Microsoft has been looking for new ways to market its Xbox One console. The company is about to allow its users to play Xbox One games without even having the device with the upcoming Windows 10 update.
The Windows 10 April 2019 Update has the codename 19H1. It hints at how the tech giant is tweaking its classic operating system to make it possible to play native Xbox games on PC.
How Xbox One is still behind the PS4
A quick note on the classic Xbox vs. PS4 battle:
Even though the Xbox One X is the most powerful gaming console around, sales are still way behind the PlayStation 4 series.
So far, sales for Sony’s alternative go above 90 million, while Microsoft’s units are below 50 million. Many reviewers and I believe PS4’s success is due to Sony’s exclusive titles.
However, it seems next-gen console wars are changing the trend. Microsoft has sealed some important alliances with gaming studios to create Xbox Two exclusives that would give jealousy to any PS5 user.
Windows 10 April update
Microsoft executives explain people who have tried the Windows 10 build 18334 (an early version of the 19H1 update) has also got a chance to try out Microsoft’s State of Decay game for free.
Many people found the try out a bit odd. Microsoft doesn’t often include free games n their early Windows 10 versions. That, unless they are planning at how Windows 10 handles video games.
If you want to download State of Decay for PC, you would have to go to the Microsoft Store server. That’s the place where PC versions of Xbox games reside. With the upcoming build, it seems people would be able to download instead from the Xbox server.
Xbox One games on PC
Therefore, it looks like Windows 10 users would be able to download Xbox One versions of the game, rather than a PC port. Let’s remember PC ports are not always the optimal versions of a video game title. And not every Xbox One games are on PC, like prior Forza games.
Next, when you download the game, it appears to be a .xvc file format, which is an Xbox One file format. Then, you would be able to install the.xvc format using an updated PowerShell application that will become available with 19H1.
Now, running the native Xbox One file pops up a legacy DirectX installation window. The upcoming Windows 10 update will also add a new Gaming Service app which will install two game drivers.
Other sources point that there’s a new API in the upcoming Windows 10 update. The API has the codename of Durango XCRDAPI, and Durango was Microsoft’s codename for their current-gen console.
Xbox One going native on PC
These are big news. It means the Windows 10 update (19H1), as well as future versions of the OS, could play Xbox One games natively. Natively as if without developers having to recode the game to run on PC.
So, as soon as a game comes out for Xbox One, it’s also coming out for PC. And although most Xbox games are already available for Windows via Microsoft’s PlayAnywhere initiative, the new feature means it developers will have an easier job to take games everywhere.
It’s a move that makes sense for Microsoft. The company has been looking way to make its own Microsoft Store on PC and its Xbox Store on console to become one single site.