC is just silly. Release Crackdown 3, Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, and all the others on Steam and whatnot too, you big sillies. Give up your ill-conceived dreams of dominating PC gaming and strong-arming people into your systems. Be happy to coexist on the finest and most diverse gaming platform.
And for goodness’ sake, redesign the whole Xbox app because this mess is absurd: