Video gaming experiences continue to evolve in exciting and unusual ways as we push into the future with new technologies, new ways to play, and new ideas driving modern gaming platforms. With the recent unveiling of plans and features for Windows 10, it’s clear that Microsoft is keen to further bridge the gap between mobile, console, and PC gaming while also testing out some wild ideas seemingly pulled straight from the pages of science fiction. Here’s a quick look at some of Windows 10’s notable developments and what they mean for gaming families.
Cross-Platform Play Between Windows 10 and Xbox One
Greater connectivity between PC and Xbox One will make cross-platform multiplayer gaming possible both online and locally. While this may not have a huge impact for families that already game online, it will allow some interesting possibilities for head-to-head competitive gameplay in the same room without playing on the same screen.
Families could feasibly purchase PC and Xbox One versions of compatible games and then challenge one another (or play co-operatively) without having to share a screen. This could open the door for fun multiplayer gameplay with certain types of games that haven’t traditionally allowed for local multiplayer experiences.
Xbox App and Xbox Live on PC
The Xbox App, which is currently available for tablets and Windows phones, will also be integrated directly into Windows 10. This will give you access through your PC to Xbox Live and many of its core social networking features typically found on the Xbox One console.
Access to your Xbox Live achievements and the games storefront are nice perks, but they’re only part of the equation. Players will be able to share messages, chat with friends, and interact with other players both in and outside of actual gameplay using these channels, which is something to be aware of if you currently limit or closely monitor the online activities of younger players in your household.
In another twist, it appears the range of functional apps and accessibility from Windows 10 will eventually become available directly on Xbox One as well.
Streaming Gameplay Between Devices
With Microsoft’s Windows Phone, Surface tablets, Xbox One, and PCs all offering different types of gaming adventures, it makes sense that Windows 10 will incorporate streaming gameplay between those devices. If you own an Xbox One, you’ll be able to stream games through your home networks and play those games on your PC or tablet, which can let you enjoy your favorite console games in different settings than you might normally play.
The flipside, however, is that parents with compatible tablets and PCs may want to keep a closer eye on when, what, and where their kiddos are playing when they’re not in the family living room or usual location where the Xbox One is set up.
PC Gameplay Recording with DVR
Given the rise of online video and social media sharing, the Xbox One’s cool ability to let players record, edit, and share short snippets of gameplay footage is one of the console’s most popular extra features among players. Windows 10 will integrate this feature on PC in a streamlined way that’s far easier and more accessible than most other current methods for recording and sharing gameplay video taken from your computer. This means players will be able to quickly capture, edit, and share gameplay footage right from their PC with a few simple button presses.
Windows Holographic and HoloLens
The biggest and perhaps craziest announcement to come out alongside Windows 10 is Windows Holographic, a combination of hardware and software—including a wearable glasses-like headset called the HoloLens—that brings holographic 3D imagery, apps, and gameplay into your living room. Very Star Trek!
This software, hardware, and app combo will essentially let you interact with a range of Windows 10 games, apps, and features in a 3D holographic environment overlaid directly on top of real-world objects and surfaces in your surroundings. Additionally, HoloStudio will let you create your own holograms, though it’s not quite clear to what extent you’ll be able to share creations.
Nonetheless, this is all a super cool and super sci-fi spin on the average living room gaming experience, and it’ll be interesting just how far this technology is pushed in the future as it matures. Definitely something to keep tabs on, whether you’re interested in games or more functional applications around the house.
Also, the fact that Microsoft teased a 3D holographic version of Minecraft in the video for this announcement should be of great interest to young adventurers of the indie hit’s blocky worlds.
So what are your thoughts on the Windows 10 and its related gaming announcements? Very cool? Very crazy? Is it something you’re excited to have in your home? Feel free to leave your comments and questions below!