Will there be a Windows 10 app for Xbox One?

Brodie Fogg 29 July 2015

With Windows 10 launching on July 29 around the world, it won’t be long before gamers will be able to use their PC or Surface as a second screen to stream their Xbox gaming sessions -- but will it work the other way?

The Xbox One video game console will be a welcome player in the new Windows 10 ecosystem, joining the Nokia phone, Surface tablet, and home PC in a unified multimedia environment. Windows 10 will come with an Xbox app, and through this you will not only be able to follow your friends, play with your profile, check out your achievements and engage in cross-platform multiplayer, but you will also be able to play your Xbox One.

The system works through your home Wi-Fi network. By logging in to both machines with your Xbox Live account, you can instantly sync your PC and Xbox One. You can then plug your Xbox One controller into your PC or Surface via a USB cable, and then play the Xbox One from their screen.

The obvious benefit of this is you don’t have to disrupt your lounge room game time if your better half or parental unit wants to watch TV. Simply move to the PC and continue on your adventure. We tested it out and there appeared to be very little loss in the visuals and sound; while the connection using a mid-range router was seamless – however, it’s worth noting that we were told that cheap routers may struggle.

One interesting idea that evolved from this demonstration was whether or not the relationship could work both ways. Will the Xbox One receive a Windows 10 streaming app that allows you to operate PC games and software from the comfort of your couch? We put this to the Microsoft representative who was a little coy, but admitted that it was a frequently requested feature from the community and while not due for immediate release, it was in the pipeline. Very intriguing.

A couple of other interesting pieces of information we picked up from our chat with Microsoft include the following;

  • Currently, Nokia phones will not be able to stream Xbox One titles, but Microsoft is aware it is a feature the community would like and it is “on the wish list” for future updates.
  • You will not be able to use the Xbox app on PC in a system link scenario. Which means, in a splitscreen co-op mode, you will not be able to have one player on a TV and the second on a PC enjoying the same game with full screen real estate. The stream is a direct mirror.
  • Over time, it’s not expected that the Xbox One dashboard will become Windows 10, but rather that apps will become unified across all the devices. The suggestion is that, while the Xbox One dashboard will remain separate from the look and feel of the other Windows 10 devices, when you open up an app like Facebook, it will look and behave in the same way across all formats.
  • There is a dongle in the works that will allow you to wirelessly connect your Xbox One controller to a PC and “cut the cord.” No release window was given for this feature.
  • Anything showing on your Xbox One can be streamed to the PC. This not only refers to apps like Netflix, but also means you will be able to show your cable TV – such as Foxtel – on your PC if it passes through your Xbox One console.

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