Opinion XBOX PC

Xbox Play Anywhere has made me a PC gamer again

Xbox Play Anywhere.jpg

Although I own every platform under the sun, I have always preferred console gaming. This came to be when the PS3 released, and my old PC conked out back in the day. I have always liked the convenience of just putting the disc into a console, grabbing a controller, and getting my game on. I was never one to have the patience for tweaking settings, installing mods, or having to upgrade my hardware every so often on my PC. I think because all my online friends play on console, it has also kept me away from PC gaming. Why play multiplayer games without your set online friends right?

Recently, over the past two months, my PC has gone from being on once a month, to running every day. I work on a laptop, so I only used my PC when I needed to review an exclusive. Needless to say, I always opted for console copies, again, for the convenience. There is only one thing I can think of that has pushed me toward this need to play on PC, and that is the Xbox Play Anywhere program.

It all started with Recore. Having the ability to just download a second copy of a game, is one thing, but the most appealing part of the process, is the convenience. Sure, the Windows 10 Store is not perfect, but these few select Xbox Play Anywhere titles, have been smooth sailing when it comes to downloading and installing them. As soon as I redeemed my code on Xbox One, the game appeared in my Windows 10 Store. After a few hours of download, say Gears of War 4 at 80GB, the games launched without any need to install any Microsoft Visual pack nonsense, or even update Direct X.

The resemblance to a console, is uncanny. I know Steam runs the same, and I have hundreds of games in my Steam library, but the Xbox Play Anywhere program feels very different. The games become part of Windows 10, and in theory, my Windows 10 became a destination library of games. No need to boot up Steam, or Origin. All that was needed was to click on the game and start it, thereby removing any hassle that comes with PC gaming hardware and settings.

Thanks to the cloud saves, when I do play on PC, the saves will be on my Xbox One, should I ever go back to it. The cross-play functionality, brings all my console friends to my PC without the worry if they are on Xbox One or PC.

I have also always been OCD about visuals. My games need to look fantastic, and that is why my main console is a PS4, because in the past, the Xbox One has had some resolution issues every now and then. Playing these games on my PC now, has raised the bar for me, and after a few hours playing Forza Horizon 3, I felt that it would be a crime to go from 60FPS, back to 30FPS on the console. The Xbox Play Anywhere titles do not look terrible on console, but the PC puts the power in your hands with higher resolutions, textures, and unlocked frame rate. Recore especially, suffers from a 900p resolution on Xbox, and on PC, I pushed it all to ultra, including unlocked frame rate.

I have also found myself tweaking hardware settings on my PC again, like using MSI Afterburner to overclock my GTX 980. I am in dire need of more RAM, so I’ve found myself searching daily on the web for great prices on it. This however ends there, as I have my PC hooked up to a 50-inch Samsung, and mainly use an Xbox One Controller, because the games make use of haptic feedback. This means I am not in the market to buy any fancy keyboards, gaming mouse, or anything of the sort. I have what I have in my PC, and it runs the games really well. I think that the main reason why I have been so drawn into this feature, as if the games did not run well, I would feel compelled to purchase new hardware

Microsoft for me, have blurred the lines between console gaming and PC gaming. Microsoft have brought the convenience of console, with the power of PC. I really thought that I would not be interested in it, given my console preference thanks to its convenience in online features, achievements, and overall ease of use, but I was wrong.

I don’t think I will play another Xbox Play Anywhere title on Xbox One again, unless it is to play cross-play with someone who is on my Windows 10 at the time.

Marco Cocomello: Twitter / MWEB GameZone: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube


"the convenience of console, with the power of PC"

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