So Microsoft had a variety of things to announce to the public at E3 2016, but something that really stuck out to me was a new digital game title feature called, Xbox Play Anywhere. Although I guess it’s not so much a feature as a fundamental change in the way that we utilize digital video game purchasing and play.
So now, when you make a purchase of Xbox Play Anywhere digital title, meaning not every game right now is going to support this at the moment, you can play it on both your Xbox One, and Windows 10 PC, or maybe Boot Camp Mac running Windows 10. You’ll own the game on multiple platforms, and you can sync your save game data across devices as well. You can even play multiplayer with your friends on other devices.
Things to consider
Now this is something that honestly has probably been on the minds of several gamers who own a variety of devices. Who wouldn’t want to buy a game once for all their devices? Now one problem that that most people don’t consider is that Microsoft has once considered initiating multiplatform cross multiplayer once in past already, but they didn’t. Now, why would this even be a bad thing? I can finally include my “PC Master Race” friends to play games along with me finally.
Now this is where things get interesting. In the past, Microsoft apparently had performed some research and testing on releasing cross platform play around 2010. They decided to test things out by putting your average PC gamer against some average console gamers. The results were pretty definitive of what would happen if the plan was put into action. As Nicholas Deleon of Tech Crunch put it, “Every single time the PC gamer killed the console gamer. And I don’t mean killed as in “fragged,” but killed as in the PC gamer knocked the teeth out of the console gamers every single time.” Now this might not be the case for every type of game since some games play a little bit better with a controller opposed to a keyboard and mouse but it was quite a concern.
Every single time the PC gamer killed the console gamer. And I don’t mean killed as in “fragged,” but killed as in the PC gamer knocked the teeth out of the console gamers every single time. – Nicholas Deleon
Playing on consoles with XIM4
Now I myself wasn’t too concerned when I first heard about this, but I had my own reasons why I wasn’t concerned. This mostly had to do with the fact that I myself have been using some 3rd party gaming hardware that allowed me to take advantage of some of the benefits of the “PC Master Race” control scheme on my own Xbox One. It’s a device called the XIM4. It allows me to hook up my choice of keyboard, mouse, gamepad, or other input devices to a Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, or PS4 used a wired controller and additional wired connection. Now on that on its own isn’t enough since each games buttons, and aiming is different but it has a comprehensive library of mouse sensitivity and aim profiles customized for each game available. Once setup though I may not be godlike in gameplay, but I definitely have a serious advantage in mobility, and aiming that is obvious when I switch back, and forth between the two control setups.
Here’s a preview of a XIM4 in use:
When it comes down to it though having Digital Titles with the Xbox Play Anywhere feature is going to be pretty nice. Even if you’re playing with elite PC gamers, it means you can recruit your own heavy hitters into your team play. It’s going to benefit people who want to play games with all the friends, and not feel like their excluded because their a casual gamer who plays on a console. Playstation has been heading towards a similar goal for some of their game titles. If Microsoft and Playstation do finally link up their multiplayer servers then things in gaming are going to get real interesting because platform choices may become an issue of that past that prevents you from playing with your friends online.
What do you think about Xbox Play Anywhere?