Xbos boss Phil Spencer has announced that Microsoft will be expanding its Xbox Play Anywhere scheme to Xbox Scarlett, the company's next-gen console.
In an interview with Australian tech site, Stevivor, Spencer explained the company's plan to support the service across Xbox One, Project Scarlett, and Windows PCs in the future, extending gamers' options when it comes to how they play.
Xbox Play Anywhere, if you're not already aware, enables cross-play, cross-buy, cross-saves, and cross-achievements for gamers who play on both Xbox One and PC. Not all games are supported by the service, but it typically works with first-party titles like the Forza series, Gears of War franchise, Sea of Thieves, as well as a growing number of indie games.
Spencer wants to expand those plans further still. 'Our goal for our first-party games is that your entitlements will be cross-generation and your Achievements will move effectively with your save game because that’s where they stand,' he explained at X019 earlier this week.
His general thinking being that the transitionary period between Xbox One and Scarlett should be more consumer-friendly than previous generation switches, while also being more welcoming to PC gamers. Learning from past mistakes, he cited the difficulties of moving digital purchases from Xbox 360 to Xbox One in the past, and remarked that the Xbox team wants to build upon its previous success with backwards compatibility.
What does that mean for PC gamers? Hopefully it means more flexibility. It's already useful to be able to buy Forza Horizon 4 for one system and easily be able to switch to the other as and when suits you. More choice is always good. Spencer also wants to see Microsoft's mentality extend to third-party developers, mentioning his hope that other firms also adopt this thinking.
For now, this is all positive talk from a company that's keen to make up for its mistakes with the Xbox One launch, but it has potentially interesting repercussions for PC gamers.
A world in which you can play a game on your console for a little while before switching over to your superior PC setup without missing out on your progress is sure to be a good experience for those who want the flexibility. Hopefully, Microsoft's bravado will lead to action by more developers and publishers.
February 6 2020 | 16:30