Windows 10 launches today, for some people, and one of the biggest features is streaming your Xbox One games to your PC. But what about streaming your PC games to your Xbox One? In an interview with The Verge Phil Spencer explains “We understand if you’re going to go PC to Xbox, we need to get keyboard and mouse working completely so you could play those games. In terms of where we want to go with our platform, those are absolutely in scope of things that we want to do.”
Spencer says that the main challenge is encoding the PC games and making sure you have the correct bandwidth to stream to the Xbox One. Everyone’s PC is different and has different specifications, software, and hardware. Every Xbox One is the same so it’s much easier to encode for streaming. As Spencer says, “It’s actually a little more challenging doing the encoding on the PC side to the Xbox, but challenge is good.” With the continued integration of Windows and Xbox this next step seems like a logical one, and it’s good to see Microsoft wants to make this happen, and isn’t shying away from the challenge. Windows and Xbox integration seems to be a big part of Microsoft’s plans going forward as Spencer explains, “[Gamers] want to play games on the device that they want to play on. They want to play with their friends and they progress whenever they sit down, because of that, the road-map and our focus on what’s going on, Windows is incredibly strong.”
This will be a big feature for Microsoft if they can get it working reliably, and if they can make sure it works with Steam not just the Windows Store games. Valve is basically trying to do this with their Steam Machines, but if Microsoft can get it working they will pretty much make Steam Machines irrelevant. This will also allow for a lot more cross-over interest between Xbox and PC gaming. Gamers who like their Xbox, but would want to try PC gaming will be able to dip their toes into it more easily, and PC gamers might be convinced to buy an Xbox since they will still be able to play all of their PC games as well as enjoy all of the Xbox’s features. Microsoft could also help local co-op come back if they could get a game to stream one players screen to PC and have another on the Xbox connected TV.
What do you think about PC-to-Xbox streaming? Would it convince you to get an Xbox, or try PC gaming if you haven’t already?