One of the most exciting features Microsoft announced at E3 this year has been the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative. Microsoft is adding the ability of any game with the Xbox Play Anywhere logo to be bought for Xbox one, and then you’ll receive a free copy for the PC; and you can pick up the game on either Xbox One or PC and start off at the last place you where at on the previous play on console or PC. While sharing saves between on your Xbox Live account isn’t really new, you’ve only been able to do it between consoles up to this point. What makes this so exciting is getting the PC game free of charge. This is honestly something gamers have dreamed about for years, buying a game once and playing it wherever we choose, but I never thought I’d see it happen even on such a localized level.
So far the most of the games announced for Play Anywhere support are Microsoft first party games, but Microsoft is pushing this initiative pretty hard, and have even got some Indie developers on board. One of the first games with support is Ark: Survival actually, a non-Microsoft game, and that says something about this initiative. If Microsoft has already got some indie developers on board right at the beginning, who else are they working on. Could we end up seeing companies like EA, Ubisoft, or Activision join up. Imagine only having to buy one copy of each Blizzard title and playing it anywhere. With that said, these companies are going to be much harder to convince than Indie studios. PC games while not a huge market, still add a large amount of revenue to a game release, and god knows I’ve purchased my fair share of the same game on PC and Xbox over the years. So this would be lost sales for many companies, and I’m not entirely sure they are willing to go for it.
Another exciting opportunity here, and something we know Microsoft is already supporting, is Cross-Platform play. If you have a Play Anywhere title, logic would seem to dictate, that it has cross-platform play for multiplayer games. One of Microsoft upcoming biggest titles Gears of War 4 is a good example of this. Gears of War, historically has been a huge online title, and with Microsoft leading the way to both these initiatives, Gears of War 4 will be a prime example of how all games should be done in the future. With that said, if we could get Sony on board with Cross-Platform play, that would be great.
The gaming world is changing in many ways recently, and most of it, is in a good way for the consumer. If these initiatives play out like Microsoft in envisioning them, the future of gaming is looking bright.
You can check out the full list of Xbox Compatible Titles here
And check out the Xbox Play Anywhere trailer below.