Over the last few years, Microsoft has made efforts to bring some of their Xbox One games to PC gamers through Windows 10 and its Play Anywhere scheme. However, while games like Forza Horizon 4 and Sea of Thieves have all been made available on Windows 10, they still had to be ported from the Xbox One version, which takes a lot of work.
That may not always need to be the case though as it is rumoured that Microsoft are currently running tests that see Xbox One games running on PC without needing to create a PC port of an Xbox One game. If these tests prove successful, they would allow Microsoft to release an Xbox One game and make it available to play on PC immediately without needing to port the game over as is currently the case.
Microsoft’s current Play Anywhere scheme still requires developers to create two versions of a game, an Xbox One version and a PC version. Under the scheme, anyone who purchases the game will have access to it on both Xbox One and PC. These rumoured tests by Microsoft would eliminate this need for two versions, drastically improving development time, as well as ensuring resources are spent more efficiently.
According to technology website Thurrott, earlier this year Microsoft offered members of the Microsoft Insider closed PC testing group a free copy of State of Decay along with a message saying that Microsoft was bringing new technology to Windows 10.
Thurrott uncovered that when these testers installed their copy of State of Decay onto their PCs, they noticed some immediate differences, and they discovered that their version of the game was in a .xvc format, meaning it was the Xbox One version of State of Decay instead of the PC one.
It is unclear to what extent Microsoft may be testing this new technology, but it does appear to be a direction the company is keen to go in. Given their existing Play Anywhere scheme, as well as this latest rumour, Microsoft appears to be trying to capitalize on the popularity of PC gaming as much as possible.
If these tests do prove to be successful and Microsoft decides to adopt the technology, it is likely that Microsoft’s first-party titles will benefit from this first. However, it could open the doors for third-party titles that are only available on Xbox One to be playable on the PC, as well as making backwards compatible games, such as Red Dead Redemption, available to play on the PC.