Gaming support is one of the features that Microsoft is aiming to improve in Windows 10, but the company is also working on something that would clearly give all of its platforms a significant advantage in the fight against rivals.
At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft, has revealed that, with Windows 10, the Redmond-based tech giant is indeed working to bring together all of its platforms, so gaming will also be impacted by this change.
As a result, starting with the upcoming operating system, users who purchase a game designed to run on any of Microsoft's platforms will be capable of running it on basically all the other platforms in its portfolio.
Based on the concept of cross-buy, the new approach basically means that you only need to purchase a game once and play it as long as you want on any other Microsoft device, be it smartphone, PC, Xbox console, or tablet.
"With the Windows Store, Microsoft is committed to delivering best-in-class scenarios for gamers and game developers,” Spencer said.
“For developers, the promise of one store across devices means they will now have the ability and flexibility to deliver content across PCs, console, tablets, and phones, easily and quickly. Similarly, by enabling new experiences such as cross-buy, developers now have more flexibility on the features they deliver to gamers across Windows devices.”
This isn't an entirely new idea, as Microsoft has been fiddling with the concept of universal apps since Windows 8.1, but the company is only advancing at full speed towards this new approach.
In Windows 10, Microsoft will be offering users a single store across all devices and this will provide access to universal apps, which are designed to run on all platforms.
The same will happen with games, which will now support all Microsoft's devices, including tablets and smartphones. The company is aiming at similar experience across all these devices, but there's no doubt that some limitations could indeed exist because of the obvious limited hardware capabilities of some devices, such as phones.
And once again, everything will come down to developers. Microsoft needs developers to create universal apps and games that would run on all these devices, so it has to continue its hard work to convince app makers to code for its platforms.
This time, however, everything seems to be a much bigger opportunity for developers, especially because apps would share a big part of the code, so bringing an app on tablets after launching it on PCs shouldn't be too difficult and time consuming.