Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere feature is a big deal for the Universal Windows Program (UWP) and the company confirmed today that it will launch on September 13. The service will let gamers buy a title for the Xbox One and get the Windows 10 versions for free, or alternatively, buy a Windows game and play it on Xbox.
The first move towards Xbox Play Anywhere has already been made, with Microsoft launching the Windows Store on the console. This means that users on a Windows 10 PC can now buy Xbox One games, while gamers on the console can download and use Windows 10 apps and games.
Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform allows users to use a Windows 10 device for one thing and then to pick up where they left off later, with losing any content or game.
“The Windows 10 Anniversary Update and the related Xbox update coming this summer enable the Windows Store on Windows 10 and Xbox One to support Xbox Play Anywhere games,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. “Then, beginning with the launch of ReCore this fall and continuing with Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2 and others, when you digitally purchase a game that supports Xbox Play Anywhere, you have access to the game on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs for one price and your progress, game saves and achievements are shared seamlessly across both platforms.”
Universal Windows Platform in a gaming context has been criticized by some, most notably Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who said in April that he thinks Microsoft is trying to create a closed monopoly. Redmond says it is in fact doing the exact opposite, giving games more choice by allowing them to play across devices.
Some of the Xbox Play Anywhere aspects will include Xbox Live, allowing gamers to carry game progress, achievements, and other data across from Xbox One to PC, and vice versa. However, Microsoft says only some games (developer dependent) will support online gaming across Windows 10, allowing PC gamers to play console gamers online.