September has arrived! The leaves are beginning to fall, the kids are heading back to school, and Microsoft just announced that we can finally play a number of our Xbox One titles on our Windows 10 PCs.
As we countdown to one of the “biggest holiday launches ever,” the Windows Store now contains the Windows 10 PC versions of ReCore (CA, UK), Forza Horizon 3 (CA, UK), and Gears of War 4 (CA, UK), all available for pre-order.
Xbox Play Anywhere
The Xbox One titles come to the Windows Store courtesy of the Xbox Play Anywhere service, with great expectations for the evolution of both Windows 10 and Xbox titles. Microsoft announced Xbox Play Anywhere during their E3 2016 press conference, as well as confirming that all of its first-party studios would be participating.
The initial list of confirmed games is:
- Gears of War 4
- Sea of Thieves
- Forza Horizon 3
- Scalebound (CA, UK)
- State of Decay 2
- Halo Wars 2
At the current time, ReCore, Forza Horizon 3, and Gears 4 have made the jump to Windows 10 PC, but the other titles are slated to follow in the not-too-distant future. Other titles rumored to be on Windows 10 are We Happy Few, Cuphead, Crackdown 3 (CA, UK), and Killer Instinct 3.
Pause and Pick-Up
Xbox Play Anywhere is a dream come true for gamers who want multiple-platform access to a wide range of games. We have the technology, so let us make use of it!
When you buy an Xbox Play Anywhere digital game through the Xbox Store or the Windows Store, it’s yours to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost. To take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere, you will need to have installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition update on your PC, as well as the latest update on your Xbox One console. Then, simply log into your Xbox Live/Microsoft account and your Xbox Play Anywhere games will be available to download.
Microsoft have underlined that there is no additional cost for Xbox Play Anywhere, but you must make sure to purchase an Xbox Play Anywhere title, displaying the following logo:
On purchase, you’ll be sent a digital redemption code that can be used to activate the game on both your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. You’ll then able to launch the game from either your Start menu, or Xbox One library.
This isn’t the same as the Xbox and Windows 10 streaming feature that arrived with the new operating system last year. While the streaming system has been successful, it is limited by a number of factors, not least your local network speed. With Xbox Play Anywhere you actually install the title on your Windows 10 PC, and run it directly using your system hardware. It makes a significant difference, and those running super high-spec systems are really going eat up the Xbox One titles as they arrive.
Games at Release
At the time of release, Microsoft has confirmed three titles ready to make the jump. Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll be preloading on your Windows 10 PC.
Gears of War 4 (CA, UK)
One of the most popular gaming franchises in history is returning. Set 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, the latest edition will focus on the efforts toward rebuilding humanity, before the process is interrupted by a new Locust-like enemy. You can see some Windows 10 PC 4K play in the video below.
Previous Gears of War titles were developed by Epic Games, but Gears of War 4 has been developed by an all-new team, led by former Epic Games director Rod Fergusson. This means that Gears of War 4 will remain true to its predecessors while introducing a number of new features.
Gears of War 4 will also support cross-platform play for co-op campaigns, co-op, horde, and multiplayer modes. If you’ve pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition, you’ll be able to start destroying Locusts on the 7th October. Otherwise you’ll be waiting until October 10th.
Forza Horizon 3 (CA, UK)
Forza Horizon 3 brings one of the best-loved racing series to your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One. I’ve played numerous Forza titles, and I have to say this one looks absolutely sublime. Even better is the prospect of taking it for a spin on a PC, with an unlimited amount of FPS to really bring the racing to life.
You’ll once more be tasked with designing and developing the Horizon Festival. This time, it’s stretched out across the Australian Outback, complete with “kangaroos, crocodiles and maybe even a few drop bears.” Developers Playground Games have introduced new open worlds to explore, packed with new cars, tracks, venues, and events to unlock.
Forza Horizon 3 arrives on September 27th, or September 23rd if you pre-order the Ultimate Edition.
Microsoft made some pretty big pitches over the summer, and emphasized the exciting work their first-party studios were doing. ReCore is one of those first-party IPs, developed by legendary developer Keiji Inafune, his studio Comcept, and Retro Studios (developers of Metroid Prime). It’s a fast-paced action-adventure featuring big guns and aggressive robots.
ReCore combines run-and-gun tactics with puzzles in a futuristic world, where swarms of robot-spider-alien beasts attempt to stymie your progress. The game has had mixed previews. Many have praised the gameplay and use of companions to assist in your battles, but also criticized the controls, describing them as clunky.
I do like the trailer, though. ReCore is coming to the Americas on the 13th September, Japan on the 15th September, and Europe on the 16th.
More to Come
Microsoft are making a smart move by addressing their consumers’ desire to access their games in the multi-platform world we live in. With the prospect of more games to arrive in the near future, I think we may see some additional sales of the Xbox One heading into the upcoming holiday seasons.
The pressure will now be on Microsoft to ensure the Xbox Play Anywhere experience is as seamless and pain-free as they’ve claimed. I’m sure we all have a list of titles we want to play on our Windows 10 PCs, but for those gamers running lower-spec desktops, achieving the same quality and consistency of graphic fidelity just isn’t going to be possible.
What games are you hoping to see making the jump to Windows 10 PC? Are there any older games you’d love to see? Let us know your thoughts below!