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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Microsoft details Xbox on Windows 10


Xbox on Windows 10

Despite the immense growth of mobile gaming, Windows has been a platform of choice for serious gamers. Now with Windows 10, Microsoft is hoping to take gaming to a whole new level with the introduction of DirectX 12, its universal Xbox app and the ability to stream Xbox One games to PCs and tablets.

Xbox app

With this new XBOX app, which just got previewed during today's Microsoft press event, the tech giant is aiming to make gaming more social and more interactive. It features a neatly organized UI where all games owned by the user on any device are listed, along with the messages exchanged with XBOX Live friends and the activity feed where important gaming moments are highlighted. Additionally users will be able to exchange both voice and text messages with your virtual buddies across platforms.

The XBOX app will also boast a built-in DVR feature which can be accessed with the Windows + G keyboard shortcut. As the name implies, it will let you view the past 30 seconds of your gameplay and turn that into a video. This video can then be shared on a social network or the XBOX community.

DirectX 12

DirectX is Microsoft's collection of programming interfaces for gaming and video, and was first released in 1995 as the Windows Games software development kit. Adoption of DirectX was initially slow, but DirectX 2.0 eventually became a component of Windows 95.

According to Microsoft, DirectX 12 will supposedly give more control to developers, with more complexity and better frame rate performance. DirectX 12 will also the power consumption of DirectX 11 in half, allowing more mobile devices to run "high-end" mobile games.

Additionally Microsoft announced that Unity has adopted DirectX 12. Games such as Lionhead Studios' Fable Legends will be able to use the programming interface to allow cross-platform play between Windows 10 PC and Xbox One owners.

According to Microsoft, DirectX 12 would only work with Windows 10, so anyone who doesn't upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 (both of which currently support DirectX 11) will be left out.

Xbox One games on Windows 10 PCs and tablets

Microsoft also announced that Xbox One games will be streamable across both PCs and tablets running Microsoft’s upcoming version of Windows. The news was accompanied by a demonstrations which saw Forza Horizon 2 streamed from an Xbox One to a Microsoft Surface.

According to the announcement, making this all work will just be a case of following a one-time setup that will pair your Xbox One with your PC. After that you will be able to select and run your games from your Xbox app on your Windows 10 device.

Voice and text chat will also be supported by the Xbox app, and users will be able to keep on top of their friends’ achievements no matter what device they happen to be using.


Interestingly though, Spencer noted that some Xbox One multiplayer games will connect with Windows 10 devices in a move that he says will help leverage the power of Xbox LIVE. Whether that translates into gamers with PCs competing directly with those on an Xbox One remains to be seen
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