gdc 2015

The New Windows 10 Xbox App In Action

by Kimberley Wallace on Mar 12, 2015 at 08:01 AM

In January, Microsoft announced plans to bring the Xbox app to Windows 10 in an effort to create a unified gaming experience for Windows 10 and Xbox One users.  At the Game Developers Conference last week, we got to see the app running on Windows 10 and how it would function for connecting to your Xbox One to a Windows 10 device.

Downloading the Xbox app on a Windows 10 device gives you complete access to your Xbox account. The UI is easy to navigate, putting everything right in front of you. You can see your friends list, recent games played, and activity feed. It gives you access to your gamer profile, messages, and friend requests. You can even browse achievements and see recommended broadcasts from Microsoft’s VIP streamers. Social networking features are also on the app, where you can comment on and “like” players’ activities, such as recorded game clips. 

Microsoft is also making the app friendlier for streamers and Youtubers. The game DVR has been improved with basic editing tools, and with a click of a button you can capture the last 30 seconds before you pressed record to when you stopped the recording. It then sends a 1080p MP4 clip directly to your video folder. Although Microsoft is providing basic editing tools, you can also use any program already on your computer to edit these clips. 

The most impressive feature is connecting to Xbox One via a Windows 10 device. You can turn the Xbox One on and off from the app, and all games in your library are available to play on your Windows 10 device. This comes in handy if someone is using the TV with the Xbox One. It brings the Xbox One to your PC in a matter of seconds.

In our demonstration, Sunset Overdrive was selected from our game library; allowing us to play it on a Microsoft Surface using an Xbox One controller hooked up to the tablet. Naturally, the game looked better on an Xbox One, but on the Surface it was decent, with a slight drop in framerate.

Microsoft plans on rolling out the update that would give you access to these features at some point this month. Right now, it’s only confirmed to be in a “March 2015” update. It definitely looks promising for those who want to capture themselves playing games, or want to access their Xbox One from another device that uses Windows 10.