Back at E3 in 2011, Microsoft had hopes that Xbox LIVE would be the "pervasive" media service across the Windows Phone, Xbox and Windows PC. They wanted to achieve this with the introduction of Windows 8. While they have managed this to some extent, it is far from the "buy a game in one place and play it everywhere" philosophy that they wanted. Over three years later, Microsoft's Phil Spencer has explained the company's vision for the upcoming Windows 10, and things are looking a lot more promising.
If you would rather watch Spencer's 18-minute presentation in full, you can find it below. If not, you can get a shorter explanation after the video.
On Windows 10, the Xbox app will allow you to view all of your games on all of your Windows gaming devices through My Games. The apps Friends List allows you to see what your friends are doing. Messages can be sent to anybody who is using a Windows 10 device, an Xbox or is on the web -- this includes both voice chat and text chat. Finally, the Activity Feed will keep you up to date with all of your friends' latest gaming moments. If a video clip is posted to the Activity Feed, it can be "liked", you can leave comments, and you can share it with all of your friends and followers. So far, so Facebook.
It isn't only Xbox gameplay clips that you will be able to share. Windows 10 includes a Game DVR that can be accessed by pressing Windows+G. If something great has happened but the camera wasn't rolling, you can save the previous 30 seconds of gameplay. The clip can then be edited and shared on Xbox LIVE or other social networks.
What about gaming on Windows 10? With DirectX 12, graphics can be much more complex without causing a drop in framerate. By giving developers direct control over CPU and GPU, game performance can be increased by up to 50%. Despite the better performance, players who are using devices that are powered by battery will notice that they can continue playing DirectX 12 games for up to 50% longer than those using DirectX 11. Both Unreal Engine 4 and Unity are confirmed to be using DirectX 12. Microsoft hopes that this will see higher end mobile games and apps becoming available in the future.
As well as messaging friends on other platforms, gamers will be able to play select titles on Windows 10 alongside their friends on Xbox One -- Microsoft is bringing back cross-platform gaming on consoles and PC. The thing that will interest gamers the most, though, is the ability to stream any Xbox One title to any Windows 10 PC or tablet in your house. After linking the Windows 10 device to your console, you can stream any of your Xbox One titles to that device. Once you are done playing, you can turn off your console through the Windows 10 device too. "Many" Xbox One accessories can be used interchangeably with consoles and PC, although more details on this are promised for the future.
One of the first games to be confirmed for Windows 10 is Fable Legends
, which will be released on the same day as the Xbox One version of the title. Players will be able to face opponents on both Windows 10 and Xbox One as it is "the same game, in the same world, on the same map". Take a look at the game's latest trailer:
Microsoft also released a handful of new screenshots for the game too.
Several Windows 10 features will also be finding their way to Xbox One consoles later this year when Microsoft upgrades the console's Windows interface to the new operating system. Meanwhile, players who want to try out Windows 10 through the downloadable Tech Preview will be able to do so next week and get their first glimpse at the Xbox app.
Thanks to the many members of the community who sent this one in!