Play Anywhere: Buy a game once, play it on Xbox One or Windows 10.
You probably noticed two things during Microsoft’s E3 conference. First, there was a huge emphasis on hardware. The Xbox One S, custom controllers from the Xbox Design Lab, and Project Scorpio were all revealed. Second, there was an even greater emphasis on Microsoft’s “Play Anywhere” initiative, and almost every trailer during the conference began with the worlds “Xbox One and Windows 10 Exclusive.” This doesn’t mean as much to Xbox gamers as it does to PC gamers, but it’s a big change for everyone. Here’s the scoop.
Play Anywhere is Microsoft’s comprehensive cross-platform campaign that promises a single, unified platform composed of your Xbox One console (or Scorpio down the road) and your Windows 10 PC. When you purchase a Play Anywhere title, either on your Xbox One or on your PC, you get the game for both. Progress through the game is transferred seamlessly over a shared save file, and trophies are similarly shared. So say you’re playing Gears of War 4 on your gaming PC, for example, but you’re about ready for bed. You’d like to go kick it in your bedroom where your Xbox One is hooked up, but you’re just a few checkpoints away from beating a stage in the campaign. With Play Anywhere you could just save your progress on PC, move over to your bedroom, get comfortable, and then pick your game up right where you left off on your Xbox One.
So far 12 games have been confirmed as Play Anywhere titles (via Polygon):
- Gears of War 4
- Forza Horizon 3
- Sea of Thieves
- Halo Wars 2
- Killer Instinct Season 3
- State of Decay 2
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- We Happy Few
- Crackdown 3
Keep in mind, Play Anywhere only works with games you buy digitally, and not with physical game discs. Otherwise, what would stop someone from buying Gears of War 4, unlocking the game on their Windows 10 PC, and then selling the disc back? Let us know what you think about Play Anywhere in the comments. Is this a fantastic step forward for the industry, or is Microsoft rendering the Xbox One obsolete by making its best exclusives available on the PC as well?