This morning was the media briefing for Windows 10 and from what we saw, this operating system will have new features that will enhance our gaming experience. Here’s what caught my attention:
An Xbox App will brings XBLA to PC: games, friend list, messages, activity feed, achievements and more will be available on either platform.
Xbox Multiplayer will also be cross devices which means PC gamers and Xbox One gamers can now play online together. This may change how you view multiplayer matches in your favourite FPS. Microsoft also announced that Fable Legends will release on X1 and PC on the same day so that Windows 10 users will be able to play with their friends on console from the get-go (providing there are no launch day technical difficulties, of course).
Game streaming will enable you to play X1 games on a Windows 10 PC or tablet. This feature, however, only works with games that support it and through your local network. Games can only be played on one device at a time. Streaming is also one way, from the console out but Phil Spencer said that they are looking at streaming from PC to X1.
Windows 10 will have a built-in Game DVR that enables you to record, edit and share game clips using a simple keystroke. Best of all, the feature won’t be limited to Xbox Live as Microsoft said it would support others services like Steam.
Move over Siri, here comes Cortana! Microsoft’s personal digital assistant will now be available on PCs and tablets running Windows 10. She’s said to learn your preferences to provide relevant recommendations and fast access to information. I can’t wait to ask to tell her to set my default browser to Chrome, my default email provider to Gmail and my default search engine to Google!
Not to be outdone by Sony and Oculus, Microsoft revealed their own VR-like technology: HoloLens. This is not a full on virtual reality headset like its competitors; the technology is called augmented reality and works more like holograms (thus the name). The HoloLens uses see-through lenses, spatial sound to hear behind you and advanced sensors. It overlaps images with the real world. Imagine receiving a Skype call and your interlocutor appears in your living room Star Wars style or even building the wildest project in Minecraft, all on your coffee table.
The new operating system is set to launch mid-2015. One thing is for sure, Microsoft is looking to blur the line between ecosystems and devices and offer similar features on all platforms. Windows 10 will come stock with the HoloLens API and Xbox features are deeply rooted within the OS itself. Microsoft also seem to be transforming Xbox Live into a Create Once Publish Everywhere (COPE) model a bit like Netflix. I was pleased with what I saw during the presentation today and I can’t wait to try Windows 10 myself.