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  • Daniel James

Microsoft Leak Shows Xbox and PC Are Becoming One



Xbox Play Anywhere

Microsoft started 2016 on the tail end of the Xbox One’s icy reception. They marched boldly forwards, nevertheless, with Quantum Break—an ambitious shooter from the Max Payne creators. There was a twist: Players who preordered the game received a copy for both Xbox and Windows. A pleasant surprise to be sure.

E3 2016: Microsoft faces their #1 criticism—lack of exclusive titles and shows off an all-star lineup: Forza Horizon 3, Cuphead, Gears of War 4, ReCore…all running on the brand new Xbox One S. The core excitement though was a crucial modification of the term “exclusive.”

“Xbox One Exclusive” had become “Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive.” Through the Windows 10 Play Anywhere Program, gamers can buy a single copy of a game that plays on both systems. Progress and Achievements are synced through the core Xbox Live services, running united through both platforms.

Microsoft made a terrific comeback that year. While still behind PlayStation, Xbox dominated many key sales years around tentpole launches. Even Halo eventually came to PC in “Forge,” albeit disconnected from the Xbox version.

In 2017, Microsoft’s entering E3 with a new swing to their step. They’re definitely the underdog, but there’s a demonstrable bite to their appearance. The Scorpio looms over the entire conference, as does the question: What does the Xbox lineup look like? The Xbox One S was a fantastic console, but it served to underpin an impressive lineup of games. Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4, specifically, opened to critical acclaim and massive sales across console and PC.

The Scorpio promises to be a monster, and Microsoft is feeding it with potent fuel.

After rumors swept the internet and were widely disseminated across Reddit and Facebook feeds around the world, Xbox head Phil Spencer took to Twitter to confirm what many had been talking about. Leaked promotional material from GameStop employees showed a brand new banner above game titles:

Xbox Play Nowhere

So what does this mean? Microsoft hasn’t gone into detail so far, but it includes titles that Xbox and PC gamers (despite furious protesting otherwise) have wanted for years: Bloodborne, The Last of Us, Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn and MLB: The Show.

We asked a focus group of Xbox and PC gamers how much they wished they could play Uncharted 4. In our focus group exercise assessing their feeling towards the game 7 of the 12 participants felt it was “really fucking gay” and 10 of the 12 agreed with the statement “If I wanted to watch a movie, I’d watch it in Ultra-HD 4K on my Xbox One S using fluid and natural Kinect controls to navigate the system’s advanced multimedia options that just don’t exist on the Playstation 4.” Our resident psychologist rated their desire for the game to be a 9/10.